Chromebook copy-paste from PDF file

This is the first time I have travelled for an extended period of time with only my Chromebook. I would normally take a laptop if I was going to be away for more than a couple of days. Not only that I have to write and then present a talk at a conference. So I need Google Slides to do the business. I was reasonably confident it would, there is however one snag.

I have had bit of a faff copying some sections out of a PDF file to go into my presentation. There is no way to easily copy and paste from any of the PDF tools I have used and Slides will not import a PDF file as an image. This is either because the PDF support in Google Docs just isn’t very mature or a priority for Google or, and I have my suspicion this is part of it, Google doesn’t want you copying out of PDF files. I am not entirely sure why this might be, perhaps they are trying to protect copyright? However, it can be a pain if you are trying to use a figure as part of a talk.

I have found what is a fairly good solution, in fact it might be enough of an obvious (when you figure it out) solution that there isn’t a problem here after all. I learnt how to take screen shots with the Chromebook. Either by:
ctrl+’task select’ and you get the whole desktop, or
ctrl+shift+’task select’ and you can draw a box round a section

Easy, you can either copy the image to the clipboard or save it as a file. Probably easy enough that my conspiratorial ideas of Google somehow blocking it do not really make sense. Just took me a while to figure it out. 🙂 You can even zoom into the bit of the PDF you want before grabbing the screenshot.

About phil

Complex Systems Scientist.

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