Extracting Text From PDF Files

From the Mac Tricks and Tips blog I saw this interesting article, Extracting Text From PDF Files.

  1. Open Automator, found in Applications > Utilities
  2. In Automator drag out “Get Selected Finder Items”, then “Extract PDF Text”. I recommend changing the output option to Rich Text.
  3. Save the file. Either as an application or a file.
  4. Test. Drag a PDF file onto the Automator file and let it do its work, after a short time you will have a text file with the extracted text.

Merge Adobe PDF files

I was looking for a program that would merge Adobe PDF files.  At first I found this trial program, A-PDF Merger, which worked fine but left a small watermark on the first page.  Then I found this open source program, PDF Split and Merge, which did the trick but the UI is kind of slow, possibly because it is written in Java.  It looks like there are plenty of other free programs available too.

Problematic Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Card Reader

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 has a small utility called the Card Reader. Whenever you connect a camera USB or insert a card in a USB card reader the Card Reader pops up and allows you to download the photos onto your local hard drive and be added to the Photoshop Elements catalog.

However unlike with previous versions this Card Reader has proved to be problematic. It does not respond properly to the Windows close event so you have to manually close it when you are hibernating or logging off or shutting down.

Also the Card Reader for reasons unclear to me prevents certain applications from installing. Again the only way to get around this problem is to close the Card Reader.

In the end the convenience of the Card Reader was not worth the problems so I turned it off. It’s my impression as well as many others (see the reviews for 4.0 and 5.0 on Amazon.com) that Adobe is continually degrading the quality and functionality of the Photoshop Elements product in every subsequent version.