Is it possible to convert PDF to svg so that text, which is included in PDF comments (aka annotations in Adobe acrobat) isn't "vectorized" (characters replaced with shapes), so you can still "select" text blocks?

I'm not sure what's this procedure called to find some more clues if this can be solved or why every program (inkscape, poppler, cairo) and lots of popular script won't make the text editable and simply substitute fonts.

  • Are you certain the text hasn't been outlined prior to generating the PDF?
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 24 at 23:13
  • @Scott sorry, you are right - the first pdf document had text as images. However, one document uses PDF annotations (acrobat comments/markup) and this text isn't being properly substituted with font no matter what I try. Thank you for the hint and I hope that you don't mind that I've clarified the original question. Commented Apr 24 at 23:46
  • I don't know if it's possible to answer this without access to the PDF. Have you tried to investigate how the comment text is constructed? Are they actual outlines? Can you selected them and see the outlines? If not, they could be clones. If text is already outlines, there's no way to turn it back into editable text. You'd have to retype it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 25 at 10:25
  • Thank you @BillyKerr, you are right. I need to understand what this text actually is. It was produced by autocad using ghostcript, however unfortunately I can't share the PDF itself. They may be just comments/annotation/markup objects. If you could recommend any tools to inspect internal PDF structure that would be very helpful. Commented Apr 28 at 16:22
  • Nothing I know of for PDF. The code isn't really human readable. Maybe save it out as an SVG, and open it in text editor. SVG is a type of XML, and is human readable. You can also use the XML editor in Inkscape to see what an object is, like if it;s a <use> element (a clone), a path, or a clipping mask,etc.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 28 at 21:18


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