As wilth any file format conversion process, you will always get the best 
results if you convert from the original source files rather than from some 
intermediate format. This is particularly true in the case of PDF, because PDF 
is a *lossy* file format. It is designed to produce the electronic equivalent 
of printed pages, and it does not retain much of the structural and 
organizational content that makes the source file editable rather than a simple 
page image. Tables and figures present an even greater challenge than text does 
because the conversion tool must infer a tremendous amount of structural 
information from a pattern of lines.

Having said all this, you'll get the best results by converting to RTF directly 
from the FrameMaker files. Frame's own Save As filter is OK, although under 
some circumstances (e.g. a large number of graphics) it may be so slow that 
you'll think the computer has crashed; overnight conversions are not unheard 
of. The best results usually come from the use of Mif2Go, which does an 
excellent job of creating a Word version that very closely resembles the 
FrameMaker original.

-Fred Ridder

> Subject: Converting PDF to Word
> Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 08:29:39 -0700
> From: lgalanter at
> To: framers at
> Hi Framers,
> I'm hoping someone can help me out with converting PDFs to Word docs. My
> department creates our user guides in FrameMaker, but other departments
> want to use our text in their materials as well, so they ask me for a
> Word version. I have been using Adobe Acrobat to save the PDF as a Word
> doc but it really looks awful and puts the text in weird chunks --
> useable but not pretty. (Yes, we could use a real content management
> system--we've already asked, and the answer has been an emphatic No.)
> I started looking for applications that can create a good Word version
> of a PDF, but thought I might ask here in case anyone is already using
> one that they can highly recommend (something not expensive).
> Thanks!
> Lea Galanter
> Lead Technical Editor and Writer
> Attenex, an F T I company 
> lgalanter at
> Phone: 206-689-4438 

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