Without wanting to sound too much like Kenneth Williams, can I just say:
“Oh the ignominy of it all”.
I wanted to copy and paste the text from a 3 column magazine article in PDF format. I tried the default Gnome PDF reader Evince but the text is copied over across the three columns.
Next up, Scribus. But alas it couldn't open the document.
I had a search for alternatives, no joy in the time allocated.
Ignominy, ignominy, I had to install proprietary software Adobe Reader. It happens to the most righteous of us sooner or later ;)