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Help! I’m an admin, not a techie

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Question: “I am an admin who has two programs that are supposed to be used for conversion and editing: Adobe Acrobat and ScanSoft (OmniPage 16 and PaperPort 11). I have not been able to understand the concepts or even stumble through the ScanSoft Suite. I called ScanSoft but they want to charge for help. Can someone give me a first grade view of how this system works? Or help me figure out how to convert and edit in Adobe Acrobat? I am desperate!” – An admin, not a techie

See Comments Below.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Doreen July 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I use PDF Converter Professional. I find it works much better than Adobe Acrobat for converting from a pdf to a word document. Very easy and intuitive.


Janice July 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

We have all been in this boat and my hope is that we can help each other out without being judgemental.

That said, I find that Google always gives me info I can use.Also I have purchased books to help me learn new software/software updates on and I have taken courses offered at a local junior college in new software I am expected to you.


Kathy July 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Thank you, I learned something new and very helpful


Claire July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

The link below should help with adobe. I hear good things about scansoft.


Lisa July 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I don’t know ScanSoft, but sometimes use Adobe Acrobat to convert PDF files to Microsoft Word files. You have to have the correct version of Acrobat; you can’t convert files using Acrobat Reader (which is the version of Acrobat that most people have). Make sure you have a more advanced version of Adobe Acrobat.

I have Acrobat Standard, which has a “character recognition” feature. When in a PDF file, you click on ” Document – Recognize Text as OCR”. Then click on “Start,” then “All Pages,” then “Okay.” Once the character recognition function is complete, then click on “Select All”, then “Edit-Copy”. Once you have copied the text, paste it into a Word document.

This usually works fairly well; you lose most of your formatting, since the character recognition process can’t “read” formatting. It’s also difficult if you have lots of pictures and graphs in your document; character recognition works best on documents that have only typed words. But it’s usually pretty easy to reconvert a simple PDF into a Word document.

Good luck!


Tara July 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Do you have an IT department? Who bought the Software? Theses are good places to check also.


Kim July 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

if you google “Easy Guide to ScanSoft” you will find a few helpful links that can get you through


Patty July 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

Dear Admin, not a techie:

Part of an admin’s job is to keep up to date on software applications and their uses, which I don’t think translates to “being a techie”. Having said that, there are many, many websites out there that can help you learn how to use any type of software on the market.

For instance, Adobe Acrobat has a great “Tips and Techniques” that was put out on August 3, 2010 by this very site (Business Management Daily). I purchased the CD for a low cost and found some great tips on how to use the software. You will have to dig a little, do some searching, perhaps spend a little money, but you will find some help.

I have never heard of OmniPage 16 and PaperPort 11, but after a quick search on, I found that there are many sites offering help on these as well. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, other than to steer you in, hopefully, the right direction. Happy learning!


Also not a techie July 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

1)Best advice I've gotten for trying to stumble through a program I haven't been trained in was: "RIGHT click!" to see what options it gives you. (I even put "RIGHT CLICK!" on a sticky note on my computer monitor to remind me — even if I've learned how to do something, bu don't do that task very often, it's easy to forget)
2) Google your question (with the software program as the first word in the search) … inevitably someone else has already asked your exact same question and there's an answer online.
3) keep detailed notes in a spiral notebook or in a word file that you can keep adding to that reminds you how to do tasks you only do occasionally… you don't want to stumble thru them _every_ time…just the first time. write notes to yourself how you figured it out (or how a co-worker taught you!) this also helps if you have to be out sick and want to be able to delegate that task to someone else, the instructions are right there for them.


Shelley July 2, 2011 at 2:56 am

Hi Admin, Not Techie, I don't know much about scan soft, but I have a feeling that it is to be used in conjunction with a printer where the scanning must take place. If you give me more info about your setup, I'm sure I can help you through it. We have a Xerox copier/printer/scanner in our report room (large machine) and I believe we have Omni Page/Scan Soft installed on all of our computers so that we can access the documents we scan on the Xerox. I have a scanner on my local printer that I use for that stuff, so I don't use the program much, but if you give me some more info, I will try and help you through it. As for Adobe, which Adobe program do you have? Pretty much anything above Adobe Reader can be used to edit to one degree or another. To create pdf's (the files Adobe is used to read and edit) you usually either scan them in, save them to your directory, then open the file and print it to the Adobe printer, or you create a document in any number of programs and then send it to the Adobe printer to create the pdf. Can you give me some info on what specifically you are trying to do with your program? From there, I'm sure we can get you going with both programs. Shelley


Bennie July 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I’m not a user or Scansoft but I plan to check it out and I found this manual. IT here is famous for pushing out programs or equipment without manuals. I hope it helps.

See you can find a Scansoft users blog to help get you started.

Adobe was fairly easy to learn. You can save most files as adobe or print to, if Adobe has been added to your print queue. From Word and Excel, files can be saved as Adobe.pdf then you open Adobe and use the Advanced Editing Text tool to make minor edits, add additional text by inserting a text box or use the typewriting feature to add text. Of course you’ll need a full version of Adobe, ask the boss or IT for an upgrade and a good basic manual.

I love Adobe, I work in the finance department and as you might imagine, finance and bank forms go hand-in-hand. So I learned early on to automate forms using Word, just to make my life easier. Since that time, I’ve become proficient in the use Adobe becoming the resident developer when it comes forms.

Feel free to contact me for assistance with Adobe.


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