editing pdf files

Gary Kline kline at thought.org
Sat Oct 13 20:44:58 UTC 2012

On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 01:19:07PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:46:28 -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> > 	ive got a question that fits in here.  hopefully.
> > 
> > 	last week  I found a book from 1901 that google had scanned and listed
> > 	as a pdf file.  it was text plus photos of the rich/famous of the 
> > 	1800s.  somehow, google found the exact string that matched my great
> > 	grandfather [from the civil war].  I d'loaded the file (maybe 2mbytes)
> > 	and searched using acroread.  nada.  I used the pdftotext utility.
> > 	same: nothing but  some 600 page numbers.
> > 
> > 	my guess is that google just took photos of the book and used other
> > 	tools to create a pdf file.  I am not =that= serious  about genealogy,
> > 	but I would like to know if there are any tools to edit this kind of
> > 	pdf file.
> In case the PDF is nothing more than a compilation of images,
> there's a way to deal with it for editing:

	the images in this book aren't what I am interested in.
	just text.

> step 1: disassemble
> step 2: edit images
> step 3: reassemble
> The disassembling can be done with 
> 	% pdfimages source.pdf .
> Then the files can be edited whatever tool you like, e. g. Gimp.
> They often come out in PBM format.
> Finally the images can be re-converted to PDF and combined to one
> PDF file:
> 	for IMG in .*.pbm; do
> 		convert ${IMG} ${IMG}.pdf
> 	done
> 	pdftk .*.pdf output target.pdf
> Note the ".*" prefix for the file specification: The images extracted
> by pdfimages match that pattern (at least in the case I tested it for).
> If they get other names than .0000001.pbm, change the approach
> accordingly.

	turns out that the first roughtly 580 pages are of no interest.
	I'll see if tesseract-ocr can get rid of most of the data.

	what fmt works best with the ocr suites?  or are they about the 
	same?  for the section I got in that 1901 book on my g-grandfather,
	it was only about 1.5 pages.  there was no photo, just his name 
	and some bio.  Still, things I had no knowledge of.  I'm sure 
	that my father didnt know either!


> -- 
> Polytropon
> Magdeburg, Germany
> Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

 Gary Kline  kline at thought.org  http://www.thought.org  Public Service Unix
              Twenty-six years of service to the Unix community.

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