We all know, I think, that translating a PDF should be the last resort. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and the reason they have this name is because they were intended for sharing with users on any platform irrespective of whether they owned the software used to create the original file or not. Used to share so they could be read. They were not intended to be editable, in fact the format is also used to make sure that the version you are reading can’t be edited. So how did we go from this original idea to so many translators having to find ways to translate them?
I think there are probably a couple or three reasons for this. First, the PDF might have been created using a piece of software that is not supported by the available translation tool technology and with no export/import capability. Secondly, some clients can be very cautious (that’s the best word I can find for this!) about sharing the original file, especially when it contains confidential information. So perhaps they mistakenly believe the translator will be able to handle the file without compromising the confidentiality, or perhaps they have been told that only the PDF can be shared and they lack the paygrade to make any other decision. A third reason is the client may not be able to get their hands on the original file used to create the PDF.