In article <mailman.7056.1392559276.18130.python-list at python.org>,
"F.R." <anthra.norell at bluewin.ch> wrote:
> 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?
Maybe it's an intentional effort to keep people from screen-scraping
data out of the PDFs (or perhaps trace when they do). Is it possible
the document includes a font where those codepoints are drawn exactly
the same as the digits they resemble?
Keep in mind that PDF is not a data transmission format, it's a document
format. When you try to scape data out of a PDF, you've made a pact
with the devil.
Unclear what any of this has to do with Python. Maybe the tie-in is
that in the old Snake video game, the snake was drawn as Soooooo?
Anyway, it's S as in Sierra, and O as in Oscar.