[Tex/LaTex] How to convert PDF to (La)TeX


I know that hardly any information is passed to the PDF when a .tex file is compiled.

But is there a tool that can convert a PDF document back to (La)TeX?

Best Answer

If you install AbiWord with the additional import and export plugins,* you can open a PDF file in the Word Processor, and then export to LaTeX. In fact, you can also convert from the command line:

abiword --to=tex filename.pdf

Be warned that both its PDF import routine and its LaTeX export routine have serious limitations, and you should not expect anything that will be usable without serious tweaking afterwards.

(* IIRC, the extra plugins are installed by selecting a custom install on Windows and checking all the import and export options it gives you. For Linux, you typically need to install a separate package called "abiword-plugins" or "abiword-plugin-mathview" depending on distro. No clue for Mac.)

Inkscape can open PDFs and export to either PSTricks or TikZ codes; this might be useful if the PDF in question is just a diagram or vector image you want to edit.

There's a project listed on sourceforge called pdf2latex, but it doesn't look like any real work has been done on it. I'm not sure it's a real project. (The page looks fishy; almost as if someone was just posting an idea.)