PDF and Excel

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Home page: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm
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Excel to PDF

Pay for options include the full Adobe Acrobat (as opposed to the free Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Free options include software that came with a flatbed scanner (a stripped down Acrobat).  Other free options include a choice of many free PDF writers (see Related area) so you no longer even have to use GhostScript yourself to convert. 

PDF to Excel

For those that have the full Adobe Acrobat product

For those that have the full Adobe Acrobat product, not the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  How to Export a Table From a PDF File into An Excel Spreadsheet

Note the full Acrobat tool has the Table/Formatted Table Select Tool, which allows you to select the complete table and paste into Excel.  I have seen this button before and I never had the full Adobe Acrobat.  But I don't remember when I saw it. It may have been an older version of Acrobat Reader and the internal formats have changed.

For those without the full Adobe Acrobat product:

Another method to try would be to convert the PDF to HTML and then from HTML to Excel with copy and paste.  There are some free software sites.  See related area below.  There used to be some free PDF to HTML conversion sites but why bother if you can do it yourself on you own machine.

Some older methods of converting PDF to HTML

You could print it then scan it in and using TextBridge if it came with your scanner convert it to an Exel file.  Perhaps would work for you one time for say five sheets, that would be my limit for fun and entertainment.

With the Free Acrobat Reader you have to select one column at a time from the table.
  Ctrl+v or look for boxed [T] for Text and use the bdrop down box to select Column Select Tool (Ctrl+v)
Select the column from the table in acrobat, and paste into Excel. Carefully select the next column so everything lines up with the previous Column Select and Paste operation.

GhostScript and GSview

GhostScript and the GSview that you get with it allow you to view and print PostScript and PDF files, but you can use the Adobe Acrobat Reader to look at PDF files.  (free for non-commercial, home use)

Eliminate in Excel

Eliminate Adobe Toolbar icon

Tools --> Addin Manager --> uncheck the Adobe addin

Eliminate errors caused by pdfmaker.xla in XLSTART

See mskb article in Related area.

PDF creating from your Browser  (#html2pdf

LOOP to PDF for Firefox :: Firefox Add-ons, Upload, convert and combine your files to PDF from a tidy toolbar (Firefox Extension)

PDF viewing from your Browser  browser)

Using a plug-in to read PDF files is not recommended, but topics under this heading pertain to plug-in usage.  To view PDF files in their own application skip down to Viewing.

PDF files:  If you need to read a lot of .PDF files from Internet Explorer (IE), then you will wamt to change “Run Active-X components and plug-ins” back to enable.  Switching to Mozilla Firebird for browsing sites with PDF files it will be a lot easier, a lot faster and possibly safer than using IE.

Use of PDF plug-ins will impair browser performance  (#slowdown)

Change the file extension .pdf to be used by Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat if you have that, but don't allow the browser to open PDF files, especially on older machines (less than 1MB memory, less than 3gHz) and especially if you use more than one browse (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Mozilla, Netscape).  You need to remove the plug-ins for Acrobat Reader.

Additional Considerations in Firefox (#firefox)

You will not need the PDF Download extension, and if you installed it, uninstall it, stop Firefox, restart Firefox and continue ...

Under Tools menu in Firefox, Options, downloads(tab), Select PDF from list, use the Change Action button, then When opening file like this, Open in the default application. 

In Firefox 2.0* running under Windows, that would be
  Tools, Options, Content, [Manage...] then select PDF and "Open them with this Application" as "Acrobat Reader 6.0" which would be "c:\program files\Adobe\Reader\AcroRd32.exe"

Download Actions list is empty - MozillaZine Knowledge Base, actually it would be good to have no entry for PDF because that would mean you don't have a plug-in installed for PDF and you should do the system action.

Test with a link to a PDF file: Form W-4 (irs.gov), or Form W-4, more at irs.gov site.
Test with links to PDF Files at Adobe:  PDF as a Standard for Archiving

When you click on a PDF link, reply to Open the file in Adobe Acrobat, which is what you want.  The file will appear in your downloads list (Ctrl+J) once you've read the PDF file you can delete it there, or you leave it in the downloads list, if you want to see the file again.  If you don't see the file again you should remove it from downloads.

You will probably have to verify you have the correct options set after reinstalling or updating Firefox.

I'd like Firefox to ask me what to do with pdf files • mozillaZine Forums (in case other options fail enable/disable plug-in)

It would be a good idea to fix Internet Explorer and other browsers, including Firefox with the directions in the next topic.

Additional Considerations in Internet Explorer (#ie)

The following is from InterLinc: Help with PDF's [http://www.ci.lincoln.ne.us/main/helppdf.htm]

Enabling the Browser to Use Acrobat as a Helper Application

To configure Acrobat or Acrobat Reader as a helper application:

  1. Exit from Netscape, Internet Explorer and/or AOL.
  2. Start Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
  3. Choose Edit > Preferences > Internet (Acrobat 6.x or Acrobat Reader 6.x)
    Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Acrobat 5.x or Acrobat Reader 5.x)
    choose File > Preferences > General (Acrobat 4.x or Acrobat Reader 4.x).
  4. In the Options section, deselect Display PDF in Browser (Acrobat 6/5.x or Acrobat Reader 6/5.x)
    deselect Web Browser Integration (Acrobat 4.x or Acrobat Reader 4.x).
  5. Click OK, and then exit from Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
  6. Restart Netscape, Internet Explorer or AOL.

Note: The next time you select a link to a PDF file in Internet Explorer and AOL, a dialog box will prompt you to specify what to do with the file. If you select "Open this file from its current location," Internet Explorer and AOL open the PDF file in Acrobat 4.0 or later or Acrobat Reader 4.0 or later as a helper application. If you select "Save this file to disk," Internet Explorer saves the PDF file to your hard disk, from where you can open it later.

Viewing  (#viewing)

View, zoom, ...
Zoom To...Ctrl+Y
Actual SizeCtrl+1
Fit PageCtrl+0
Fit WidthCtrl+2
Fit Height...
Fit VisibleCtrl+3
Mac uses Command+z
instead of Ctrl+
Ideally we would have LCD screens that are mounted such that they can be rotated quickly 90 degrees to view as if on paper, and then use the rotate in the Reader (or View menu).  Unfortunately LCD screens for PC's are not readily (cheaply) available in that fashion.  Or PDF authors could print in a horizontal format, but then that limits you to the fontsize that the author chose so that could be even worse for readers if they have to reposition in four directions to read a single page.

Options within the Acrobat Reader.

Viewing PDF multi-column format in a Single Column  (#reflow)

In the Adobe reader, I like to read a typical multi-column layout as a single column.  I do not view PDF files with a plug-in.

To return to normal columns click on Reflow to uncheck the option.  Reflow won't work for all files or for all pages, but most PDF documents can be reflowed. May not look the best, but the main thing is that you can simple scroll up and down without having to scroll across to read other columns.  Reflow works only on text.  Pages that were scanned cannot be flowed.

Reflow is not available in Linux.

Soft-hyphens showing up as spaces has nothing to do with reflow, such errors are within the document and can be seen whether reflowed or not.  [incorrectly worded on ACGNJ Newsletters page]

Additional Viewing Tips  (#moretips)

For full screen Ctrl+L, for Reading Mode (eliminates a toolbar) Ctrl+H both are toggles so to undo hit the same keys again.

If you are looking at PDF files in your browser, you will not be have full access to controls, so suggest you do not use the plug-in and let the file be opened by the Adobe Reader.

For one time only: Windows Paste the url address into "My Computer" address bar. or into Run, or if on Vista into system Search would work.

Firefox users:
To open a specific link to a PDF with adobe reader you could set up "Launchy" extension to do so.

To remove use of plug-in from Firefox, or to permanently remove plug-in, see -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Adobe_Reader -- information is also available on adobe site (adobe.com) in a FAQ

Download details: 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS,
This download allows you to export and save to the PDF and XPS formats in eight 2007 Microsoft Office programs. It also allows you to send as e-mail attachment in the PDF and XPS formats in a subset of these programs.
Alambic, PDF distrubution
CutePDF, The FREE version of commercial PDF creation software. No watermarks! No Popup Ads! It requires PS2PDF converter (also free).  Tutorial:  Install the program cuteprinter.exe
Dale's Guide to Creating PDF Files, Dale Nurden, how to create PDF files using free software, i.e. GhostScript
to convert from a PostScript file.  Dale is the author of the very popular TClockEx clock in the taskbar that shows seconds.
Foxit Reader, A free reader/viewer/printer for PDF documents.
Unlike Adobe Reader, program is only 1 megabyte and runs instantly without installation. **can be substituted for Adobe Reader**
ImageMagick: Convert, Edit, Or Compose Bitmap Images
Link to PDFs from HTML -- The PowerPoint FAQ, Linking to a PDF from an HTML web page
is simple, Linking to a specific place within a PDF takes a little more work.
LockerGnome writeup on creating PDF files for free. (try this one 20040318)
msKB 307410 - OFF: "Compile Error in Hidden Module" Error Message When You Start Word or Excel,
The Microsoft Office Startup folder or the Microsoft Excel Startup folder contains either (or both) of the following Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker add-in template files:  Pdfmaker.dot, Pdfmaker.xla -and- Norton AntiVirus software is installed.
my GUI guy - PDF2HTMLgui, convert PDF file to HTML, I think was mentioned in an issue of http://www.winxpnews.com/
OldVersion.com, has older versions of Acrobat Reader, though I purposely retain the old downloads.
NLM DocMorph, download free conversion, (National Library of Medicine)
requires registration, converts over 50 file type to PDF, including pictures.  A PDF file conversion utility designed and provided by the National Library of Medicine.
Provides a way to convert files into PDF format without the need for Adobe Acrobat or Distiller. DocMorph includes speech synthesis, MyMorph is faster and just does conversion to PDF.
PDF conversions to/from MS Office via GoHTM.com, free online document publishing service
by BCL Technologies maker of Adobe® Acrobat® plugins
PDF, Creating PDF Files Using Only
Available Free Software , also check my webnofee page for more PDF creation tools.
PDFCreator (15.6 MB download), SourceForge.net: Project Info «, easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. 
Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application. (GNU) No advertising whatsoever (GNU). Installation not obvious chose: PDFCreator-0_8_0_GNUGhostscript.exe then the latest patch then reboot.  Conversion from HTML does not maintain links in PDF file.
PDFescape, free PDF editor & form filler online! (claims to be the only free PDF editor, seems there are several others, and is also selling a payfor version) [found on web, not tested]
PDF/TextBox «, by TallComponents, ability to Edit and create PDF files for free. (download page is an aspx page so requires IE to get started)
PDF 995: create PDF documents easily for free, (adware),
Pdf995 Suite includes PDFEdit995 which allows you to Edit PDF and to create HTML.  No longer recommended -- these are adware.  Conversion from HTML does not maintain links in PDF file.
Planet PDF - A world of Adobe Acrobat PDF news, tools, tips and resources, oriented to Adobe products
PrimoPDF «, Free PDF Converter - create high-quality PDF from any printable file type
Printing Worksheets To A PDF File (Using Late Binding), Ken Puls (excelguru.ca), topics include
"Print a Single Worksheet to a PDF File", "Print Multiple Worksheets to Multiple PDF Files", and "Print Multiple Worksheets to a Single PDF File" using PDFCreator.
RoboPDF - An Easy, Affordable Alternative for Creating PDFs, free home edition available;
otherwise, $49.  Drag and drop, or right-click on document icon.
Understanding the Differences Between a Distiller and a PDF Writer -
Scan2PDF, enables you to scan paper documents and save them to PDF format
on your computer for digital archiving or backup. In addition, you can also load images from your hard drive and combine them with a scanned document, or combine multiple documents/images into a single PDF file.
PDF-XChange Viewer 2.0 Build 41.3 (17.9 MB download), Tabbed Multiple Document Windows, Markup/Annotate any PDF page, Use typewrite mode on any page whether Adobe enabled or not.

This page was introduced on May 2, 2002. 

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