If a scan to PDF document is a single image, you aren't able to select and use the text as is. In this tutorial, learn how to edit scanned PDF and OCR PDF, including how to edit text in a scanned PDF scan using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Donna Baker March 23, 2012
On many scanned documents, you just click the Selection tool then click and drag to select some text on the page. Once the text is selected, you right-click over the text and then pick a command to copy, export, or use the text in other ways.
In this version of the same document, click the Selection tool and click the page with the tool to start the selection. It doesn’t always work! Instead of showing the Text cursor, the visible page turns blue. Zoom out, and you see the full page highlighted.
The scanned document doesn’t contain text and images. Instead, the page is a single image, so you can’t select and use the text as is. Acrobat can use OCR - (Optical Character Recognition) to define the text on the page. Click Tools to open the Tools pane, and then click Show or hide panels to open the menu. Click Recognize Text.
The Recognize Text tools open. Click In This File to open the Recognize Text dialog box. To check the settings, click Edit. When the dialog box opens you see the current page is already selected.
Click the drop-down arrow to pick a scan option. Of the three options—ClearScan works the best for most documents. Click to close the list. Click the drop-down arrow to pick a scan resolution. The 300 or 600 dpi choices are best for capturing text. When you’re done, click OK, then click OK to start the text capture.
Acrobat processes the page. Now you can select the text, right-click to open the shortcut menu, and reuse the text as you like.
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