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Puzzling PDF


Hi all,

Struggling to parse bank statements unavailable in sensible 
data-transfer formats, I use pdftotext, which solves part of the 
problem. The other day I encountered a strange thing, when one single 
figure out of many erroneously converted into letters. Adobe Reader 
displays the figure 50'000 correctly, but pdftotext makes it into 
"SO'OOO" (The letters "S" as in Susan and "O" as in Otto). One would 
expect such a mistake from an OCR. However, the statement is not a scan, 
but is made up of text. Because malfunctions like this put a damper on 
the hope to ever have a reliable reader that doesn't require 
time-consuming manual verification, I played around a bit and ended up 
even more confused: When I lift the figure off the Adobe display (mark, 
copy) and paste it into a Python IDLE window, it is again letters (ascii 
83 and 79), when on the Adobe display it shows correctly as digits. How 
can that be?

Frederic