How to translate a PDF

Depending on the type of PDF document you have can determine how easy the PDF is to translate and how much it might cost. There are basically 2 types of PDF documents – text readable and non text readable.

When you have a text readable PDF you can highlight text on the PDF and cut and past from it, this makes it much easier for a translation company to translate the document. If the document is non text readable ( such a technical manual that has been scanned from a hard copy) then content has be read in via OCR or manually copied to enable translation to take place. This is a far more time consuming and expensive translation process.

The image below shows typical non text readable PDF content.


The image below shows a text readable PDF with the blue (hightlighted) text currently selected.


Most professional translation agencies will have tools that can convert text readable PDF’s into an editable file format such as Microsoft Word. There are many translations tools that work with Word and this makes the translation process faster and more robust.

For non text readable PDF’s translators we use OCR technology to help digitize the text or we have to manually re-type the content. The later increases the cost due to the extra time it takes to extract the content. We have recently added a new module to our RAY platform that can automatically extract text out of PDF and convert it to a Word document.

If you have a PDF document you need translated, we can get you a very cost effective quote price within a few minutes if you upload the file through the quote form on our homepage.