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Windows 7: Can't Copy Text From pdf Document!

12 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
Can't Copy Text From pdf Document!

I have a pdf document that I downloaded from the internet. I just want to copy the text of a paragraph or two to cite as a quotation in another work--fair use and the source is duly noted. However I am unable to highlight any of the text in order to copy it to the clipboard. I have downloaded the trial version of a dozen or more so-called "pdf copy text protection removal" programs, but so far nothing seems to work. What am I missing? Does anyone have a clue?

Thanks for any and all responses!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #2
Marshall Moore

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Capture it with the snipping tool and print it, Then scan it into Word. Might work!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

If the PDF document is copy-protected, then the only way round it is to manually copy the section(s) you require. If the either of the section(s) is/are long, it might be better just to quote a teaser (the first couple of sentences or so), and then provide a link to the original document giving its location within that document. Remember that you might need permission for this, and that the source should be cited.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows 8 Pro

There is also possible to print the page containing that section you want to use into a new pdf file, and then use an OCR software which converts that pdf file to a new text file, and then you can copy the section you need.
Free OCR Software - the free OCR list - Optical character recognition software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

The reason why a paragraph can not be selected in a PDF is that it is a scanned page containing bitmapped image and not text.

If the paragraph is a small one, you can type it again in Microsoft Word or any text editor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #6

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

If it IS a scanned document then OK there are problems since as the previous guy says its bitmapped and you'll need some sort of OCR type program -- however if it's a REGULAR PDF file then this should work fine

1) Just select the text in the PDF file when opening the PDF reader (I'm using Adobe Reader version X and use COPY from the menu bar).

To select the text just position the mouse against the text you want to copy and hold the CTRL button and move the mouse down through the lines of text).

2) Then Paste to a Notepad file (use wordwrap)

3) Now you can copy the text into a Word document or whatever.

Diagram enc.


Attached Thumbnails
Can't Copy Text From pdf Document!-pdf2text.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 home premium x64

There is a free program available PDFEdit which has the ability to copy text to other documents.
PDFedit | Free Graphics software downloads at
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #8
killer bee

windows7 Ultimate SP1 x32bit

i use Foxit Reader 5.1 i can select and copy text.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #9
killer bee

windows7 Ultimate SP1 x32bit

There are lot of free online PDF to Docs/text converter, you can try them. ex:-
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I do not know what PDF reader you use. But in Foxit you have to go to the Tools button and click on "Select Text". Only then you can highlight anything. I believe it is similar in Adobe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't Copy Text From pdf Document!

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