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How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text in Multiple Ways on Mac

We are often encouraged to follow paperless office rules, and digitalizing files using scanning play an important role in this. But sometimes, we have to edit and get some modification on the PDF files, at this moment, it had better convert scanned PDF to text for further editing. With the development of OCR technology, make a scanned pdf editable is not a big deal anymore. Here you will be introduced 3 ways to convert a scanned PDF to Text on mac.

Part 1.Professional OCR Program: OCR Expert with Desirable Results

Among the list of top OCR programs, we choose Cisdem PDFConverterOCR, the most affordable tool with more satisfying results, to show how scanned files can be professionally processed to be editable again.

Cisdem PDFConverterOCR is a PDF Converter to convert PDF files into other common used formats but with the OCR feature. That's to say, it can accurately convert both native and scanned PDFs into text,word, keynote those editable formats, enabling you to reuse their content, archive them more efficiently. Even, beside PDF,you are allowed to convert scanned PDF into more than 10 other editable formats(Word, Excel, PPT, HTML, EPUB, KEYNOTE, PAGES,etc) in 40 frequently used languages. Of course, you can perform the conversion in batch. 

Download the free trial of Cisdem PDFConverterOCR Now!

Step1. Import Scanned PDF

First import the scanned PDF file. You may drag and drop one or multiple PDF(s) to the interface of the program. 

import scanned file into pdfconverterocrStep 2. Turn the OCR Function On

Once you uploaded the file, turn the OCR function on, set the output format as Text, also choose the page range, document language before PDF to Text converting.

turn the ocr function on in pdfconverterocr

Step 3.Convert Scanned PDF into Text

Click "Convert" to start the conversion. You can check the status bar to know the conversion progress, once the conversion is finished, check the file in output folder.

conversion status


  • Support both Native and Scanned PDF
  • Support Batch Conversion
  • Fast OCR Progressing
  • Safe to use without any risk of information leakage
  • Accurate OCR Outcome
  • More affordable than other OCR programs


  • Cannot Edit the Scanned File in the Program

Part 2.Web-Based OCR Plug-in: Google Docs

When talking about PDF conversion, the first thing comes to your mind is definitely its creator-Adobe. You may have an Adobe Acrobat with built-in OCR feature helping you to work on scanned files. But Adobe is not the only way out to convert PDF to text! Google offers an alternative, you can use its Google Docs to make a scanned PDF editable again. 

Follow the steps below to perform OCR with Google Docs Now!

  1. Login into your Google Account>Google Drive;
  2. Click "New" >"File Upload", to import the file need to be converted;
  3. Once uploaded, right click to "Open with Google Docs", the OCR will be performed automatically;

use google docs to convert scanned pdf to text on mac

  1. Once the file is opened in Google Docs, go to "File">"Download As" to save the file in Text format.


  • Free to use
  • Safe to upload file


  • Time-consuming to perform OCR with several steps
  • Need manual adjust to rectify the recognition errors

Part 3.Free OCR Service: Online OCR Tool

With the development and growing demands of OCR technology, there are quite a lot online free OCR services offered for users to convert their scanned files into Word, or other editable formats.

Here we take Free Online OCR,the free service to convert scanned PDF or image into Text, searchable PDF and Text format online, as an example to demonstrate how to perform OCR online.

  1. Upload your file, choose output format as "Text" and click "Convert" to do OCR;

use online ocr tool to convert scanned pdf to text on mac

  1. Download the converted file by clicking the download link;

use online ocr tool to convert scanned pdf to text on mac download link


  • Free to use
  • Fast OCR progressing


  • Need manually adjust some recognition errors after conversion
  • May bring potential risk to your file/information security
  • Have a limit on quantity of conversion pages


Each solution takes its own advantages over others in one way or another. Your choice greatly depends on your own needs. If you are not working on scanned files so often, also you are patient enough to follow the steps on Google, Google Docs is recommended; if you care about money over any others, online free service is a plausible workaround; if you ask high on accuracy and user experience, professional ones, such as PDFConverterOCR, should be the best solution for PDF to Text. 

2017-01-08 10:46:12 / Posted byMegan Charles to PDF Follow @ Megan

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2 Responses

  • Isabel

    I want to take the texts out from the scanned contract for email writing, i accidentally tries OCR Wizard and I got the results i was looking for, thanks.

    6 months ago REPLY
  • Victoria

    The tool works exceeding my expectations, I just need to extract text from the scanned copies for editing, it is powerful.

    6 months ago REPLY

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