Copying PDF text replaces spaces with Ampersand

Hi All,

I’m wondering if I’m doing a bone-head move. I have a series of PDF documents in Devonthink Pro, imported from Outlook emails. When I try to copy the text from Devonthink into other applications, any spaces in the text are converted into Ampersands. As well, there are other character replacements.

For example, the source text:

As an outcome let’s inspire our customers to make a bold statement Inspire others to “attack” themselves as Carl does at Autodesk – actively confront the innovatorschallenge

Converts to the following:

As&an&outcome&let’s&inspire&our&customers&to&make&a&bold&statement Inspire&others&to&“aVack”&themselves&as&Carl&does&at&Autodesk&–&acYvely&confront&the innovators&challenge

Suggestions are most welcome.


Does this happen with ALL PDFs, or just these specific ones?

I suspect these are scans of text that have been OCRd (Optical Character Recognition)? Sounds like a problem with the text layer, some poor character recognition.

I’m guessing it’s a problem with the PDF text encoding, actually. Could you try copying out of Preview? Also out of Acrobat or Acrobat Reader if you have it. OS X has had problems with some custom encodings in the past which have gradually been fixed, but there could be problems. Both Preview and DEVONthink use the same core OS frameworks to handle PDFs.

If Preview has the same problem, it’s an OS issue. If preview AND Acrobat have the problem, it’s likely a problem with the program which is creating the PDFs.

Is there a way you could post a sample PDF online? (Understanding you may not because it’s proprietary information.)