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How to Edit Scanned PDF on macOS 11 in 2024

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2024-05-22 10:38:25 • Filed to: Edit PDFs on Mac • Proven solutions

When you scan a document on Mac including macOS 11 it is automatically saved in an image format. Even if you convert the scanned document to a PDF file, you still will not be able to edit the scanned PDF on Mac without the use of a specific program. You can edit image-based PDFs on Mac by using a PDF software that features OCR. The OCR feature will convert scanned PDF documents into editable text, so, you can edit then edit the documents using the PDF editor or by converting it to a text-based file format so you can edit it using Microsoft Word or Preview on Mac. This article outlines how to edit a scanned PDF document on Mac (including macOS Big Sur) using Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor and its powerful OCR feature.

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How to Edit Scanned PDF on Mac

Step 1: Open Scanned PDF

Open your scanned PDF file. Click on the "Open File" button on the Home screen.

how to edit a scanned document on mac

Step 2: Perform OCR

The program will automatically detect that the PDF is scanned and a notification bar will appear at the top of the screen. Click on the "Perform OCR" button that appears. If you cannot see the notification bar, click on the "OCR Text Recognition" button under the "Tool" tab. Select the language of your scanned document. After performing OCR, a newly created editable PDF will be opened in the program automatically.

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Step 3: Edit Scanned PDF on Mac

Click on the "Text" button to enable editing mode. Double-click on the text or the image that you want to edit within the newly-created PDF. For more detailed steps on how to edit PDF on Mac click here.

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Step 4: Save Changes after Editing Scanned PDF

After editing the document, you can save your edited PDF file. You can go to the File menu and select "Save As" or press "Command + Shift + S" from your Keyboard.

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Edit Scanned PDF Documents on Mac

PDFelement for Mac also provides another way to help you edit scanned PDF documents on Mac. You can convert the scanned PDF file to another editable file format. The steps are outlined below:

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Step 1: Load Scanned PDF

After launching the program, drag and drop your scanned PDF file into the program window to open it.

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Step 2: Convert Scanned PDF with OCR

Click the "Tool" button on the top column and select "Batch Process". In the new window, select "PDF Converter" to set options for the conversion. In the "Format" area, choose the output format as you want. Check the "OCR Setting" and select the language of your scanned PDF. Click "Apply" to start the process.

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Step 3: Edit Scanned PDF on Mac

After the file is converted, the converted document will appear in the output folder that you select and will be fully editable. You will then be able to edit the content as required.

The Best Tool to Edit Scanned PDF Documents on Mac

PDFelement for Mac is one of the best PDF editors on the market that features OCR so you can edit your documents exactly as you wish. Even if your document content in a language other than English. PDFelement will recognize the text in that language to provide you with the most accurate results. Many PDF editors that contain such a professional OCR feature have a very complicated user-interface, but with PDFelement for Mac, editing scanned documents is incredibly easy, even for beginners. It is compatible with macOS X 10.14,10.15 Catalina, and 11 Big Sur.


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Apart from editing scanned documents, you can use PDFelement to edit any text or image in a PDF file. You can also edit links in a PDF file.

This is a PDF managing tool that lets you annotate or convert PDF files. You can add different types of comments or notes to the PDF file as well, or add stamps or objects to your PDF file. All-in-all, PDFelement is the top productivity tool for working with PDF files in macOS X.

Tips for Performing OCR on Scanned or Image Based PDFs on Mac

OCR lets you convert any scanned document into editable PDF format. It matches the language and characters within the PDF file accurately to provide you with completely editable text that remains the original formatting. Here's how to get the most out of the OCR feature:

  • Always select the document language while performing the OCR.
  • Theh OCR feature can also be activated while converting the PDF document to word or any other format.
  • Instead of using online OCR tools, use an offline OCR tool installed on your computer.

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Audrey Goodwin

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