Convert pdf file to an image file

  22715240 13:02 10 Nov 2006

Just received a pdf file wich requires cleaning up and enhancing. Can I save it somehow as an image file to do this?
Thanks for any advice!!

  anskyber 14:00 10 Nov 2006
  UncleP 18:44 10 Nov 2006

Best to convert it to a word processor or DTP file - an image file, unless of very large size, will lose resolution. The Adobe product is quite expensive but there are several relatively cheap (maybe even free) pdf converter utilities around, usually to Microsoft Word format, and their partners which allow output back to pdf. The Serif PagePlus11 program, if you can get it at a reduced price, will do both and provide very reasonable DTP functions as well.

I'm a little surprised that you should need to clean up and enhance a pdf file - the whole point of them is that they represent exactly what the original author intended, and are not degraded in production or transmission. Still, I guess there must be times when it is possible to improve on the original in some way.

  22715240 22:05 10 Nov 2006

Thanks for advice. The pdf file was a scanned document in old script English , low resolution, very patchy and marked, I wanted to cut and manipulate (clean up the characters) to make them more easier to understand and transcribe.

  Diemmess 14:02 11 Nov 2006

Have just tried a page of A4 10 point word doc. which was saved as a pdf.
I opened it as pdf of course, selected the whole and copied to clipboard.
Then opened Corel Photopaint and "New from Clipboard"
The result was terrible. All sorts of "jaggies"

I feel your best approach if you can, go back to whoever made the pdf.
It must have been a photo at some time and if you can have the image file from which the pdf was made, I'm sure you will find the job becomes possible

  UncleP 03:17 12 Nov 2006

Some clarification is necessary: are you saying that the pdf file contains a single image of the scanned document, which has not been 'OCR'ed to extract the text in conventional form? And is the 'old script English' regular ie like a font with a given character the same wherever it occurs? Or is it basically hand written? And finally, what is the size of the image file, and how many characters does it contain?

Even if the resolution is poor, it is possible to recover a good representation of the text, but it's a very tedious business (I know, I did it on a medieval chart which had been scanned at low resolution many years ago - took weeks!). Basically you cut it up into small chunks which you import individually into your graphics program. You then increase the resolution of the image ie the number of pixels per character. It remains 'blocky' as Diemmess noted above, but you can now get rid of this by adding or removing areas of ink to smooth out the 'jaggies'. Alternatively you can approximate the true edge shapes with Bezier curves and fill the space that they define.

Forget what I said about pdf converters; they assume that text is text and images are images - which is why they can get an A4 page into a file size of 20-50 kb. If it's all image, they won't help at all.

  22715240 08:27 12 Nov 2006

This is a scanned transcription (penned) copy of a will from 1808 downloaded from TNA (The National Archives) which in some places is difficult to read. Resolution is 150. This will is particularly spotty and blocky so it is difficult to read the salient points. I have converted to jpg now with Acrobat, and will try to play with it. I haven't come across Bezier curves before but will check. Thank you so much for the info. I will keep plugging away.

  Diemmess 09:51 12 Nov 2006

I can see you have no illusions about the work involved!
Handwriting of those days was sometimes so styled to the clerk and difficult to read with the document in front of you, let alone a poor and low resolution copy.

I suppose you will transcribe the whole thing and for the sake of posterity try and produce an almost readable image.

  UncleP 00:03 13 Nov 2006

Ok, I understand the problem better now. I don't know what else to suggest, although if you feel able to send me a copy of the pdf file I might - no promises! - be able to make some suggestions which might make the job a little easier.

In any case, good luck!

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