Bug in coverting PDF to WORD on MAC - need your help
This may be a bug. I use InDesign to create an very important annual booklet. I export it to PDF and then break it apart and convert to WORD so that I can send individual sections to contributors so they can make edits for new year's book. In April, I had no problems and I have done this for 8 years now. See attached. We received an update and now, as of July, when I convert the same document, the formatting is all messed up. For me to get a good version to my contributors it would take me hours to clean it up. If I send it to them as PDF, they cannot make online edits because most do not have professional Acrobat. One thing I did notice that is different in the new version, when you select to save as WORD, the version options say WORD or WORD 97-2003. In the previous version before the update, the choices were WORD or WORD 97-2004. I always chose the 97-2004 version because it did the conversion cleaner. Now I cannot use either version. I need some serious help because this is a very important book for our County. I have no option to get an editable copy to my contributors now. Please help me!!!! I have attached the April version, the July version and the original PDF that the two WORD versions are drawn from. I am using MAC with Sierra version and the PDF is 2017 .009.20058 and WORD is Version 15.36 for 2017
With the release of Acrobat on 2nd Oct, 2018, this issue has been addressed.
If your product is not already updated, you can manually do so from within the product. Click on the menu Help→ Check for updates.
This says that it has been implemented in Acrobat release of Oct 2018. This has not been corrected and my version is Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 2018.011.20035. Is there an update that is newer that it is corrected in?
Gerald Montagu commented
This is similar to a problem I have reported separately to Adobe - and they have been worse than useless in addressing it and have wasted hours of my time without addressing the issue. However, I have just, completely by chance, found a fix. Try exporting your file from Indesign to a PDF. Then, open that PDF in Word for Windows. You should then have a fully stable Word file that you can work with (including running comparisons). The key seems to be that Word's import process works completely differently from Acrobat's export process - it will be very evident that the file is structured completely differently. The difference in the end results is so fundamental, that it must be strongly arguable that when Adobe claim Acrobat 'exports' to Word they are effectively misselling (e.g. the Word route generates a fully functioning Word document in which text flows properly rather than being confined to text boxes). Please note that this fix does not seem to work if you try to open the PDF in Word for Mac (as at September 2018) because the import process is (sadly) nothing like as refined as it is in the Windows version. Best of luck!
PLEASE HELP! This was fixed once in Sept 2017 but somewhere between update 2017.012.20098 and 2018.011.20035 the correction to the problem was overwritten. Please reply! I need to produce my product and have no other alternative. Please read string of comments!
I did a little more testing and found that when I created a PDF to WORD conversion on Sept 15th, the problem was fixed. That was in version 2017.012.20098. Now I am using 2018.011.20035 and it doesn't work any longer. There was another update between these two (2018.009.20044) that took place and I think it was working during this update (not for sure) but it is definitely not working now. What ever you did to correct it in 2017.012.20098 was overwritten by the time 2018.011.20035 came out. It needs to be re-corrected. PLEASE HELP ASAP!
At some point since this was reported, the problem had been corrected. But since then, I had updated my OS to High Sierra 10.13.3 and it doesn't work again. I need to convert my InDesign file so that others who do not have InDesign can make changes and I only have Adobe Acrobat into WORD to do that. PLEASE HELP!
Please see the bug report below: Bug: export to Word is corrupt (exported files cannot be 'compared'). This looks to be part of a wider issue exporting from PDFs to Word which did not occur prior to April 2017.
Gerald Montagu commented
This looks to be part of a wider problem - please see my separate bug report at https://acrobat.uservoice.com/forums/590923-acrobat-for-windows-and-mac/suggestions/33246277-bug-export-to-word-is-corrupt-exported-files-can
Yes, i was able to access the files you shared.
I am forwarding this issue to the concerned engineer and would get back to you as soon as we have a solution handy.
Can you please let me know if you have received my previous reply and were you able to access the files I shared with you.
Since the files are too big to email, I am sharing a link to my Dropbox folder with the files that should help you. In the folder, you will see a 2016-17 directory in InDesign, then in PDF and then in WORD. These files look fine.
Then you will find the 2017-18 Directory from InDesign, then in PDF and then in WORD that was done in April 2017. The April version in WORD looks fine but has minor formatting issues. I have also included the WORD version from August 2017 which was generated off the same PDF version. The August version in WORD shows a lot of formatting issues. Our office upgraded our Adobe Acrobat to
Also included in the Dropbox files is a portion of the 2017-18 full directory for the school district in South San Francisco. I have to break apart the full directory into districts because each district needs to edit their own information. You can see that the WORD version in April is significantly better than the WORD version in August. Both were generated from the PDF version in April.
I hope this helps.
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City CA 94065
650.802.5554 | email@example.com
Could you share with us the older and newer versions of both the .pdf and Indesign files so we could check at our end where the issue exactly is.
Thanks for your patience!
I think I may have identified an issue within this request. I spoke with someone who works with InDesign and he had me try to recreate this issue with an older version of InDesign. Currently, I have Adobe InDesign CS6 version 8.0.2. I have older files that are InDesign files that were saved as PDF files and the I would export them to WORD. I opened one of those older files, saved as PDF using my current new version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Then I exported it to WORD 97-2003 and it looks fine. So, I think the problem lies with the new version of InDesign when it converts to PDF and then to WORD. There must be some setting in the new version that is causing a communication problem when the files makes it’s way to WORD and not with PDF to WORD. Is there any way that we could share screens so I could show you what I am doing so we can identify where the problem stems from? I am having my IT people provide me with a laptop that has the older version of InDesign on it so I can try if with the new Adobe Acrobat to double check my results. Please contact me as soon as you can so we can move further on this.
The Build # is 11.0.19.
The steps I took were to take my PDF document (SSF_Original_PDF) and then select File, Export To, Microsoft Word, Word 97-2004. I did this in April and the result was the document I included in my original post. (SSF_April.doc). When I did these same steps in July, I ended up with the document attached call SSF_July.doc. You can see that the formatting is off. The formatting on subsequent pages is worse and is even more difficult to hand correct. You may not think that the formatting looks too bad but we are talking about a massive document that I must separate to email to multiple places. Please, I need help or I will no longer be able to use InDesign for my book because I will not be able to export it for editing. Adobe Acrobat is the only exporting tool I can use in InDesign and if Adobe Acrobat cannot export out to WORD, it is useless.
You can find the build# under Acrobat -> About Acrobat
I tried reproducing the issue on all of the three versions 11.0.19 - 11.0.21 and unfortunately couldn't reproduce the same.
Kindly share the build# and the exact steps you are performing.
You can also share a video with us to give better insights of the issue.
The version of Adobe that I had before the conversion was 11.0.19. I hope that is what you were looking for.
How do I find the Build #?
Could you please help us with the Acrobat build# on which everything was working fine for you.
In the meantime, the formatting issue is being forwarded to the concerned team.