How to Convert Scanned PDF Documents to Text with OCR?

PDF Reader enables you to extract text content from images and scanned PDFs and turn them into searchable and editable PDF files using optical character recognition (OCR).


PDF Conversion with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

With OCR, you can extract text content from scanned documents without re-creating and re-formatting them. You can scan printed or paper documents, such as magazines, journals, posters, and more, and convert them into editable PDFs or text files for further editing in essays, reports, or homework assignments. Learn how PDF Reader uses OCR technology to convert your scanned files into editable PDF files.


How To Recognize Text with OCR and Convert to Searchable PDF Documents on Mac

The OCR functionality in PDF Reader makes text recognition as simple as possible. Choose the file you want to apply OCR for, and PDF Reader will handle the rest.

OCR Scanned Documents:

  1. Open the PDF and click OCR from the top menu.


  1. Select a page range where you woul like to apply OCR.


  1. You can set PDF Reader to automatically detect the language of a document, or you can manually select a language for the document.


  1. Select a destination folder for the output. Then you could choose searchable PDF or plain text as the output format.


  1. Click OK, and PDF Reader will process the OCR conversion.

OCR Images:

  1. Go to the Home tab and select Image to PDF.


  1. You can import images from Mac Finder, camera, and scanner by clicking Add Files.


  1. After you've imported images, you can toggle the Merge All option in the Output section to combine all images into one PDF. Alternatively, you can directly add the output file to the existing PDF.


  1. To perform OCR, simply toggle the OCR option to choose the language for the images.


  1. Click Save as PDF, and PDF Reader will convert the images to searchable PDFs with OCR.

How does OCR Work? Examples of How It is Used

OCR is typically used to create selectable and editable text files from printed documents. Once scanned paper documents are converted to digits with OCR, the text can then be edited with word-processing software like Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Eliminate Manual Work

No matter how well-trained you are, manual data entry is always prone to errors. When you make only one mistake, it will not cause a big problem. However, if you make several mistakes, you will be frustrated and, worse yet: you will lose money. Using OCR technology, you can create searchable and editable text files that eliminate human error when composing documents from scratch.

Make Immutable Files Searchable

Printed documents and textual electronic images contain information that cannot be searched or edited. This means they contain a lot of frozen information. The problem is that it's difficult for you to find a specific phrase, word, or piece of vital information efficietly. By using OCR technology, you can convert that frozen text into machine-readable data that can be searched. You can then find and capture the essential information in the documents, which can be copied and pasted for other purposes.

Stay Organized in a Paperless Life

Despite the fact that many places have digitized the receipt process, you may still receive a printed receipt in a sales transaction. It's a good idea to digitize these receipts, so they can be preserved. Some employers even ask for receipts when they process expense reports. The OCR tool will help you quickly view old receipts to carry out your taxes or claim warranty claims.


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