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Step-to-Step Tutorial to OCR PDF with Google OCR

Scanning papers into digital documents plays an essential part to build an environment-friendly workplace. But there arose the issue to deal with scanned documents for different editing purposes. In this article, we will introduce a step-to-step tutorial to OCR scanned PDFs with free Google OCR service that accessible to everyone.

What is Google OCR?

But what is Google OCR? The answer will begin with brief information about what is OCR.

OCR, the short term of Optical Character Recognition, refers to mechanical or electronic conversion of image-based files into machine-encoded text.

Google OCR refers to OCR processed by Google Docs, the web-based office suite program in Google Drive, where Google allows users to store and synch files. So, Google OCR, is also called as Google Docs OCR or Google Drive OCR.

Step-to-Step Tutorial to OCR PDF with Google OCR

Before the step-to-step tutorial about Google OCR, you will need to go to Google Sign-up Page to create a Google Account. Once you have become a Google user, let’s get start with the following tutorial to OCR PDF with Google OCR.

  1. Login in your Google Account and go to Google Drivego to google drive
  2. Upload scanned PDF into Google Drive by click New>File Uploadupload scanned pdf to google drive
  3. Check the uploaded scanned PDF or image on the right panel, right click on the scanned PDF or image, open with Google Docsopen with google doc to do google ocr
  4. Wait for the Google OCR to automatically process OCR on scanned PDF, then you will find the scanned PDF editable in Google in google docs
  5. Go to File>Download as, export the scanned PDF to Word, ePub, Text, or other output format Google OCR supports.export google ocr document

Google OCR doesn’t support OCR image file to editable format, you will need to save JPG or other image files as PDF before using Google OCR.

What to Do if Google OCR Result Fall Short?

As you may have noticed, the accuracy of Google OCR may vary greatly on different types of scanned documents. Take a comparison between the original file and editable file processed by Google OCR as following:

google ocr comparison

In this above-mentioned case, you will need to manually adjust the OCR errors and format mess in Google Docs.

Besides this, Google OCR doesn’t support batch OCR and the output format is limited, so you may need an alternative to Google OCR.

Best Google OCR Alternative for Mac Users

To fix all the unsolved issues of Google OCR, Mac users can have a try on the Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, a dedicated OCR PDF Converter for Mac, to export any PDFs as 16 formats accurately. It supports batch OCR and maintain original file format. Here is a list of its main features:

  • Convert PDF to Google Docs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, HTML, Text, image, etc.;
  • Convert Google Docs to PDF, save Word, PowerPoint, ePub, CHM and other files as PDF;
  • Convert scanned PDF or images to editable Google Docs, such as searchable PDF, editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, etc.;
  • Do conversions between different image files, PNG to JPG, BMP to JPG, etc;
  • Extract image from PDF;
  • Batch process;
  • No file size limit;

  1. Import Scanned PDF for OCR Processing by drag and ocr alternative cisdem 01
  2. Turn OCR button ON, choose page range and file ocr alternative cisdem 02
  3. Optional. For more accurate OCR results, you can click the "Settings" icon, a new interface will appear. All the contents are automatically marked as Texts, Images or Tables in different colors, for the program to recognize each part accurately. First, you need to check all the OCR applied zone are marked properly, if not, manually adjust. For example, if you want to output a part as table, remove the mark box in this zone, click on "Mark Tables" in the OCR applied zone, then drag a mark box to select those contents you want to mark as Tables. You can resize the mark box by dragging its corners. mark ocr
  4. Click Convert to start OCR processing, all the Google OCR problems will be fixed on mac.

Best Google OCR Alternative for Windows Users

If you are a Windows user, Readiris 16 can be worked as the best Google OCR alternative due to its outstanding OCR performance: accurate OCR results and retention of original file resolution&formatting.

  1. Insert scanned PDF into Readiris 16 by click “Insert”google ocr alternative readiris ocr
  2. Select language as needed, choose output ocr alternative windows
  3. Save the file as editable format after OCR.


Google OCR really brings us convenience and benefit to manage scanned document online. Though Google OCR is limited in feature, the free solution it offers to OCR PDF worth everyone’s try. For better or for worse, you still have Google OCR alternatives to OCR your PDFs with expected results.

2017-06-01 22:08:51 / Posted by to OCR PDF Mac Follow @ Connie

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