By AppleVis, 4 November, 2015 In this podcast, Jonathan Simeone shares a tip for Mac users on how to convert PDF to text using Automator. Podcast File AppleVisPodcast867.mp3 (17.69 MB) Tags macOS Miscellaneous Quick Tips Options Log in or register to post comments Comments Automator Podcast? Hi John, Could you do a podcast on using Automator? I've been curious as to how it works but the layout is confusing. If this site already has a podcast over Automator, can someone point me to it? PDF Webpages Hi Jonathan, Thanks for your interesting podcast, much food for thought. I have no experience with Automater, but wonder whether it would be possible to create a Workflow that saves the contents of online PDF pages? I often encounter many webpages which are in PDF format. Maybe I'm a dumbass or maybe it is a problem with OSX but I simply can't access them. When encountered, these Tabs open, but I cannot find any way to interact with them. So, where possible, I save the file and try reading it with Preview. If there was a way that I could simply run a Workflow and save the page as a Text file, well that would be about the next best thing to actually being able to read the page online. Many thanks for your assistance. @SeaNoEvil00 Excellent Podcast This is an excellent walkthrough. Long story short, I received a W-9 form a couple weeks ago which had to be filled out for work. The dang thing was an inaccessible pdf file, but at the time I hadn't listened to this yet. I just did so though before Xmas, and then saved it to one of my thumbdrives so that I could follow along on my Mac. But now my problem is finding a downloadable .pdf that I can use with this. For some odd reason the W-9 form had a lot of issues. I guess pdf's are slowly but surely going to the dogs these days? Finally perhaps? Excellent podcast Is it possible to have the text of the podcast as it would be much easier to replicate. Thanks. Shortcuts As an alternative to Automator, which is deprecated and will be removed from macOS some time in the future, you can use the Shortcuts app to create this same service. This way, you can add actions by focusing on them in the actions list and selecting "Add to shortcut" from the Actions menu, which I find more reliable than VoiceOver's drag and drop facility. Text steps on how to do this To create a PDF to text shortcut: Open Shortcuts and choose File > New shortcut (or press Command-N). Interact with the "Action library" group and type "PDF" without the quotes in the search field. In the actions list, focus on "Get text from PDF" and select "Add to shortcut" from the Actions menu, accessed by pressing VO-Command-Space. Type "Save file" without the quotes in the search field. Add the "Save file" action to the shortcut as described in step 3. Select the "Shortcut details" radio button in the toolbar. Interact with the "Details" group and select where you want the shortcut to appear, menu bar, quick actions, services menu, etc. Name the shortcut using the text field in the toolbar. Close the window; the shortcut will be saved automatically. PDF to text shortcut on Mac Hi Tyler I followed the steps that you listed and successfully created the PDF to text shortcut. However, I can’t seem to run it. I put it in quick actions and I can access it with the context menu on PDF files but when I run it, the shortcut Window opens but there is nothing in it. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks. The text is sent to the Clipboard So just paste the text where you want it to be Works for Me Now I just re-created the shortcut and it works for me now. It saves the plane text file in the Documents folder. You can choose a different folder if you want when you run the shortcut. Thanks for sharing this.