Dov is of course correct in stating that PDF should be considered a 
final form document format. But, nevertheless, PDF can be used as an 
input or intermediate format when converting legacy documents formats to 
XML [1][2].

CambridgeDocs and Exegenix are used by many markup shops, not just for 
one-off conversion of 'old' legacy documents -- also for ongoing 
production. The process is *not* cheap and easy to set up, but it will 
sometimes be the only viable solution. It may be cost-effective compared 
to changing the ways documents are initially created.

kind regards
Peter Ring


Dov Isaacs wrote:
> PDF is a "final form" document format. It does not have
> the context of the graphical objects it represents.
> At best, if you produce a "tagged" PDF, a "converter"
> can make some guesses as to the original document
> structure in terms of sentences, paragraphs, and tables,
> but not much more. The Acrobat save-as-RTF capability
> as well as the third party products out there try to
> make good guesses as the original formatting, but that
> is about the best they can do. Very little context of
> a FrameMaker or InDesign document remains in the
> resultant PDF file, so any attempt to go back to those
> formats is somewhat doomed. If we were to supply "converters"
> back to those formats, users expectations would be set
> to a level that we could not deliver to.
> Conversions from PDF should be viewed as and only be used
> for emergency retrieval of content that has no other
> means of being retrieved. We provide an RTF converter 
> simply because just about every text consuming program out
> there can open or import content in RTF and that does satisfy
> most of our customer's needs in terms of such emergency
> retrieval.
>       - Dov

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