Tag Archives: PDF

This PDF Hack Accesses Your Word Wizardry

Missing all your Word tools because you’ve got a PDF to mark up? Never fear!

Open Word, then tell Word to open the PDF file. It’s that simple. Word will import all of the text and graphics so you can access your macros, plug-ins, and other secret Word weapons to proofread the content. No need to pay for any third-party translation or shell out for Acrobat Pro! Word has you covered.

Any changes will have to be transcribed onto the PDF, not simply tracked in the Word file; but that’s easy. This quick tutorial shows how to leave professional proofreading markup using the industry standard free software: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Troubleshooting

Bad breaks or false ones may occur at the bottom of pages where footers including folios are set in text boxes. Some body text and captions may also appear in text boxes. Be sure Word is including such text in any checks, and be prepared to excuse layout weirdness. You’ll have to check design elements on the PDF itself.

If there’s any markup on the PDF, Word will try to replicate it, too. Just be aware of it so you can ignore those sections.



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

5 Uses for a Non-Breaking Space

Have you ever seen the non-printing ° symbol and wondered what it was? You’re looking at a non-breaking space.
By using a non-breaking space, we can ensure that we don’t end up breaking a measurement up at the end of a line.

A non-breaking space has intentional and side benefits:

  1. Keep digits with their unit of measurement.
  2. Keep names from splitting over a line break.
  3. Keep long numbers from splitting over a line break.
  4. Identify content copied from a PDF or website.
  5. An easily searchable character for your compositor to replace.

To Find Non-Breaking Spaces

You don’t have to rely on your eyes alone. In the Find field, type ^s to search for non-breaking spaces. You can even pair this code with wildcards to quickly add non-breaking spaces between all digits and their units of measure, or in place of simple spaces in long numbers.

Compositors and others on the design team can use the non-breaking space as a placeholder for another character, often the thin space which Word cannot produce but which makes for elegant text design.

To Type a Non-Breaking Space

On a Mac: opt + spacebar

In Windows: ctrl + shift + spacebar

Troubleshooting

It’s not just plagiarism that makes an editor look for text copied from elsewhere. The non-breaking spaces in such pasted content can really mess up layout. I see these a lot in article titles in the bibliography or reference list. By changing those to regular spaces, we can save a lot of fixing in page proofs.

To show or hide these spaces and all non-printing characters, click the ¶ icon on the home ribbon.

A non-breaking space sometimes goes by the name of a fixed space or a hard space.

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cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

How to Get a Word Count from a PDF using Word

Whether you need a word count for estimation or billing purposes, or for something else entirely, MS Word comes to the rescue. There are two easy ways to get text from a PDF into Word:

  • Paste the contents into Word
  • Open the file in Word

Pasting text into Word is simplest, but it doesn’t work with every file type. To get the whole contents of a slide set, for example, first print the slides to PDF, then copy all from that new file.

  • Open the file
  • Select all (ctrl + A, or cmd + A on a Mac)
  • Copy
  • Open Word and Paste

Open Word, then tell it to open the PDF. Word will convert the PDF and the Word count will appear along the bottom edge of the screen.

Troubleshooting

If the Word count is not displayed along the bottom edge of the Word window, right-click along that border and make sure that Word Count is selected.

It may take a few seconds for Word to do its count; just wait. If it seems stalled, scroll down a few pages or go right to the end.

Word can make all kinds of errors detecting the text in a PDF, especially if that PDF was a scan rather than a “print” of an original file. (Misread ligatures and insert spaces mid-word.) Word will also include all of the markups and notes made to the PDF, and if those notes overlap text, that text will be excluded. Body text from a marked-up PDF is best gotten into Word by the copy–paste method.

This captures the running feet and heads too. If the word count needs to be precise, do a search-and-destroy for those.

Yes, you can export a slide set as an RTF, but we’re talking PDFs here.



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the orange bar right above this.


© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!