We all deal with a lot of PDFs sent to us by clients because it’s the only format available to them for that particular doc. That doesn’t automatically mean that these cannot be processed in a CAT tool, though.
OCR tools (such as Abby Fine Reader) have very advanced ways to read these documents and produce editable Word docs, and you can also adjust the way they pick up the text. More importantly, always remember to set the recognition language to the document language (and not just English), otherwise you risk losing special characters, like å, ö, ä, æ, ø, é, à, ê, ú, ñ, ç etc. And did you know that these days Word 2016 comes with an in-built OCR tool to open PDFs directly in Word? Give it a try!
That said, there’s no way out of retyping hand-written PDFs!