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Adobe Acrobat 7.0 / 8.0 Standard or Prof – Making pdfs searchable / OCRing


This is a quickie recipe on how convert those non-searchable (image only) pdfs into searchable pdfs. Note, if the pdfs contain images the OCRing of the pdf may not be 100% accurate.

This recipe requires you to have Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional; the reader will not have these advanced editing options.

In Acrobat 7.0/8.0, open up the PDF file you want to convert.

Once the non-searchable pdf is open, go to Document > Recognize Text Using OCR > Start

You can tell if a pdf is searchable or not by doing a search of the PDF in Acrobat. I usually will do a search for the word “the” since it prob is in the document.

If you get no results and do see the word, its a non-searchable pdf.

An alternative to doing this is Printing the PDF to the AdobePDF printer. This will also make the document searchable (ie you can print in Word to the AdobePDF printer and it will create a searchable pdf of that document).



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