PDF OCR Conversion: Step by Step

Streamline your document management and improve productivity with OCR to PDF conversion.

Professional accountant under a pile of papers using PDF to OCR conversion

PDFs, or Portable Document Formats, are widely-used for presenting and sharing information. However, PDFs are not searchable and cannot be edited easily. This is where OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, comes in.

By using PDF OCR conversion, users can search for specific words or phrases, copy and paste text, and edit the document with ease. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of converting PDFs to OCR and how it can benefit people and businesses alike.

What is PDF OCR?

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What is PDF OCR?

PDF OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition of PDFs. It refers to the process of converting scanned images or PDF documents into machine-readable text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

When you scan a document or receive a PDF document that is not searchable, it will be saved as an image file, which means the content in the file cannot be edited or searched. OCR technology can recognize the text in the image and convert it into editable and searchable text, which can be very useful for digital document management.

OCR PDF software can be used to extract text from scanned documents or PDF files, allowing you to search for and edit specific words or phrases in the document. It can also be used to convert paper-based documents into digital formats, making them easier to store, search, and share.

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Reasons Why You Would Want to Convert PDF OCR

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the process of converting scanned images or PDF files into searchable and editable text. There are several reasons why you would want to OCR a PDF:

  • To make the PDF searchable: When you put PDF in OCR, the text in the document is converted into searchable text, which allows you to find specific words or phrases within the document quickly and easily.
  • To extract data from a PDF: OCR can help extract data from scanned PDF documents, such as invoices, receipts, and forms, and convert it into a machine-readable format. This can save time and effort in data entry and reduce the risk of errors.
  • To edit a PDF: OCR makes it possible to convert a scanned PDF into an editable format such as Word, which allows you to make changes or updates to the document easily.
  • To improve accessibility: OCR makes PDF files more accessible for people with visual impairments by converting the text in the document into a format that can be read by text-to-speech software or other assistive technologies.
  • To reduce storage space: PDF OCR can reduce the storage space required for PDF documents by removing the need to keep both the scanned image and the text version of the document.

Overall, OCR PDFs technology provides several benefits, including improved searchability, data extraction, editing capabilities, accessibility, and reduced storage requirements, making it a valuable tool for many businesses and individuals.

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Benefit of Converting PDF OCR: Searchability

One of the primary benefits of OCR PDF conversion is that it makes documents searchable. With OCR, users can quickly locate specific words or phrases within a PDF document.

This is particularly helpful for individuals or businesses that regularly deal with large amounts of documents. Without OCR PDF to Word, searching for specific content in multiple PDFs can be a very time-consuming task.

Time-Saving Benefit of OCR PDF

Converting PDF to OCR can save a lot of time, especially when it comes to data entry or extracting information. OCR can recognize characters and convert them into editable text, making it easy to copy and paste content.

Such a benefit is particularly relevant for businesses working with invoices, receipts, and bills of lading. OCR can extract relevant data from PDF and input it into accounting software quickly and accurately.

Cost-Saving Benefit of OCR PDF

OCR to PDF can also save businesses a lot of money. Traditionally, businesses that needed to digitize large volumes of documents would hire data entry operators to enter information into a digital format manually. This process can be time-consuming and expensive.

By converting PDFs to OCR, the need for manual data entry is minimized, resulting in significant cost savings.

Accessibility Benefit of PDF to OCR

Converting PDFs to OCR can also make documents more accessible for people with disabilities. For example, visually impaired people can use screen readers to access the document’s content.

In addition, users who struggle with reading comprehension or have dyslexia can benefit from OCR since it makes the text easier to read and understand.

Accessibility Benefit of PDF to OCR

Lastly, OCR PDFs can help preserve historical documents. By converting PDFs to OCR, old and fragile documents can be digitized and archived digitally. This preserves the content while also minimizing potential damage to the original document.

As you can see, OCR is a valuable tool for converting PDFs into searchable and editable documents. OCR can save time, money, and resources, while also making documents more accessible and preserving historical content.

Whether you’re an individual or a business, the benefits of converting PDFs to OCR are undeniable.

How to OCR a PDF

To OCR a PDF, you can use a variety of OCR software or tools available online. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Choose an OCR software or tool: There are several OCR software and tools available, such as Artsyl docAlpha, Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader, Readiris, and online tools like Google Drive OCR or Smallpdf. Choose one that suits your needs and budget.
  2. Open the PDF file in the OCR software: Open the PDF file you want to OCR in the software or tool you have chosen.
  3. Select the OCR option: Look for the OCR option in the software or tool you are using. It may be under a menu or toolbar labeled «OCR» or «Recognize Text.»
  4. Choose the language: Select the language of the text in the PDF if the OCR tool requires it.
  5. Start the OCR process: Start the OCR process by clicking on the «OCR» or «Recognize Text» button. This will initiate the OCR process and convert the scanned image or PDF file into editable and searchable text.
  6. Save the OCR PDF: Once the OCR process is complete, save the OCR PDF file to your computer.
  7. Check the OCR PDF: Open the newly created OCR PDF and check if the text is searchable and editable.

These steps may vary depending on the OCR software or tool you use. However, most OCR tools follow a similar process to convert scanned images or PDF files into editable and searchable text.

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How to OCR a PDF in Artsyl docAlpha

To OCR a PDF in Artsyl docAlpha, follow these steps:

  1. Open Artsyl docAlpha and log in to your account.
  2. Click on «Batch Processing» in the main menu.
  3. Click on the «New Batch» button.
  4. In the «New Batch» window, select the document type that you want to OCR.
  5. Click on «Add Documents» to select the PDF file that you want to OCR.
  6. Once the document is added, click on «Process.»
  7. In the «Process Batch» window, select «OCR» as the processing option.
  8. Select the language of the text in the PDF from the drop-down menu next to «OCR Language.»
  9. Click on «Process» to start the OCR process.

Once the OCR process is complete, the text will be extracted from the PDF file and saved as a searchable and editable document. You can review the extracted data by clicking on the «View Data» button. You can also edit or verify the extracted data before saving it if necessary.

Once you have reviewed and verified the extracted data, click on the «Export» button to save the data in the desired format.

Artsyl docAlpha also provides additional options for OCR, such as adjusting the OCR settings for accuracy or setting up automated OCR workflows. These options can be found in the «OCR» menu under the «Batch Processing» pane.

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How to OCR PDF to Word

You can OCR a PDF and convert it to Word using Adobe Acrobat or other OCR software that supports exporting to Word format. Here are the steps to OCR a PDF and convert it to Word using Adobe Acrobat:

  • Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.
  • Click on the «Export PDF» tool in the right-hand pane.
  • Select «Microsoft Word» as the export format.
  • Click on the «Export» button.
  • In the «Save As» dialog box, give the file a name and select the location where you want to save the Word document.
  • Click on the «Save» button.

Acrobat will now OCR the PDF and convert it to a Word document. Once the conversion is complete, the Word document will open in Microsoft Word. Check the Word document to ensure that the text has been correctly converted.

If necessary, you can make any required edits or formatting changes in Word and then save the document in the desired format.

Note that the OCR and conversion process may take some time, depending on the size and complexity of the PDF file. Additionally, the quality of the OCR output can vary depending on the quality of the original PDF and the OCR software used.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the advantages of using PDF to OCR in your business are numerous. From saving time and money to improving accuracy and reducing paper usage, implementing OCR technology can significantly impact your business. If you’re interested in exploring OCR further, we recommend speaking to a trusted provider to help you determine the best solution for your specific business needs.

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What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology used to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files, or images captured by a digital camera, into editable and searchable data.

How Does OCR for PDF Work?

OCR software scans the text in a PDF file and converts it into an editable format like Word or text. This process involves identifying the characters on a scanned image and translating them into characters in an editable format.

Is OCR Software Accurate?

The accuracy of OCR software can vary depending on the quality of the document being scanned and the OCR technology being used. However, many modern OCR software solutions have high accuracy rates, especially when the scanned documents are clear and well-formatted.

Can OCR Handle Multiple Languages?

Yes, most modern OCR software can handle multiple languages. However, you may need to specify the language for best results.

Is OCR to PDF Software Expensive?

The cost of OCR software ranges from free, open-source options to specialized, enterprise-level packages. Pricing often depends on the capabilities offered and the number of documents you need to process.

Can OCR Extract Data from Forms and Tables?

Yes, advanced OCR software can identify and extract data from forms and tables, although the accuracy can vary.

How Can I Improve OCR Accuracy?

To improve OCR accuracy, make sure the document is as clear as possible. Use high-resolution scans and avoid any wrinkles or smudges on the paper.

Are There Online OCR Services?

Yes, there are numerous online services that offer OCR conversion. However, be cautious when using these for sensitive or confidential information.

Is It Possible to Do Batch OCR Conversions?

Yes, most enterprise-level OCR software allows for batch processing, where you can convert multiple PDF files simultaneously.

Can OCR Software Be Integrated with Other Software?

Yes, many OCR solutions offer APIs or other integration options to work seamlessly with document management systems, ERP systems, or other enterprise software.

How Long Does OCR Conversion Take?

Can OCR Software Be Integrated with Other Software?

The time for OCR conversion depends on the complexity and length of the document as well as the speed of the OCR software. Most modern software can handle a standard document within seconds.

Can OCR Handle Handwritten Text?

While some advanced OCR systems can recognize handwritten text, the accuracy is generally lower than for printed text.

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