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How to Get an Accurate Word Count of PDF Document for Translation

How to Get an Accurate Word Count of PDF Document for Translation

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Your client has provided you with a document for translation in PDF format. After learning from the client that no other format, e.g. .doc or .txt, of the document exists, you are faced with the challenges of determining the word count and preparing the document for translation. An accurate word count is critical to your pricing, and document preparation is critical to optimizing turn-around. Follow the four simple steps below to ensure an accurate word count and preparation of your PDF document for translation.

Step 1: Determine if the text in the PDF document can be extracted

Open the PDF document and select all [CTRL+A]. If an entire block area is highlighted, then the text is part of an image and cannot be extracted. If this is the case, then you can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to translate scanned images of the text into machine-encoded text. If, however, just the text is highlighted, then the text can be extracted.

Step 2: Copy and paste text

If you have determined the text can be extracted, then copy [CTRL+C] and paste [CTRL+V] the text into a blank Microsoft Word document.

Step 3: Display hidden text

When copying and pasting from one program to another, embedded text (e.g. in images, headers and footers) might convert to a white font color, thereby concealing itself against the white background. To correct this, select all [CTRL+A] text in the MS Word document and then select “automatic” or “black” from the Font Color drop down box in the Font Menu. Any previously hidden text will now be visible.

Step 4: Prepare the text for Translation Memory (TM) analysis

When copying and pasting from one program to another, unnecessary line breaks, or “hard returns”, are often inserted into the text. This, of course, can cause an inaccurate reading by the TM software of segments, fuzzy matches and repetitions. To view the “hard returns” in your document, display paragraph marks [SHIFT+CTRL+*]. Then remove any unnecessary or unwanted “hard returns”. Finally, using TM software, perform an analysis of the text to get an accurate word count.

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How to Get an Accurate Word Count of PDF Document for Translation

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