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How would convert this long table of vocabulary (one column of greek then one of english) in this document into one excel spreadsheet where the Greek characters are preserved? Whenever I try to copy-paste I get results like this:

ajgaqov", ajgaqhv, ajgaqovn

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well, the document is a PDF and, as @AndrejaKo said, there is a font substitution... If there were no accents on Greek words in that doc, we would use Symbol font... – kokbira Jun 15 '11 at 11:53
using PDF-XChange Viewer, selecting a greek word in that pdf and choosing text properties: Font: Graeca (Embedded Subset); Type: TrueType (CID); Encoding: Identity-H; Object Number: 36; Global Object ID: 0 – kokbira Jun 15 '11 at 12:02
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Try one of these solutions. I think GreekTranscoder on MS Word can help you (I'm downloading to test it):

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It's working. I'm just doing the conversion. – Patrick Beardmore Jun 15 '11 at 12:22
return to here to comment if it functioned :) – kokbira Jun 15 '11 at 12:32
It worked and it worked perfectly. I pasted from PDF > Word (keeps it in a table) > Excel (where I removed the divider rows) > Word (to translate) > Excel. Thanks. There are a tiny number of problem rows but this software has loads of options to translate between all sorts of fonts. Final version here:… – Patrick Beardmore Jun 15 '11 at 13:05
if you use foxit pdf editor (i don't know other pdf editors...), select a Greek word and press "graphics keyboard", you can see an editor that uses that "special" font – kokbira Jun 15 '11 at 13:31

To me it looks like the original document is just doing something I've heard called font substitution.

Here is Serbia back in the 80s and 90s a quick way to get our unique characters was to just use a font which had our symbols for codes of Latin letters which were on keyboard position where our own letter would be. For example, let's take word ужички. On such systems, you'd type it as u\i;ki and use a font which displayed ж instead of \ and ч instead of ;. This is very easy to implement, because you don't actually use a different character set and when correctly displayed, here would be no difference. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well with internationalization and is a problem if you need several different character sets on a single computer.

As far as I know, the only solution for problems which came out of this is to use a program which will translate such text to proper Unicode text. The problem here is that you have a mix of Greek and Latin characters, so program can't just to dumb substitution. As far as I can see, there is no easy way to solve the problem.

You could try getting the document and running it through a proper OCR program which will detect letters and output in Unicode, but I haven't used OCR in quite some time, so I can't recommend one which will help. Also note that some OCR programs will only accept input from a scanner, so you need to be careful when picking OCR program, unless you want to print the whole document and them scan it.

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Try using Paste Special and select Unicode instead of plain text.

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I get the same effect when I do Paste Special "Text" or "Unicode Text" – Patrick Beardmore Jun 15 '11 at 10:20
Does the current font you are using support the Greek characters (Character Map will be able to show you this) – jonsca Jun 15 '11 at 10:26
I believe so. I am using "Palatino Linotype" – Patrick Beardmore Jun 15 '11 at 10:28
I'd say it's probably the encoding that the Google Docs file is in, but I couldn't figure out a way to change that. Wish I could be more help. – jonsca Jun 15 '11 at 10:38

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