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  1. #1
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    pdf format converter (Word 97)

    I could use a recommendation for a lean, file format conversion program. I simply want to convert a table from Word 97 to pdf format so that I can edit text in Adobe Illustrator (.pdf is a compressed version of .eps).

    I know there are quite a few programs which permit this, but they are full featured overkill. ZDNet has a bunch listed too, but I really can't tell what is easy, reliable and safe. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: pdf format converter (Word 97)

    Would it not be easier to print to EPS directly? If you print to a PostScript driver and direct the output to file, it might be editable in Illustrator.

    To generate an EPS file, I think you have to do the following in Word's print dialog:
    1. <LI>Choose a PostScript printer
      <LI>Check the Print to File box.
      <LI>Click the Properties button for the printer and set the output type to Encapsulated PostScript (by default it is set to Optimize for Speed). This is wherever PostScript options are to be found, which will vary depending on your OS.
      <LI>A brief scan of sites describing how to do this suggested that you set the language level to 1 (although I think this might be limited to B&W).
    Hopefully you will get a valid EPS file! I'm attaching a sample; does it work? I used an Apple LaserWriter 8500 driver for one and the HP 4050 PS driver for the other. It seems that Windows used its own PostScript driver in both cases, but there are differences between the files. Not sure if they are consequential.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
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    Re: pdf format converter (Word 97)

    Thanks for the idea. If it works, I'll pass it on in the Adobe User to User Illustrator Forum where there are regular complaints about Word (and Office) documents being difficult to work with (on balance, the problems are fixable, just a pain in the tail)

  4. #4
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    Re: pdf format converter (Word 97)

    To: jscher 2000

    Your suggestion didn't work. While I can edit text which is not part of a table, and I can edit the table's lines, I cannot edit the text in the table. That's the same problem I had before. Illustrator just treats additional text like an uneditable, lower layer and runs the new text on top of the old. When it hits the end of the cell, additional text goes into "the ether".

    I'm not sophisticated enought to know the answer, but would posting a table as a web document and then downloading it do any good? Would that add pdf compatability?


    Any other thoughts? How about a little pdf converter program? (not Acrobat, that's overkill).

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: pdf format converter (Word 97)

    I can't read EPS, but maybe your intuition that the table lines are laid over the text as a separate layer is correct. Is there not a way to work with layers in Illustrator?

    Since you don't care about the appearance of the PDF document - it is merely an intermediate format - why not use the trial edition of pdfFactory from FinePrint Software? It adds a footer indicating that the file was generated with the trial version, but you probably are discarding the header and footer area anyway. If you do decide to use it for print output or document sharing, $50 is not bad.

  6. #6
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    Re: pdf format converter (Word 97)

    Illustrator has lots of ways to work with layers, and they can be really powerful--but if the layer is text, the text must be in a readable format. My guess is that the cells are incorporating the text as "curves"--graphic images of text which cannot be edited in a text editor. The lines in the cell grid are probably in .wmf format. For example, I can remove words in the cells, but if the phrases would ordinarily cause the table to increase a cell's size, it doesn't happen.

    Maybe Woody can play with the subject in a newsletter (I've been reading and buying his stuff since WOPR was sold on floppies); there are also quite a few people who use MS Office and graphics/page layout programs who encounter difficulties with Microsoft products (as though the rest of the world has it easy).

    I don't know how to read EPS, but the type one/Adobe fonts are all written in EPS and EPS is read by Word. A few times, I've looked at EPS "things" in a text editor and quickly run away.

    I'll give FinePrint Software a try. Thanks.

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