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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Clean Apple Mac PDF with Graphic Converter

I was faced with a task today that taught me something new that is well worth passing on to any Mac users of Acrobat.

I had a number of old scanned journals that had a series of articles on a particular subject that I wanted to combine as a single PDF file. That part was easy—just a matter of extracting the relevant pages and recombining them as a single PDF document. However, about a third of the pages had other material on them such as parts of other articles, advertising, etc. that I didn't need. But Acrobat had no way of removing the unwanted material. It wold only let me remove whole pages.

The solution was to open the PDF file in that great Mac application "Graphic Converter". It was an easy matter to drag the cursor over anything on the page to be deleted and press the "delete" key. To move to the next page it asked me to save, which I did, and so on through the file. At the finish, saved it back as a PDF and then opened it in Acrobat, set the page size (in this case to Letter Size), added footer page numbers and then used OCR to convert it to searchable text.

A very simple solution that is also useful for removing unwanted marks and blotches in the scanned document.

Using the OCR function has a side benefit—it also correctly orients the page so that the text isn't skewed.

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