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How to Make PDF Searchable with/ without Adobe?

How do you go directly to the parts that you want to review in a PDF? “Search” within the file, of course. But have you ever worked on a PDF not allowing you to search the content? Why you can’t search within some PDFs, how can you make PDF searchable with or without the help of Adobe? Here you will be revealed all about these.

About Searchable PDF

What is a searchable PDF?
A searchable PDF is the PDF file composed of 2 layers, image layer and text layer. There in the text layer saves the text content and users are allowed to search for or locate the keyword within the document. 

How to search a PDF on Mac?
According to different PDF viewers, the way to search in a PDF file may be different. 
In Preview, go to Edit>Find or press “Command+F” to search the content within the file;
In Adobe, press “Command+F”, input the keyword you want to search within the file.

Why a PDF cannot be searched?

why pdf can not be searched

In most cases, the reason why a PDF cannot be searched is concluded as, the file is not originally generated from documents editors like Adobe, Microsoft Office, it is image-based, which means the text content is saved as bitmap font. These fonts cannot be recognized, therefore the PDF tool cannot do the matching to locate the keywords.

Hence, to make a PDF searchable, you need to make the image text to be recognized within the file. This is just OCR works for.

Make PDF Searchable with Adobe Acrobat

When talking about PDF, it reminds us of Adobe, its creator. And positively, Adobe products offer a solution to make PDF searchable with its built-in OCR feature. While, for those don’t use an Adobe product, no need to worry, there are also non-Adobe solutions for you in the following part. Since Adobe offers both Mac and Windows versions, here we take Adobe for Mac as the demonstration:

  1. Open the scanned file in Adobe Acrobat (eg.Adobe Acrobat Pro DC).
    If the file is scanned PDF, open it in Adobe directly;
    If the file is an image, run Adobe first, then select “Create PDF” in the wizard, choose the image file and it will be imported into Adobe.import pdf to adobe mac
  2. Go to Tools>Enhance Scans>Recognize Text>In This File. Click Recognize Text and Adobe will start to process OCR on the document.recognize text with adobe
  3. Go to File>Save, you will find the PDF is searchable on mac.make pdf searchable with adobe 03

If you need to perform Adobe OCR  in other Adobe versions to make a PDF searchable, go to the details and try.

Make PDF Searchable without Adobe Acrobat

Of course, not all of us have installed an Adobe. Never mind, the non-Adobe solutions also surprise you with even better and more accurate results. Here we recommend 2 dedicated PDF OCR Converter.

For Users Who Want to Make PDF Searchable on Mac

You can try Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac, a professional PDF OCR Converter enabling users to convert native and scanned PDFs, even images into searchable PDF, Word, Excel, PPT, Keynote, HTML, Keynote and so on. It supports batch making searchable PDFs from scanned files, keeping original file quality as well. There won't be any worry about formatting issue and image resolution occurring in the conversion. This powerful OCR PDF Converter can understand more than 200 languages accurately. Besides, this mac ocr program can help users to create PDF from other files, protect/unprotect and compress PDF on mac easily.

Let's Make PDF Searchable on Mac Now!

  1. Download the free trial of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on its official website, install and launch it on your mac.
  2. Go to the "Converter", drag and Drop the scanned PDF into the interface, or just click “+” to add files.make pdf searchable on mac 01
  3. Turn OCR button ON, choose All Pages or fill Page Range. Select the language and output as PDF to make a searchable PDF from scanned PDFs on mac.make pdf searchable on mac 02
  4. Click “Convert” to start making searchable PDF on mac from scanned PDFs. Find the searchable PDF in output folder.

For Users Who Want to Make PDF Searchable on Windows

Readiris 16 for Windows converts any PDFs into searchable PDF, Word, Excel, ODT, ePub, Audio and image formats, with original layout preserved. It can connect with your scanned, directly scan the document to the program and make it searchable. Even, you can utilize this tool to manage PDF files, such as protect PDF, shrink PDF and organize PDF pages, etc.

Let’s make PDF searchable on Windows Now!

  1. Import PDF into the program. You can choose “Scan”, put the paper file in to the scanner that connects with this program, to import the digital copy directly. Also you can choose “From File” to import PDFs from your PC.make pdf searchable on windows 01
  2. Then choose the output as PDF, also select output folder, rename the file if needed.make pdf searchable on windows 02
  3. You will find the PDF is fully searchable now.make pdf searchable on windows 03

Adobe VS PDF OCR Converter

No doubt, working as the most powerful comprehensive tool to manage PDFs, Adobe stands far above PDF OCR Converter. But when talking about performing OCR on a scanned file, PDF OCR Converters do better than Adobe:

  Input format Accuracy Output Format Price
Adobe Acrobat PDF(image can be imported) Accurate, you can manually adjust the suspected errors PDF, Word, Text, HTML, Image, Excel US$14.99/Month
Cisdem PDF Converter OCR PDF(Native and Scanned,Secured) Highly accurate, you can keep the original file quality Editable PDF, RTFD, DOCX, DOC, XLSX, PPTX, HTML, TEXT,  EPUB, PAGES and KEYNOTE,Image US$49.99/Life Time
Readiris 16 for Windows PDF(Native and Scanned), Paper File from Scanner Highly accurate, you can keep the original file quality PDF, DOCX, XLSX, ODT, ePub, Audio, RTF, HTML, TXT, Image US99/Life Time

What is your choice?

Just try before any commercial investment, and choose the one works for you.

2017-05-31 21:57:43 / Posted by to OCR PDF Mac Follow @ Jose

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