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I have a French thesis which I am trying to read, to better understand some parts I am trying to copy some text and use that in google translate, however if I copy text I am getting just rubbish as the pasted text. Most probably there is a problem with the encoding. And even more strangely, I can copy text from the first cover page of the document correctly which is also in French but from the rest, I am just getting a full of rubbish characters from the text that I pasted from the clipboard. Any ideas on how to read parts of this thesis?

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Did you try pdftotext? It's in the package called poppler-utils. – January Nov 23 '12 at 18:36
thanks for the reply, I did not know this package but it is the same since the first page is read quite ok, and the other parts are not read correctly... A lot of crap characters... – Umut Tabak Nov 23 '12 at 18:56
So show us a snippet with the strange characters. – jippie Nov 23 '12 at 19:19
Laboratoire de M´canique des Sols, Structures et Mat´riaux - CNRS U.M.R. 8579 e e ^L^L" s^XA` ' ^XA` 6 W Q % X ^X "P ' ^X W " "i Q <91>(a<83>$^?I"y&%9^X^Q"IQ<98>(aF$^X9W&W7^X(#A<85> – Umut Tabak Nov 23 '12 at 19:38

1 Answer 1

Is this the pdf involved ?

I tried a few things, like changing encoding, convert and re-encode, but i think you are in the situation described here :

your best bet is to save the PDF as a images (TIFF or PNG) and then combine them back together and OCR.

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