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How to OCR a PDF on Windows 10/8/7

Oct 13,2019 • Filed to: How-Tos • Proven solutions

Many PDF software programs include OCR functionality, which is a plus when handling scanned or image-based PDFs. But what is OCR? OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. This feature makes scanned documents editable and searchable. In this guide you will learn how to turn a scanned PDF into an editable file with PDFelement , as well as some other PDF OCR software recommendations.

How to OCR a PDF on Windows

Step 1. Open Files on PDFelement

Once you've installed PDFelement, you are now ready to perform OCR on your PDF. To open PDF files with this program, go to the "File" tab and click on "Open", or click "Open File..." button on the home screen. You can then select the PDF file from your computer that you would like to perform OCR on.

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Step 2. Run OCR on PDF

Go to the "Convert" tab and select "OCR". In the pop-up window, select the language you want to perform OCR in with your file. Click "OK" and then the program will perform OCR immediately.

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Step 3. Edit PDF after OCR

Click on the "Edit" tab to view the other editing options. To change text style and formatting, double click on the text to start modifying it as you desire. You can also edit images with ease.

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Video on How to OCR PDF with PDFelement

Other Online OCR PDF Editors

1. Soda PDF

This OCR PDF tool allows you to turn scanned PDFs into editable formats like Excel, Texts, Word and PowerPoint. Its OCR technology is fast and allows for batch conversion. Soda PDF not only converts scanned PDFs, but also ordinary PDF files, to any supported output format. You can also modify text and images on your PDF, as well as perform annotations, which allows you to mark your PDF for easy reading. With Soda PDF you can encrypt your PDF with passwords. Also this software allows you to share documents on DropBox, Evernote, Google Drive, One Dive and Box.

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2. ABBYY PDF Transformer +3

This OCR PDF software is integrated with advanced OCR technology. It has the ability to detect both text and images. This is a useful tool because it supports up to 189 OCR languages such as English, Greek, Albanian, Chinese, Arabic, and more. This software also allows you to edit text and images as well as convert, create and combine PDF files. Furthermore, this software lets you protect your PDF from unauthorized access.

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3. Google Drive

Google Drive letS you perform OCR on your images and PDF files. Just upload the scanned PDF file or image to Google Drive. It will show you a new screen to set different options for performing OCR on your document. One drawback to using Google Drive is the quality. If you cannot compromise on the quality of the text, you should try PDFelement's OCR feature instead.

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4. Free OCR

FreeOCR lets you directly scan images or PDF documents from your scanner. You can also scan documents or images through your mobile phone and upload them to FreeOCR to perform OCR on the files. This tool gives promising results for simple documents, but not for more complex documents consisting of tables and Excel sheets, for example. Another problem associated with this software is the malware attached to it. Any time you download the software onto your computer, you will have to install a third-party software or extension to complete the installation process, which will in turn make your PC slower.

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5. SimpleOCR

SimpleOCR is one of the most popular OCR software programs out there. With SimpleOCR, you can change the font and imaging of image-based scanned PDF files. This saves you countless hours in the process.

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6. PDF Converter Pro

This list isn't complete without a PDF to OCR sofware program - PDF Converter Pro. This highly-rated software features cutting-edge OCR technology. This program allows you to convert scanned PDFs or image based PDFs to formats like Excel, PPT, Word, Text, HTML and EPUB. This program also:

  • Supports uploading unlimited PDF files for batch conversion.
  • Merges multiple PDFs to a single file with just a click
  • Can convert password protected PDF documents
  • Creates PDFs from Excel, PowerPoint, Word, TXT, EPUB, and more.
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7. OnlineOCR

Another free website that offers OCR capability is Online OCR. This online PDF OCR editor lets you convert PDF files to editable formats like Word, Excel and Text for free. This online tool will let you extract images and text from your PDF. It offers multilingual OCR and supports up to 46 languages which include English, Danish, Chinese, Korean, Estonian, Finnish and more. All you have to do is register to enjoy all of these useful features.

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8. Evernote

Evernote allows users to maintain professional documents, and edit personal files separate from work files. Evernote also connects to other devices, such as tablets and Smartphones. Their OCR feature has made them one of the most popular software programs currently on the market. Evernote also allows users to save images and photographs.

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9. PaperPort Professional

PaperPort Professional is another popular OCR PDF converter. It offers a multilingual OCR feature that allows you to make scanned PDF files editable with just a few clicks. The best part about this software is that it allows you to perform multiple conversions of files, as well as edit both text and images. You can also modify pages of your PDF file and fill out PDF forms.

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Why PDFelement is the Best PDF OCR Tool

PDFelement tops the list as the best PDF OCR software. This software comes with cutting-edge OCR functionality that is well integrated with multiple languages including English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and more. Plus, PDFelement allows you to convert image-based files to other file formats like Word, Text, Excel, Images, HTML and EPUB.

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This PDF OCR software also has many other features:

  • It has a wide variety of PDF editing tools, enabling you to modify text, highlight text, switch images, add pages, add comments and more.
  • It converts PDFs to various formats like Word, Excel, PPT, texts, and images etc. and retains the quality of your document.
  • It does a batch conversion of files, saving you lots of time.
  • It fills in PDF forms and offers options to create personalized PDF forms.
  • It can improve the security of your document by adding password and permissions.

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