How To Fix Weird Characters And Garbled Text Copy/Paste PDF Documents


Solution To Confused Characters When Copy/Paste PDF Documents


The other day I wanted to copy some text from a PDF document from a free readily available e-book from Google.


By the way, do you know you can get lots of free e-books (even recent titles) from Google Search itself?

Find out three ways of searching free e-books from google Search


After I had highlighted on a certain portion of the text, I right-clicked on it.

I noticed something odd. The "Search Google for", showed some rather strange text, instead of the actual text which I highlighted on the document.

Sure enough, when I copied out the text and had it pasted on the Notepad, it showed weird characters and strange garbled words. And not the actual text as I had copied. (as shown below)


fix garbled text weird characters copy paste pdf document

I found out that one of the reasons, is the author of the document has intentionally removed or re-written the to Unicode map, using a plugin.

Fix Weird Characters Gibberish Copy Copy/Paste PDF Documents


Yes, this odd-characters-copy-paste PDF document problem can be easily overcome.

Just follow my tutorial below:

1. Go to the so-called 'problem' PDF document and download it, just like any other proper PDF document.

2. Save it any where you prefer.

3. Next go to Google Drive.

Note: If you have a Gmail account or Adsense, you can access this cloud storage service from Google

2. Click the red color button with the word "NEW" which is on the left top hand corner.

3. A box pops up, click on the second option. It is titled "File upload".

4. A box will pop up, locate where you have saved the 'problem PDF document' earlier.

5. Click on it, then click the "Open" button.

6. Immediately Google Drive will start uploading your PDF document.

7. Once it is finished, you can see the PDF document in your Google Drive.

8. At this point, you still cannot right-click to copy the text.

9. You need to download it.

10. Move you cursor to the top of the page, immediately a black color band will appear across the page.

11. Click on the second option titled "Download" (the one with a downward arrow sign).

12. A box will pop up.

13. Make sure it is set it to "Save".

14. Click on  "OK".

15. That's all. It's done.

16. Now go this newly downloaded PDF document and you should be able to right-click to copy the text. No more weird-looking text.


Written by: Kher Cheng Guan