When I convert my pdf to a word document, weird symbols show up on the word document. How do I prevent this?


Lee Seimer

4 Answers

Voted Best Answer

The person mastering content in the authoring file from which the PDF was created did not embed fonts.

Some fonts used in the PDF are not on your system. So export reflects that - you've nothing on your system that correlates to the font used.

If possible, ask the creator of the PDF to embed fonts in a replacement PDF.

While Acrobat Pro (from 9 forward) provides a Preflight to embed fonts this only works if the fonts in the PDF that are to be embedded are available on your computer.

Be well...

By David Austin   

Actually, it is very likely not a lack of font embedding, this problem is usually caused by documents that do not contain all the information that Acrobat needs to extract text.

Converting a PDF file to any other format is one of the most complex things you can do with a PDF file. Text extraction will only work if everything that is necessary to map a glyph (that is the "drawing" of a character that you see on a PDF page) back to a character is stored in the PDF file. Cheap (and sometimes not so cheap) PDF generators oftentimes take shortcuts by not adding such a table for each font that is used to the PDF document. This does not affect these files as long as you only want to view them or print them, but as soon as you try to extract data, you will run into these problems. Complain to whoever provided these PDF files and ask them to use a better application to create the files.

Karl Heinz Kremer
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Karl Heinz Kremer   

export to TIFF. open the TIFFs in Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI comes with MS office 2003-2007, but not 2010), in MODI use the 'send text to word' tool.

Reid Bogert   

Is the PDF file that you're exporting in another language? If so, has the document language been set under File > Properties > Advanced tab?

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Lori Kassuba   

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