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ferg

PDF to Filemaker

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ferg

This is probably a crazy idea.

 

I know that a PDF file of the type I am considering will not import into Filemaker, directly anyway. I am going to attach an image of a page such as I am thinking of.

 

If the page could be automatically changed to an Excel/Numbers format that would work.

 

Anyone know of a direct way to do this?

 

I have a little program called DUNPDF-MAC-1 but it doesn't work for what I want to do.

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AHunter3
I am going to attach an image of a page such as I am thinking of.

 

You describe it as "an image of a page" and that's exactly what it is — that is, in Adobe Reader you cannot select the lines of text & numbers and copy them to the clipboard, therefore this is essentially a screen shot or a FAX in PDF format. Just the image of some characters, not actual alphanumeric (i.e, font) characters at all.

 

If there exists "a page" of which this IS a mere image, where does this page exist? Somewhere you can get the original image? Is it online for example?

 

There aren't many good ways to extract rows & columns out of a PDF and get them into FileMaker, but I was thinking perhaps you could copy them and paste into a plain text editor and save and then import that as tab-delimited text or something.

 

But what you've actually provided here? Only way you could get that into FileMaker is to run an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program on it! Got OmniPage Pro lying around?

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ferg

Image of the page was strictly to let you know what I have.

 

Several companies e-mail us their orders in PDF format because when typing into an order form we can easily read the information from each customer. We do not have direct access to the order other than this PDF file. Some times there are hundreds of these pages at any given time.

 

IT folks for retail establishments, On-Line or otherwise, are reluctant to try anything different. It costs them money and I understand perfectly. BUT... I want to take that info and get it into FM so we eliminate the possibility of typing errors on our end.

 

I thought of OCR. Possible if can read electronic documents, scanning would be impossible.

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AHunter3

Can you post an actual PDF of the sort that they send you? (not a screen shot)?

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ferg

i cannot display an actual order with personal information on the forum. I can only imagine the trouble I could get into with that maneuver:)

 

i cannot send you an attachment through the forum to your e-mail. I could send it to you personally.

 

sorry,

 

Ferg

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AHunter3

Sure. ahunter3@earthlink.net

 

I won't violate confidentiality in any fashion.

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AHunter3

OK I looked at the PDF. Like your example PDF, it is akin to a FAX; the Select Text tool will NOT let the relevant info be selected, it's just a bitmap (screen shot, FAX, image) of the data. So yeah, OCR is pretty much your only option.

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ferg

Just a heads up.

 

I checked all the specs for one or two OCR programs. Omni Page is probably the closest to being 4 stars. Can anyone imagine needing to check the content of a digital copy or a paper scan if you had 15,000 pages to do? That is what I thought also. We will forget this until something a lot better comes along:)

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AHunter3

Yeah, unless you have a finite set of legitimate values, and can flag the non-corresponding ones in FileMaker after import, it's just not worth it to OCR.

 

A 99% error-free rate means one character out of every 99 will be wrong. The string "non-corresponding" has over 15 characters by itself. 1% errors is actually not a very good thing in real life.

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kayanat

In Filemaker pro is there a way to import info/data from a pdf?i have to do a lot of data entry from a pdf into my massive filemaker database, i was wondering if you could import the same way you can with excel thanks!

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ferg

All of the files we tried to import, that is, PDF to Excel, had been scanned and saved to PDF. They contain no digital data so the file appears "empty" to Excel.

 

I have a program called "deskUNPDF" for Mac. Again it won't work on PDF that has been scanned. I believe they have a trial, would be worth your while if you are on a Mac. Also: I am sure there are PC versions of similar programs.

 

ferg

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AHunter3
In Filemaker pro is there a way to import info/data from a pdf?i have to do a lot of data entry from a pdf into my massive filemaker database, i was wondering if you could import the same way you can with excel thanks!

 

Nope.

 

Did you read the thread you posted to? Your options are as follows:

 

a) If (and ONLY if) the PDF contains actual text (can be selected with the Adobe Reader text-selection tool), and not just an IMAGE of text (which cannot be selected with the text-selection tool), you can copy the text and paste it into a global field and then parse it into separate Filemaker fields in one or more new records; or

 

b) You can OCR the PDF to convert it to text and save it as a plain text file and import THAT (which perhaps also will require parsing).

 

EDIT: did not see ferg's reply when I posted this. I'd look into what ferg suggests, that sounds interesting.

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