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Guide on How to OCR a PDF on Mac (OS Sierra Included)

PDFs provide a convenient way for sharing and sending documents to colleagues and customers. Yet when one scans a document directly to PDF, or scans and then converts it to PDF, the document will be transferred as a large image file, which makes pdf text not searchable, nor selectable — unless you convert the PDF files using a PDF OCR software. This article will share basic things you need to know about ocr on mac, together with several efficient ways to do pdf ocr on mac.

Things You Need to Know about OCR on Mac?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition), it is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping system in an office, or to publish the text on a website.Without OCR, or to be specific, without Mac OCR software, the scanned PDF cannot be recognized by comuper, hence not allow you to edit or search.

Though there are some free tools coming with MacOS for users to deal with PDF files, like Preview and Automator, mac ocr service is not availble.

  • Preview Can Not Do OCR on Scanned PDF

Preview can help view and manage and edit PDF files on mac, but the editing feature is only limited to native PDFs. Though you can surely open scanned pdf in Preview, it is displayed as image files, no changes can be done to the file, including but not limited to copy text, search text, annotate, highlight, etc.

  • Automator Can Not Help Extract Text from Scanned PDF 

Many mac users may use Automator to extract text from PDF, but still, this can only be workable for native PDF. You just get blank text file when trying to extracting text from scanned pdf using Automator.

automator to do ocr mac

As we can see, there is no free ocr solutions on mac at all, we will have to resort to a pdf ocr software.

Recommended Mac OCR Software to OCR PDF

Indeed, a mac ocr tool will save the time and efforts to make your scanned PDF editable. Here, basing on real tests and feedback from real users, we highly recommend 3 popular mac ocr software to serve your purpose.

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac (Price: $ 49.99)

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is a PDF OCR tool designed specifically for the task, and it does ivery well. This application allows you to convert any PDF, native or scanned PDF, even image files  in over 200 languages into searchable and editable files. You simply need to load your PDF file, set the output format as PDF, RTFD, DOCX, DOC, XLSX, or PPTX, any supported formats you want to save as.

Besides, you can utilize this tool to create PDF from other documents freely, also add password or reduce PDF file size when you create PDF with this program.

 how to ocr a pdf on mac with cisdem

Adobe Acrobat (Price: $ 108 - $ 299)

Adobe Acrobat has built-in OCR feature which can recognize text in any PDF or image file in dozens of languages. All you have to do is click the blue Tools button in the top right of the toolbar, select Recognize Text, then click the In This File button. Adobe gives the best result in all the tools we have tried.

ABBYY FineReader OCR Pro (Price: $ 119.99)

ABBYY FineReader OCR Pro is a dedicated OCR software on Mac for converting scans, PDFs and digital photographs into searchable and editable documents. The OCR process is automated,you only need to tell ABBYY FineReader Pro which document to load and to where the OCR version should be saved.


Tutorials: Steps to OCR a PDF on Mac

As Cisdem's mac ocr tool offers free trial with full features, here we will take Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, the most afforable and efficient way as a demonstration to OCR a PDF on mac.

  1. Launch Cisdem PDF OCR Program for Mac.
    Download Cisdem PDF Converter OCR and then install it on Mac. Run it to start ocr a pdf on icon of cisdem ocr wizard
  2. Add PDF Files for OCR on Mac.
    Go to the interface of "Converter", import PDF into the program by drag and drop PDF files, or click the "+" button.You can add dozens of files at one to ocr a pdf on mac with cisdem 01 
  3. Tweak the "OCR PDF" settings
    Turn the OCR button ON, select language and page range. It can recognize 200+ languages and supports batch or partial conversion. Also, choose output as needed before starting OCR PDF on to ocr a pdf on mac
  4. Start OCR PDF on mac
    Click "Convert" to perform OCR on PDF files. The OCR process will finish within seconds, you can find the converted file in output folder. The PDF OCR is done!

Free Mac OCR Solutions

Search google we can find there are several websites that can OCR a PDF on mac for free. Such OCR software can be used online and usually convert on page at a time. However, many of them cannot handle images of poor quality. So people often have to ensure they have high quality images when using these online PDF OCR tools, otherwise accuracy will be adversely impacted. Here are the two online options for you to OCR a PDF, which in our test give good results than the other online sites.

Free Online OCR allows you to convert scanned PDF and images (jpg, bmp) into editable Word, Text, Excel, output formats. And the generated documents keeps the layout and images of the original file. Moreover, this free Online OCR service supports 46 recognition languages. To use this tool your files must not exceed 5mb.

Free Online OCR

Free online OCR is another free web-based OCR service to OCR PDF. It can extract text from PDF, GIF, BMP, JPEG, TIFF or PNG files. To get started, just add an image file and select an output format from DOC, PDF, TXT or RTF, and click "convert".

ocr mac with free online ocr

So,which mac ocr solution do you choose to do ocr on your mac?

2017-05-04 22:24:29 / Posted by to OCR PDF Mac Follow @ Rosa

Related Cisdem Recommendations

PDF Converter Mac

Convert PDF files into Microsoft Word(.docx), PowerPoint(.pptx), ePub, RTFD, Keynote, Pages, etc. on Mac. Learn More

OCR Software Mac

Convert PDF, scanned document, or image file into searchable and editable files. Learn More

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