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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 images not searchable, nor selectable — unless you convert the PDF files using a process known as OCR a PDF.But there are many people know little about OCR a PDF on mac.This article will share two ways for you to OCR a PDF and even images into editable digital text.

What is OCR?

OCR pdf needs to use the power of ocr software for 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, you cannot convert scanned PDF into searchable and editable files.

Best Solution to OCR a PDF on Mac

When users search solutions to ocr a pdf on Mac, they may find several OCR (Optical Character Recognition) solutions available to OCR PDFs and images to text, Word, Excel, HTML or epub. Here we provide 3 popular solutions to achieve this.

Cisdem OCRWizard 4 (Price: $ 59.99)

Cisdem OCRWizard 4 is a PDF OCR tool designed specifically for the task, and it does it very well. This application allows you to convert any PDF, scanned documents, or image files (including the picture of business card) in over 40 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.

  Try OCRWizard 4 Free!

how to OCR Documents Like PDFs on Mac with OCRWizard 4

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.


Free Alternatives to OCR a PDF on Mac

Search google we can find there are several websites that can OCR a PDF 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".

Step by Step Guide on How to OCR a PDF on Mac

Here we take Cisdem OCRWizard, the most afforable and efficient way as a demonstration to OCR a PDF on mac.

  1. Download PDF OCR Converter for Mac

Download Cisdem OCRWizard 4 And then install it on Mac.

Download the free trial of Cisdem OCRWizard 4 Now!

  1. Add PDF Files

Run Cisdem OCRWizard 4, add files into it by drag and drop PDF files, or click the "+" button. 

import files to ocrwizard cisdem

  1. Prepare for OCR a PDF

By default, your uploaded file will be under the Preparation Mode, so you can manually adjust the file for more accurate result, especially in the case that you are working on scanned document or images with unreadable blurry pictures. Then, choose the OCR language, or tweak the settings according to manual and supported languages for a desirable result.

manually adjust with cisdem ocrwizardStep 4. OCR a PDF on Mac

Click "Recognize” to select document type before OCR processing. You will see every part of a loaded PDF or image marked with different color squares based on the content of each part.  Utilize the toolbars to customize your OCR performing. 

process OCR with OCRWizard 4

Step 5. Export to Editable Formats

Click "Export" to save these files in supported editable formats as following. The OCR for mac is done!

export to editable formats with OCR Wizard 4

Useful Tip 1:OCR and Share Business Card
If you want to perform OCR on Business Card, choose“Business Card” from the down list of “Recognize", the app will automatically create a contact and fill its fields with the information recognized from the business card. Update information in the fields if necessary. Click "Share" to add it to Mac Contacts or share it by Mail, Message and Airdrop, or export it as other formats.

OCR business card with OCRWizard 4

Useful Tip 2: Save the Project for Later Processing

OCRWizard enables you to save a project for your current editing work. When you try to close the app, it will pop up a dialog and ask you whether save the changes made to the “Untitled” document. You can click “Save” or go to File > Save a Project to save it for later processing.

  Try OCRWizard 4 Free!

2017-03-13 21:32:37 / Posted byRosa Reyes to PDF Follow @ Rosa

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6 Responses

  • laura

    Online tool is not doing good, so many missed data and gaps, also you need to manually adjust the formatting quite a lot.

    3 months ago REPLY
  • giotopie

    My question is: Can Cisdem PDF Converter (for Mac) convert forms containing words, pictures and different styles into writable and editable Office Word, Excel and Power Point? Please elaborate. Thank.

    9 months ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

    Thanks for your message! Yes, Cisdem PDF Converter OCR can do these all for you, with 100% keeping the original layouts of data, images, tables, text...

    9 months ago REPLY
  • Spire

    Thanks for the article.

    11 months ago REPLY
  • Danielle

    What about using OCR to change a scanned document into one that can be edited?

    1 years ago REPLY

    Although Cisdem PDFConverterOCR is cheaper than other OCR Mac software, it really did as well as Adobe Acrobat. Thanks for it save my money. Good application~~~

    1 years ago REPLY

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