Want to search a word within a scanned PDF file but not allowed to? You will need to process OCR on the scanned PDF first. Here in this article, 4 ways to convert a scanned PDF to searchable PDF are introduced, helping you to turn your image PDF to text PDF easily and with original formatting retained.
No, you cannot.
A scanned PDF is in essence an image-based file, all the texts are saved in bitmap image format, you cannot copy, search or modify.
If you want to search a scanned PDF, you need to make the file searchable first, in other words, convert an image PDF to text PDF with OCR.
OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition, it is widely applied to recognize the texts from scans and images, so you don’t have to type each word again. Without OCR, you device won’t be able to read texts from the file.
If you have talked with someone who also needs to convert PDF to searchable PDF, you will find they finally choose a OCR tool to get the job done, because a OCR program brings accurate OCR result and high quality conversion. The most important is, it is easy and fast to perform OCR on scanned files.
Then, what we should use to convert scanned PDF to searchable PDF on Mac?
The answer would be Cisdem PDF Converter OCR. It is a mac application to create and convert PDF files, having an excellent support on different input and output formats. With its OCR feature, you can convert scanned PDF and images to searchable PDF, to editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ePub, HTML, Text, Keynote, Pages and RTFD format, no matter your file is in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanse, French or others.
Just like converting scanned PDF to searchable PDF on Mac, we need a Windows compatible OCR program to convert PDF to searchable PDF on Windows PC. Since there are so many users looking for the tutorial of performing the conversion with Bluebeam OCR, here we use Bluebeam as an example to show how we convert a scanned PDF.
Bluebeam is a piece of software designed to create, markup and edit PDFs, it has several editions, while its Revu eXtreme is the one adding OCR feature. It allows users to convert single or multiple scanned PDF to searchable PDF, Text, RTF, HTML, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, also to image formats.
If you have installed Adobe Acrobat, conversion of scanned PDF to searchable PDF can be even easier, since Adobe can auto detect a scanned PDF and recognize the text with Adobe OCR. Also, being a powerful PDF editor, you can revise the OCR errors or edit the PDF file freely.
Also, there are online free tools available to convert image scanned PDF to text searchable PDF, the conversion accuracy will be lower than offline professional OCR programs, but still worth a try.
Convertio is an online free platform supporting file conversions on video, audio, image, ebook, font, document and so on. Convertio OCR is a part of Convertio conversion services, allowing users to convert scanned files in PDF and image format to searchable PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text, RTF, CSV, ePub… It supports batch conversion and recognizing 50+ languages, but you can convert 10 pages for free, for more pages, you have to pay.
Online2pdf is a free tool to create, convert, organize and edit PDF files. It helps to convert scanned PDF to searchable PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text and ebook format. 20+ file languages can be recognized by this program, but you can only convert 20 pages for free OCR services. One thing that differs online2pdf from Convertio is that, online2pdf allows users to protect, merge and compress the searchable PDF output.
For the solutions to convert scanned PDF to searchable PDF, we can go on and add more tools onto our recommendation list, but above mentioned are always picked and recommended by our users. Also, today, more and more users are willing to pay for a professional PDF converter with OCR feature, because such a program just brings what users expect, accurate conversion result, auto task, batch support, saving as other formats for future needs…
So, which one do you choose to convert your scanned PDF files?
Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.