2022-09-08 17:15:25 • Filed to:
• Proven solutions
Have you ever wondered how to search a scanned PDF for words that match your criteria? Surprisingly, many PDF users don't know how to word search a scanned PDF document, and it's understandable because these are essentially image-based files. So, how do you convert a scanned document into a searchable PDF? The answer is Optical Character Recognition or OCR for short. It's a technology that helps convert image-based text into an editable equivalent. In truth, not many OCR modules are that accurate, which is why we've highlighted a tool that will convert any scanned PDF and make it fully editable, searchable, and indexable by search engines as well. No more wondering how to word search a scanned PDF document, Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor will help you.
PDFelement is a professional but highly intuitive tool to handle PDF documents. One of the main features of the Pro version is that it comes with an OCR plugin or module that can convert any scanned PDF into a searchable PDF document. The process to convert a scanned PDF into an editable version is described below:
Once PDFelement is installed on your PC or Mac, you can simply drag a scanned PDF document and drop it into the desktop shortcut or the app icon to open it. If the program is already open, just hit "Open files" on the left side of the Home window, as shown in the screenshot below.
Once the file is open, bring your mouse pointer to the "Tool" tab at the top. In the ribbon-style toolbar right below it, you'll see an icon labeled OCR. You only need to do this if the software doesn't automatically show you a prompt to do an OCR scan-and-convert action. When you see the notification bar, click on the corresponding "Perform OCR" button.
At this point, we're still in Step 2 because the OCR is yet to be performed. In the new window that opens up, you can tweak your OCR settings by changing parameters such as language and whether you want the output as simply searchable text or editing the text after conversion. You'll also see a "Page Range" option that lets you choose which pages or groups of pages you want to convert. This obviously saves time because you won't need to scan and convert the entire document. Finally, click "Apply" after choosing the parameters and wait for the OCR to be completed.
Depending on which conversion option you picked in the previous step, you'll either be able to find and replace text within the PDF document or simply find all instances of the searched word. For both cases, you can use the "Ctrl+F" or "Cmd+F" function in Windows and Mac, respectively.
Alternatively, you can also use the "Search" option (magnifying glass icon) on the left-side toolbar to find specific words and phrases, with options to match the whole word and/or match text case. The text search panel will highlight the found instances, and the main panel will show you their positions in the document.
Performing OCR to search scanned PDFs for words and phrases is just one of the numerous functions that PDFelement can help you with. As a robust PDF editor, creator, and converter, it offers many tools that can help you manage your PDF workflows and be more efficient and productive at work. Some of its core functions are outlined below:
With PDFelement, there's no more wondering how to search a scanned PDF for words or hunt around for multiple tools or online services to convert, create, protect, and do other PDF actions. Safely manage your PDFs locally on your machine until you're ready to share them with collaborators over a secure network or after protecting them with encryption.