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If the viewers in sites like Scribd, etc. can display books like a PDF version of the book, why is it not possible to convert the same flash stream of data back to PDF?

One (very, very) naive method to implement this would be to: 1. Capture screenshots of the content displayed continuously. 2. Run some kind of OCR software on the captured screenshots. 3. Splice the screenshots together to get a meaningful PDF.

I am sure there are super-uber ways to do this but I just wanted to make my intent understood in simple terms.

And before someone goes all-out guns in the comments, raising issues like the illegality of doing it, and stuff like DRM, I just want to know the concepts behind why it is not possible for this to be implemented.

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why it is not possible for this to be implemented.

It is possible.

It could be done the way you suggest.

In most cases the work is likely to be tedious and error-prone, the results of low quality.

It's a bit like reconstructing a book from a video of someone slowly flipping through the pages of a book.

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The way I suggested is the manual approach. I want to know an automated approach to do this. Like say a script? – Arpith Oct 9 '12 at 16:39
You can always use autohotkey or some other automation tool to automate the process of taking screenshots and flipping pages....and have some script run on all images using some command line OCR tool.... – Ankit Mishra Oct 9 '12 at 18:20

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