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  1. #1
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    Getting to basics: straight and simple text




    BEST SOFTWARE

    Getting to basics: straight and simple text




    By Lincoln Spector

    You have arrays of sophisticated computer tools to choose from for almost any endeavor, but you can't seem to get your text in plain form anymore, even when that's the only thing you need.

    For times when simplest is best, here are some tools for transforming formatted or bitmapped material into words just words.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/best-softw...d-simple-text/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    You missed out on my favorite method of pasting plain text, which is using M8's "Spartan Lite" clipboard utilty, (the latest version of the free Multiclip as mentioned in Windows Secrets subscriber giveaway of July 10, 2008 of "9 Free Programs every PC should have").

    It remembers the last 25 copies, allows you to set 25 permanently stored copies (changeable as required) and can add a button for pating in plain text or even upper or lower case. It also allows you to paste images in different methods, increasing the chance that an image paste will work.

    http://m8software.com/clipboards/spa...partanlite.htm

  3. #3
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    Maybe you've seen this but I thought I'd send it along: http://www.free-ocr.com/

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    Foxit Reader

    Free Foxit Reader has a function to extract text from PDFs.

    See Tools - Select Text

  5. #5
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    1)
    Quote Originally Posted by ebloch View Post
    Free Foxit Reader has a function to extract text from PDFs.
    All PDF readers can copy text. But you're missing the point. Lincoln was talking about PDFs containing pictures of text, not the text itself. I've attached an example of this: it's actually a screenshot of your own post, converted into a PDF file. Try to extract the text from that. Also, many copyrighted PDF files have security which blocks copying the text.

    2) Here is a free screen-OCR tool which installs on your computer, and thus has no upload size limit: Abbyy Screenshot Reader. It sells for $29.99. But Abbyy seems entirely happy to give it away for free. They ran a few giveaway promotions a couple of years ago, and the download page is still there.
    If you want to have some fun, play this game to get your free Screenshot Reader: http://www.abbyy.com/xmas.
    Or you can go straight to the download page: http://www.abbyy.com/bonusSR/.
    Note that this download page is on the Abbyy website; it's not some pirate site.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Bruce Fraser; 2012-02-10 at 10:31. Reason: Added note about copyrighted PDF files as another example of inability to copy text.

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    bobprimak (2012-02-13)

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Fraser View Post
    1)

    All PDF readers can copy text. But you're missing the point. Lincoln was talking about PDFs containing pictures of text, not the text itself. I've attached an example of this: it's actually a screenshot of your own post, converted into a PDF file. Try to extract the text from that. Also, many copyrighted PDF files have security which blocks copying the text.

    2) Here is a free screen-OCR tool which installs on your computer, and thus has no upload size limit: Abbyy Screenshot Reader. It sells for $29.99. But Abbyy seems entirely happy to give it away for free. They ran a few giveaway promotions a couple of years ago, and the download page is still there.
    If you want to have some fun, play this game to get your free Screenshot Reader: http://www.abbyy.com/xmas.
    Or you can go straight to the download page: http://www.abbyy.com/bonusSR/.
    Note that this download page is on the Abbyy website; it's not some pirate site.
    I just tried http://www.free-ocr.com/ on the attached file, and the service spat out complete gibberish. It did not work at all.

    The free Abbyy download was much more successful -- it works just fine. Does Abbyy extract or OCR text from copyrighted (locked) PDF Files? I don't think so.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-02-13 at 13:20.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Does Abbyy extract or OCR text from copyrighted (locked) PDF Files? I don't think so.
    There are different ways to put security on a PDF file:
    - can't even see it, unless you have the password
    - can't print it (except with password)
    - can't copy text (except with password)
    - and more (editing, annotating)

    Abbyy Screenreader works with all of these, except for the first one. Basically, if you can read it on your screen, so can Abbyy Screenreader. (As the name of the program suggests, it is not intended to spy inside PDF files which cannot even be opened; just to read what's on the screen.)

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    bobprimak (2012-02-19)

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