Monday, December 8, 2014

Translating the language of PDF documents while preserving formatting

Recently I got the PDF version of the user manual of my car. Since it was a Japanese domestic vehicle, the manual was only available in Japanese. I wanted to translate this to English but couldn't find a proper set of instructions to do it online. First I tried Google translate, which works pretty well for translating stuff across many languages, but it only gives you a plain-text translated output without any PDF formatting/images/pages etc.

 I found a simple set of steps to translate PDF documents while preserving formatting, after trying various FREE options available online.

  1. If the PDF is password-protected, use to remove the password. If not, you can skip this step.
  2. Convert your PDF to Html using
  3. Download the generated Html and open it using Google Chrome.
  4. Right click in Google Chrome, and click "Translate to English". This will translate everything to English using Google Translate service while preserving formatting and images.
  5. Right click and "Save As" to save the translated Html to a folder (You can also save/print as PDF to get back in PDF format).
That's it. Furthermore, if you know CSS, you can use any CSS editor and change global CSS styles to adjust font size, colors, alignments etc. in order to fix any remaining formatting issues.