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How to Convert PDF to Editable Text

2020-05-27 16:20:52 • Filed to: How-Tos • Proven solutions

To convert PDF into editable text, software applications use a module that's built on Optical Character Recognition technology, or OCR technology. What it does is to scan the images and extract text characters from a mix of content types. In some cases, it's a straightforward text-only image PDF; in advanced use cases, it can extract the text from a mix of text, pictures, and other objects in the source PDF file. Although there are several free OCR options, the really accurate ones require a pro-level PDF editor. Today, we'll show you how to use the OCR plugin for PDFelement to convert scanned PDFs into editable text-based PDFs.

How to Convert PDF to Editable Text

Once you register your pro product, download the OCR plugin from within the software and enable it by following the on-screen instructions. That done, PDFelement will now be able to prompt you to "Perform OCR" whenever a scanned PDF that is image-based is opened. Here are the steps to do the OCR conversion of a scanned document.

Step 1. Click "Perform OCR"

When you see the notification to "Perform OCR", click on it. The software will prepare the document for conversion using the plugin you enabled. You can also enter OCR mode by choosing the "Convert" tab under the blue bar of the software window and then on the "OCR" option in the toolbar below it.

convert pdf to editable text

Step 2. Apply OCR Settings

Tweak your OCR parameters like language, choosing specific pages to convert, and even choosing between searchable text and editable text options. The one you want for this is "Editable Text".

pdf to editable text

Step 3. Editing Text after OCR

Since you converted the file for a specific purpose, we'll show you how to edit the text content after conversion. Click the "Edit" tab next to the "Convert" tab at the top and the "Edit" icon in the toolbar below.

convert scanned pdf to editable text

In addition to text, you can edit images, links, annotations, footers and headers, and just about any object in the PDF document. Save the file when you're done and you're good to go.

PDFelement for Windows and Mac (also iOS and Android) is a full-featured PDF editor with basic and advanced features. Basic features include the following:

  • Edit any PDF object, text, or element with all the necessary tools.
  • Read, annotate, and mark-up your PDFs with clear notes, callouts, shapes, stamps, and more.
  • Create PDF from practically any digital document source.
  • Manage PDF pages and files with reordering, merging, splitting, and other essential functions.
  • Fill digital forms quickly and put your signature on the document.
  • Convert non-interactive forms to completely fillable PDF forms.
  • Advanced form-creation and data extraction capabilities.
  • Accurate and fast OCR.
  • An extensive number of batch processes to improve your productivity.


How to Convert PDF to Editable Text Free Online

Using an online OCR service like hipdf, you can avoid installing software and save time. However, you'll need a robust Internet connection and a large data cap if you're going to use it regularly. Essentially, it works the same way as PDFelement, but with the difference that the OCR processing is done remotely on a cloud server. And you'll find the same level of accuracy as long as your connection is a stable one. To use the service for free, you'll need a Pro subscription that also gives you the desktop version. Many customers feel that they can rely on an online service in a pinch but prefer downloadable software because of the greater level of security.

  • 1. To convert your scanned PDF into editable text on hipdf, go to their homepage and click on "OCR" button in the header.
  • 2. Click the "Choose File" button to upload the file or upload it by dragging it into the browser window.
  • 3. Tweak the language and other settings, and choose the type of conversion - editable or searchable. Download the file when prompted and continue to edit the file using hipdf.
convert pdf to editable text free online

Your PDF will now be fully editable but you can still retain the original PDF scanned or photographed image-based file.

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!


Margarete Cotty

chief Editor

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