It’s Greek To Me: Case Study for PDF Image Only Files

We recently received a unique support question that illustrated a real-world case where the PDF Image Only file save option saved the day. Here was the issue our customer came to us with:

I am trying to help my wife who is teaching ancient Greek language classes online. The problem is that there is no standard universally recognized font for ancient Greek – they all render the language in different ways. And ancient Greek is quite different from modern Greek. She can create documents on her Windows PC using one of a number of specialized TrueType (TTF) fonts. And she can convert documents to Unicode for pasting into web content and/or she can print or export Unicode documents to PDFs. For most of her students these processes are successful. However some students see only gibberish. She has no control over the various platforms her students are using, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Chrome, etc.

By Hesiod / Houghton Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Is there a way Win2PDF can handle this situation? The best option would be if she could print/export her multi-page documents to non-searchable, graphics only PDFs.

For this case, the solution was easy. Win2PDF can create multi-page image only PDFs that render the TTF fonts as graphics. It’s just a standard Win2PDF file save type the user can select when printing.

While this particular customer was able to make the conversions using other programs, this was the easiest method since it was just a single step to save the PDF file.

When we recommended this solution to the customer, he gave us the following reply:

While the Covid-19 pandemic lasts and much teaching is being done online, you might want to share this information with university departments of Classics and Religious Studies and theological colleges (and other academic institutions that teach archaic languages for which there are no universally standard means of rendering them as computer-created text). My wife cannot be the only university instructor with this problem.

Consider it done.

How to Create a Non-Searchable PDF File

When you create a PDF file from most applications, the result is a PDF that contains both text and images. The text can be searched from PDF viewers like Adobe Reader, can be cut & pasted into other documents, and it can also be indexed and searched by search engines like Google or Bing.

However, some people want to create PDF files that are NOT searchable for a variety of reasons.

We posted an example some time ago where some sensitive documents were redacted in the PDF, and even though they displayed correctly (where the text appeared blacked-out), the actual text in the PDF file was searchable and selectable. Whoops!

There are also situations where lawyers litigating cases need to share documents with the opposing side, and they have an interest in dumbing down the PDF file. That is, making it very difficult to search through the documents.

Whatever the reason, the easiest way to create non-searchable PDF files is to use the PDF Image Only file save option with Win2PDF. This will save all text in the document being printed as an image, so that it can’t be searched or indexed by search engines. You can save the output as either a monochrome image, or a color image depending on your needs.

One caveat with this feature is that it will make the file sizes larger, which is usually not desirable.

Unless, that is, you’re a lawyer litigating a case…