How to OCR PDF on Mac (including macOS 11)
Image-based PDF documents are common both for personal and business use. However, these kinds of files can be difficult to edit, especially if you don't have the right software. To edit, copy, or search through scanned PDF files, you need to look for a program equipped with Optical Character Recognition (OCR). In this article, we'll introduce you to a great OCR software Mac - PDFelement. We'll also explain how to OCR PDFs on Mac (macOS 11 Big Sur included).
How to OCR a PDF on Mac
To perform OCR on Mac is easy if you are using the right tools, such as PDFelement. Below, we'll outline how to use all of its robust features.
Step 1. Import a Scanned PDF
First, you need to open PDFelement for Mac, and then open your scanned PDF file in the program. To do so, click on "Open" button and select the file that you want to OCR.
Step 2. Recognize PDF with OCR
When the scanned PDF is opened, the program will detect it and remind you to perform OCR. After clicking on the "Perform OCR" button, a pop-up window will appear. Here you will be required to select an OCR language that matches your PDF content. You can also specify an ideal DPI and page range to perform OCR. After that, click on the "Perform OCR" button. OCR will be performed immediately.
Step 3. Edit the PDF (Optional)
After OCR is complete, a new PDF file will be automatically opened in the program, which is already searchable and editable. You can click on the "Edit" button to start editing the content. Learn more about how to edit scanned PDFs on Mac here.
The Best OCR Software on Mac
PDFelement for Mac not only allows you to edit standard PDFs, but it also lets you modify scanned PDFs. With advanced OCR technology, image-based PDFs can be turned into editable text immediately. OCR technology supports languages such as English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Chinese, and French.
Also, PDFelement for Mac is built with several editing tools that let you modify the text, images, and pages, or markup and comment on PDFs, plus more. This program lets you convert your PDF file to or from other file types, such as Excel, Word, HTML, images, PPT, EPUB, Text, etc. It is fully compatible with macOS X 10.12 (Sierra), 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), and 11 (Big Sur).
Tips: Preview Does Not Support OCR on Mac
Preview is a built-in program on Mac, which can help you read, edit, and manage PDF files. However, this does not include scanned PDFs. If your PDF document is a scanned or image-based PDF file, then Preview won't help you edit or make any changes to the PDF file because it does not have the OCR feature.
Tips: Automator Can Not Extract Text from Scanned PDFs
Automator is usually used to extract text from PDFs. However, this will only work on normal, non-scanned PDF files. It does not support extracting text from scanned or image-based PDF files as it does not support OCR.
Tips: Adobe Reader for Mac Can Not OCR PDFs on Mac
Adobe Reader for Mac is also widely used for Mac users to view and manage PDF documents since it is a free tool. Unfortunately, this program doesn't support OCR technology. This means you won't be able to edit a scanned or image-based PDF file unless you pay for the upgraded version of Adobe Acrobat to edit or manipulate the scanned PDF document.
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