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Taking data from a PDF and putting it into a spreadsheet

I have a PDF with several hundred pages. Each page is formatted identically and contains data on a single person, divided into various tables. I want to parse the PDF so that each person's data is a single row in a spreadsheet, with various key points (e.g. "name") in the same column. I feel like this has to be an already-solved problem. How can I do this?
posted by LSK on Aug 11, 2014 - 6 answers

Every time I load Firefox, it tries to download a non-existent PDF

I typed a bad PDF name, and the download failed. Now every time I load Firefox, it tries to download the file again, and it fails again. How do I get the file name out of the "to do" list?
posted by KRS on Jul 23, 2014 - 9 answers

Need some file recommendations

I'm trying to find the best file type for the larger documents I'm putting on my website. PDFs are just too big. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Jul 20, 2014 - 8 answers

Autoprinting a PDF from a Broswer

I'm working with a cloud-based application (NetSuite) where we need to quickly print a document from the broswer. Right now it's taking too many clicks to get the job done. I'm wondering if there are any scripting/plug-in options we can use to create an auto-print solution. [more inside]
posted by slogger on Jun 16, 2014 - 3 answers

Flip publications

Looking for a recommendation for software to "animate" a document so it appears to turn pages. (i.e., http://www.instantflipbook.com) Should work cross platform as well as on mobile devices.
posted by pmaxwell on Jun 5, 2014 - 3 answers

How do I annotate epub's in a portable way?

I prefer to work with electronic academic texts in PDFs since I can annotate them in a portable way and easily store them in Zotero. I have a few texts, however, that I only have access to as epub's. What's the best way to annotate them so that I can return to those annotations at any point and search them in Zotero? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Jun 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Best service that can print & bind one copy of a 500 page pdf?

I have a public domain pdf book that I'd like to have a durable hard copy of. Googling throws up too many false positives, and the most relevant previous AskMeFi doesn't really help. Recommendations?
posted by mono blanco on Jun 2, 2014 - 11 answers

How do I tell if a file is a real corrupt PDF or a fake broken file?

I make my students submit their assignments (for college writing classes) by uploading them as PDFs to our course management system. Sometimes students submit broken or un-openable files. My question is, how do I tell the difference between a real PDF file that became corrupted somewhere along the line and a fake corrupted PDF file created by a student who didn't do the assignment and wants an excuse? [more inside]
posted by Tesseractive on May 13, 2014 - 28 answers

Cutting and Converting an Image

I have an .pdf image that includes railroad tracks. With an old version of Paint Shop Pro, I want to remove just the railroad tracks and then, using a .pdf to .dxf or .dwg converter, I want to make it black and white and scalable. How can I use my version of PSP cut out the image I want? Is there anything else I need to know?
posted by CollectiveMind on May 13, 2014 - 3 answers

Downloadable PDFs

I have a few hours waiting in an airport, i know most of the art history documents, but does anyone know any examples of brilliant long reads, in theology, music criticism, general culture and the like, that could keep me entertained, in downloadable pdfs.
posted by PinkMoose on Apr 23, 2014 - 5 answers

How to Protect PDF Files for Online Distribution?

I have a client who wants to sell ecourses in pdf format, but doesn't want the pdfs to be able to be easily shared. The only solution I can find is a monthly DRM subscription but they think that's too expensive and that there must be another alternative... [more inside]
posted by kooop on Apr 22, 2014 - 5 answers

Adobe Acrobat Filter: Acrobat help, hacking PDFs

I am regular user of Adobe Acrobat Pro (Version 9, currently), for document manipulation purposes. I am certainly not expert at it, but I'm not entirely stupid. I sometimes run into forms (the ones I work with are typically from various state and federal government agencies) where the helpful persons setting up those forms either accidentally or set up with programming/permissions that don't allow me be able to manipulate the forms. These are not high level sensitive documents, or anything, and all I am trying to do is to be able to add/edit/delete various form fields in order to fill out the forms properly. Here is a link to the current form that has me stymied - it is the S-Corporation election form from the IRS (form 2553): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2553.pdf [more inside]
posted by kjl291 on Apr 4, 2014 - 12 answers

Why does Windows 8.1 ask for an app every time I try to open a PDF?

This is new behavior (maybe after I installed the Windows 8.1 upgrade) - when I double-click a PDF, instead of just opening the file in Acrobat (full app is installed on my computer), the 'how do you want to open this file' dialog appears, and 'Keep using Adobe Acrobat' is the first choice, followed by two instances an icon with the full path to the Acrobat executable. I have Adobe Acrobat as the default program. I'm guessing this is a Windows issue, rather than Adobe - how do I get my PDFs to just open already?
posted by DandyRandy on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Need help defeating wire fraud.

My company and industry is under widespread and sophisticated B2B wire fraud attack. Help me locate the vector or mechanism, please. [more inside]
posted by Hosiery Exegesis Association on Mar 30, 2014 - 15 answers

Is a pre-set zoom for a pdf URL loaded in Chrome possible?

I'm hoping to find a tweak that will make a specific webpage always load at 200% in a Chrome browser, but I don't want the zoom to apply to any other webpage. [more inside]
posted by peacay on Mar 22, 2014 - 4 answers

App for organizing tons of pdf and other files into a research library?

1. I don't want to have to upload anything to the web. 2. I'd like to have one and the same file show up under multiple different categories. For instance, if there's a book about the math of baseball, I'd like to be able to have it show up in a category called "math" and also show up in a category called "baseball." 3. It would be cool if it could allow for the feature of associating a given file with an image, such as a book or DVD cover (so that browsing them could be like browsing on Netflix) or a book or DVD binding (so that different collections could appear in a graphic way as looking like items on a bookshelf).
posted by Eiwalker on Mar 17, 2014 - 10 answers

How can I split these pdf pages to print them as the designer intended?

I have this document to print. Most of the pdf file is in landscape oriented pages, with two of what would be the (portrait oriented) printed pages side by side on each pdf page. I assume they've done this for ease of reading on a computer screen. I want, however, to print to two 8.5x11 pages for each of their pdf pages. Additional difficulty: Since I'm travelling, I have only access to the local public library Windows printer software, which offers 2x2 splitting, for four printed pages per one pdf page, but no 1X1 splitting. I do have a linux laptop with me. Could I perhaps use gimp -- which I've never used before -- to produce pre-split pdf file? Or some other tool?
posted by bertran on Mar 13, 2014 - 5 answers

What's a good platform to share and organize PDF readings online?

Hey guys. I'm looking for a platform to share and organize readings for my study group online. I'd basically like to create a private library that each group member can access, add to, amend, and comment on. I would like to be able to tag and group PDFs around particular topics. I was thinking of a platform like Wikia, but I feel this may be a bit much. Does anyone have any suggestions?
posted by Aanidaani on Feb 24, 2014 - 4 answers

iPad iDiot

Help me turn my iPad into a work productivity tool. [more inside]
posted by sardonyx on Feb 17, 2014 - 10 answers

Poor man's EDMS (electronic document management system)

I work for a small non-profit organization that is drowning in old paperwork, and we’d like to scan it into a searchable electronic archive. Our budget is limited. [more inside]
posted by alex1965 on Feb 14, 2014 - 14 answers

"Nah, boss; I'm just a speedreader"

Before building my own... does this software exist? I need to search a collection of PDF & Word files for key phrases, and dump the surrounding lines (x-m to x+n characters/lines, where x is the found phrase) into text files. I occasionally need to search a few dozen files for a few dozen data items, which usually have some identifying text nearby. This needs to be automated. Big bonus if it implements OCR, but that's not essential. Freeware, or cheapware, obviously is best. Windows-based is preferable, but I can do Linux.
posted by IAmBroom on Feb 12, 2014 - 9 answers

Can't copy / cut / duplicate in OS X

Why is cut/copy/duplicate greyed out in Apple Preview app? When I open PDFs or XLS files in Preview by double clicking on them, I'm able to select text but cannot ever copy or cut it. Someone suggested duplicating the file first, but that option is also greyed out. 10.9.1 Why? Thanks!
posted by dobbs on Jan 20, 2014 - 17 answers

Fun niche catalogs in PDF for perusing on iPad

Sort of riffing on my earlier question regarding Amazon's dark corners of industrial and scientific equipment--I'm hoping you can hook me up with fun niche catalogs in PDF format for browsing on my iPad. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jan 14, 2014 - 12 answers

PDF form checkboxes go blank when emailed. Why?

Updated a PDF form for a client. Now, checkboxes go blank when the form is emailed or saved. Why? [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad on Dec 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Find me my perfect PDF organizer!

In my line of work (doctoring), there are a lot of PDF files that I use, for example, handouts for patients, copies of guidelines, referral forms for particular clinics, etc. I'd love to be able to organize them hierarchically but also access them in a way that lets me search for keywords or tags and returns results quickly and dynamically, with the ability to easily print said PDF results. Are there any programs (for Windows) or cloud-based sites that might make this easy? Ideally it would be great to have a little search bar that could just sit on my desktop, but that would just be icing on the cake. Oh, and I've tried Mendeley - it works somewhat well for this, but it's a hassle to print files unless you open them up in Acrobat Reader or another external program.
posted by greatgefilte on Nov 28, 2013 - 6 answers

How to stop printing e-mails from "save as" in pdf format?

When I'm on my gmail account and want to print an e-mail, I click on the printer icon and the e-mail goes into "save as" and a PDF format. This didn't happen before I tried removing any other printer documents and setting my main printer as the default. Can someone help? What question whould I be asking or what should I change to stop the print settings to changing documents to the pdf format and then having me save them on my computer? I want them to print directly into a word document as they did previously before. Thanks
posted by proficiency101 on Oct 22, 2013 - 7 answers

Print to FAIL on trying to figure this out on my own.

How to save gmail emails and attachments to Dropbox sub folder on iPad? [more inside]
posted by letahl on Oct 20, 2013 - 1 answer

Good designer to convert PDF to ebook?

I have a PDF that I'd like to convert to ebook format. It's straightforward - body text with just a handful of images - but the ebook needs to have the same font and style of the PDF. (I also have it in InDesign, if that helps.) I'm looking for a designer, or design agency, who has worked on ebooks before, who can take this on. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Oct 8, 2013 - 5 answers

Microsoft Publisher Woes Plaguing A Temp

I've hit a wall with something I'm doing at a temp job, involving Microsoft Publisher 2007 - I'm trying to save my document as a PDF, but it is cheerfully ignoring 75% of the document when doing so. Please help. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Oct 3, 2013 - 16 answers

Is the new Nexus 7 good for reading PDFs?

I have an old Kindle that works fine for novels, but I'd like a tablet to read PDFs of reference books. Nexus 7 has a snazzy looking 1200x1980 screen. Is the new Nexus 7 good for reading PDFs or should I be looking for tablets with a bigger screen?
posted by ersatz on Sep 30, 2013 - 13 answers

What is the best iPad app to edit PDFs instead of GoodReader?

My partner regularly edits PDFs for clients and doesn't like the functionality of GoodReader which she is currently using. Is there a better option out there? [more inside]
posted by timpanogos on Sep 4, 2013 - 12 answers

Convert Powerpoint to PDF on Mac with ***clickable links***?

This one should be easy - if you've done it before :) Convert a PowerPoint file to PDF on a Mac with ***clickable links***. Difficulty: the built-in PDF tool doesn't do it. [more inside]
posted by chrisinseoul on Sep 4, 2013 - 5 answers

Electronic Signature and Validation via Tablet PC

Is there a standalone tool which would allow one to create an offline form which must (1) be completed via Tablet PC stylus - that is, accept handwritten entry; (2) prompt the user if required "fields" have not been completed? [more inside]
posted by Ian.I.Am on Aug 27, 2013 - 3 answers

Resizing and Creating a PDF from an AI file

I have a 39KB AI file I need to resize into a 20MB PFD - while retaining all image quality for print. Thank you so much!
posted by brookem on Aug 15, 2013 - 15 answers

Syncing files on a remote web server with Windows 7

I have an interesting file syncing problem. As part of my responsibilities, I have to keep track of changes in the US export regulations. The Dept. of Commerce makes the regulations available in two formats, HTML and PDF. The HTML versions are oddly formatted so I prefer the PDF versions even if they are harder to search. They're available in PDF on this page. I have been regularly going out to the page and downloading relevant documents that have changed but I'd like to automate this if I can. But there are some gotchas. [more inside]
posted by tommasz on Aug 14, 2013 - 3 answers

scanner with document feeder, b/w images encoded as GIF or PNG or equiv.

I need to scan a bunch of documents that are mostly simple black/white or grayscale text, lines, etc. I'm probably going to just buy a sheet-fed scanner, and I'd like recommendations for that. I'm hoping for a solution that will automatically generate PDFs with the included scanned images encoded as GIFs or PNGs or similar, since they will mostly be black/white or grayscale, which compresses much more cleanly with these formats. [more inside]
posted by amtho on Aug 12, 2013 - 16 answers

acrobat pro/pdf: multiple selections in dropdown list

Acrobat help? Would like to create a dropdown list where you can choose multiple selections and then have the non-selected options disappear. [more inside]
posted by headnsouth on Aug 9, 2013 - 4 answers

Looking for PDF signature and watermark programs

What are some good programs that can add a digital signature and/or a watermark to existing PDFs? We're all using Windows 7 computers at work. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2013 - 9 answers

Getting alerted if a .pdf changes on the web

How can I get alerted if a .pdf file changes on the web? [more inside]
posted by daninnj on Aug 1, 2013 - 4 answers

How can I turn 30 PDFs into a single file that is like a binder with tab

I have 30 PDFs that my unit uses as a desk guide for emergencies. We have printed binders with all 30 PDFs printed out with tabs and a table of contents. They are cumbersome and lugging them home every night/weekend gets old fast. I'd like to create a similar single "binder" with tabs and a table of contents that can be viewed on an iPad (bonus points if you have a suggestion for windows) [more inside]
posted by arnicae on Jul 31, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me design an ebook!

I just finished writing a novella length book. I want to publish it as an ebook readable as a pdf or on an ipad or what have you. It’s picture-heavy (with very high quality photos.) Probably every page will have pictures. I want the design to be magazine-like, with the words many times ‘on top’ of the pictures. I have Photoshop and a decent knowledge of it and I just got Lightroom, but I don’t know much about how to use it yet. I think I’d like to design (at least some, if not all) the pages in Photoshop. I have a lot of questions: [more inside]
posted by saul wright on Jul 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Free method to combine PDFs?

Is there a free / easy method to combine multiple PDFs into one long PDF? [more inside]
posted by kickingtheground on Jul 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Batch process emlx to pdf?

I have a bunch of emlx files that have been provided to me outside of the mbox format. I would like to convert them into pdf files. There are Windows programs that handle this, but I can't find anything for the Mac. My limited Automator skills are also not up to the task. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by ajr on Jul 14, 2013 - 6 answers

iPhone, Android apps from PDFs?

Looking to create standalone apps for iPhone, Android phones, and Android tablets that will present a digital replica of a booklet based on PDFs from the printed version. [more inside]
posted by rleamon on Jul 9, 2013 - 2 answers

What's the best tool to write a code-heavy ebook?

I'm writing a programming ebook (on introductory programming for bench biologists, if anyone's interested) and am trying to figure out the best tool chain. Ideally, I'd like to write the content in something like markdown or restructuredText, then be able to easily render it to PDF (and maybe eventually epub/mobi). The book will contain a lot of source code and program output, so whatever solution I pick needs to be cope well with chunks of differently-formatted text. Any suggestions?
posted by primer_dimer on Jul 5, 2013 - 18 answers

Archiving a blog to PDF or ePUB

I'd like to archive a recently-deceased friend's blog to PDF or ePUB in chronological order. It's a Blogger site, and has a couple of years of articles. [more inside]
posted by scruss on Jul 4, 2013 - 7 answers

PDF metadata extraction for file management

I know there are a lot of earlier posts about PDF management software (and others on Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere) but they seem out of date, and don't work for my situation. Need: keep PDF library but must be able to import existing downloaded files and extract metadata. Zotero did this using Google Scholar and it worked well, but Google now severely limits how much much metadata looking can be done from the IP they detect. I don't have the skills to work around this. So the problem remains: is there any way to import a large number of already-downloaded PDFs to PDF management software, recovering metadata? (Neither Papers nor Mendeley handle metadata issue adequately, other virtues aside; EndNote is hopeless.). If there is no available solution, what would be the most efficient way to rebuild the library? Find all the papers on-line again and download the bibliographic information, which would be vastly tedious? I am on OSX but open-minded. Thanks.
posted by cogneuro on May 30, 2013 - 5 answers

Free or Low Cost OCR Solutions?

Does anyone have any recommendations for a free or low cost solution that will let me scan to searchable PDF using OCR? [more inside]
posted by soy_renfield on May 28, 2013 - 10 answers

Recommendation for dual tray, same document mixed PDF capable printer

Looking to help my sister purchase a new printer for her small business. The unit must be able to switch format sizes (legal/letter) on the fly in a single PDF document. I know someone out there is doing this, please help! [more inside]
posted by queue_strategy on May 26, 2013 - 3 answers

Turning a PDF photobook into 2-page spread PDF photobook, how?

I have a number of (self-published) photobooks which are currently PDFs, with each side on a separate PDF page, as one would normally expect. However, the book is laid out as diptychs, meant to be consumed 2-page spread by 2-page spread. I want to produce a PDF which is the same book, but each page is the 2-page spread. [more inside]
posted by unSane on May 1, 2013 - 9 answers

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