Created July 14, 2010
Web Lite Solutions Corp.
Updated for Version 1.3
September 20, 2010
PDF to Spreadsheet (PSP) is a utility for Mac OS X that allows you to convert your scanned PDFs into editable spreadsheets with the click of a button. It uses advanced OCR (optical character recognition) technology to analyze your documents and find out where the column and row dividers are.
This guide will show you how to get started using PSP and how to obtain the best results for conversion.
Supported input file types:
Output file formats:
PDF to Spreadsheet Pro will automatically attempt to figure out where your column and row dividers reside. It does this by analyzing the page for what looks like row and column dividers. In some cases the default settings may fail to yield accurate results. You can try to improve the results by selecting a region of the page on which the row and column calculation should be based.
You can do this by pressing your mouse on the page and dragging a rectangular region. You should see a blue translucent box form as you drag. This represents the horizontal stripe in which columns will be detected, and the vertical stripe in which rows will be detected. When you release the mouse button you’ll see a progress bar appear momentarily as the rows and columns are recalculated.
You can experiment with different regions to see what yields the best results for your document. Please note that your region doesn’t need to cover the entire contents you want to convert. You may find that selecting only a very small part of the page yields the best results.
Please see http://solutions.weblite.ca/pdf-to-spreadsheet/video.php for a video tutorial on using the select region feature to improve your row and column calculation results.
As of version 1.3.1, the “Static Column Guides” is the default setting for PDF to Spreadsheet Pro. What this means is that when you perform a calculation of column guides for a particular page, these guides are applied to the entire document. The alternative is to perform a separate calculation on each page of the PDF, however this may result in different numbers of columns on different pages.
You can disable Static Column Guides by de-selecting the “Use Static Column Guides” in the “Settings” menu.
Note that row calculation is always performed independently on each page regardless of the “Static Column Guides” setting.
If automatic column detection still leaves you with incorrect results, you can manually add and remove column guides by clicking on the appropriate positions in the top ruler. Clicking on the position of an existing column guide, will remove that divider.
Clicking in an empty section of the ruler, will create a new column guide at that position.
Note that “Static Column Guides” must be enabled in order for manual creation and deletion of column guides to be allowed.
Once you have set up your column dividers the way you like them, you can convert the document into a spreadsheet.
Click the “Convert to Spreadsheet” button in the top right of the window.
This opens a dialog that allows you to select a page range and the following options for conversion:
Once you have chosen your conversion settings, click the “Convert” button in the lower corner of the dialog. A progress indicator should pop up keeping you posted as to the progress of the conversion. Upon completion, the progress box will disappear leaving you with a tabular/spreadsheet version of the document as chosen by your conversion settings.
At this point the content is still inside PDF to Spreadsheet Pro, so you can review the conversion to make sure that it meets your expectations. If everything looks good you can export it into Microsoft Excel or your preferred spreadsheet program using one of the following methods:
In order to upgrade to the full version, all you need to do is enter a valid license code into the registration dialog, and your copy will be unlocked.
Instructions if you already have a license Code
These instructions assume that you already have a valid license code. If you don’t have a license code yet, please proceed to the next section “How to get a license code”.
In order to upgrade your demo version of PDF to Spreadsheet Pro to the full version you can visit the website (http://solutions.weblite.ca/pdf-to-spreadsheet) and purchase a license key. Once the transaction is complete, you will receive your valid license code instantly via email along with instructions on how to register your copy.
When you enter the license code to register your copy of PDF to Spreadsheet Pro, it is activated only for that one computer. If you copy it to a different computer or attempt to use it as a different user on the same computer it will revert back to the demo version.
Not to worry, reactivating your license code for a different computer is quite easy.
License codes are valid for 48 hours or 5 activations after they are activated. This means that from the time that you purchase a license code you will have 48 hours to enter it into your copy of PDF to Spreadsheet Pro. Once the license code is entered, your copy of PDF to Spreadsheet Pro is registered for life. However if you copy PSP to a different computer you will need to re-register it. Then you will need a new license code.
You can reactivate expired license codes on the website at http://solutions.weblite.ca/pdf-to-spreadsheet/reactivate.php . This will send you a new license code which you can then use to register your copy of PDF to Spreadsheet on a different computer.
Question: How do I convert only specific pages of my document?
Answer: When you click “Convert to Spreadsheet”, a dialog box opens that allows you to specify the page range that you wish to convert. The default selection is “All”, but you can specify a page range by selecting “From”, and then enter your page range in the text fields. If you just wanted to convert the first 2 pages of the document you would enter “1” and “2” in the respective text fields.
Question: What does the “Straighten Image” button do?
Answer: Most scanned documents are not perfectly straight. This can make it difficult to find the row and column dividers of the content on each page. PDF to Spreadsheet Pro provides the straighten image function to try to rotate each page so that it is straight. This generally yields much more accurate results, so this option is selected by default. In the odd case that better results can be obtained without trying to straighten the page, you can unselect this option and run the conversion on the document directly.