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Saving Text from PDFs of Condensed Transcripts to Text Files

Attorneys are often forced to work with transcripts of deposition and trial testimony, taken in cases to which they are not a party, which are only available in condensed format. It may be helpful to get an accurate text file of a condensed transcript to load into a deposition transcript review program like LIveNote, or to analyze in another fashion. If we have a PDF of a transcript like this:

, , , simply saving the text of the transcript to a text file will leave us with a file in which the page and line numbers are jumbled together:

This problem can be overcome with the use of Abbyy FineReader. Import the PDF of the condensed transcript into FineReader.

In the Area menu, select Draw Area . . . Draw Text Area. Draw boxes around each of the condensed pages on the full page. Be sure to draw the boxes in the same order as the pages are numbered, and do not let them overlap.

Select all of these boxes and then go to Area . . . Save Area Template. The template will be saved as a file with a .blk extension.

Select all of the thumbnails of the PDFs and then go to Area . . . Loan Area Template and select the .blk file. Text Areas for each of the four sections of the condensed transcript will be added to all of the pages. With all of the thumbnail pages still selected, right click and click 'Read Selected Pages'.

You will then be able to save a text file with the pages and line numbers correctly aligned.

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