I exported my document as PDF from Google Drive on the Web. When I try to Copy/Paste my content, I get this :


Text is in French. I can visualize it with no difficulties. The font is Verdana. There is only two colors on the document. It is an A4 doc. There are 471 words. It does contain a profile photo.

I am trying to copy/view using Preview on Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

Please do you have any idea how to fix that?

  • 1
    Any idea whet the original text said? What language was used? That looks like some form of multi-byte encoding scheme. Nov 23, 2012 at 14:53
  • Text is in french if this answer you're question. I can visualize the PDF everywhere, but copying does not work well. I don't know how to get the encoding scheme ?
    – user29422
    Nov 23, 2012 at 15:46
  • Neither do I, I was hoping the language would give us a clue. Sorry! Nov 23, 2012 at 16:12
  • It's not clear from your question what the document source is. Is it a Google Apps document that has been saved in PDF format, or a PDF generated from another source that was uploaded to Google Drive? Nov 25, 2012 at 2:21
  • 1
    @ALJIMohamed here's what I get when I paste the first line: (using Chrome's preview) ,QJpQLHXUeWXGHVHW'pYHORSSHPHQW (using Adobe PDF) 􀀬􀁑􀁊􀁰􀁑􀁌􀁈􀁘􀁕􀀃􀁥􀁗􀁘􀁇􀁈􀁖􀀃􀁈􀁗􀀃􀀧􀁰􀁙􀁈􀁏􀁒􀁓􀁓􀁈􀁐􀁈􀁑􀁗. The PDF properties (in Adobe) say your PDF was produced by the application "Documill Publishor 6.3.12 by Documill" -- I just generated a PDF with drive.google.com and got the same properties, however accented characters are OK. The problem in your document seems to be the embedded fonts with custom encoding. Can you try changing the font in Google? Nov 29, 2012 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Some PDF documents (especially with accented characters) get strange encoding. You can see this when you inspect the properties of the PDF file (e.g. in Acrobat). For more information, see this question.

  • One solution is to try another font in your source document that uses standard encodings.
  • Another solution (I've seen in Windows) is to print the PDF document to CutePDF (effectively re-saving it as PDF).

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