How to create a searchable text document in Acrobat X or XI from a scanned page

Learn how to scan to PDF and how to OCR PDF to create searchable PDF files.

By Donna Baker – April 13, 2012


In this tutorial, learn how to scan to PDF and how to OCR PDF to create searchable PDF files.

Products covered:

Acrobat XIAcrobat X

Related topics:

Scan and Optimize

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Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-01-13 13, 2014

Hi Michael Duran,

Are you seeing any type of message in the Document Message Bar in these scanned documents? I’m wondering if ‘Make PDF/A” was accidently turned on. If so, try enabling editing in the message bar.


Michael Duran

4, 2014-01-08 08, 2014


The “In This File” and “In Mulitple Files” options under the Recognize Text tool are greyed out, thus not allowing me to make a searchable PDF.  The document was scanned into a PDF with my scanner.  It is located on my desktop (local) and it is not secured.  Do you know why the options are greyed out?

I appreciate any help you could give in this regard.  Thank you.


donna baker

4, 2013-06-04 04, 2013

Hi Riki -

The tool heading is Text Recognition, and you should find it under the Tools panel’s dropdown menu, or by choosing View > Tools > Text Recognition.


Riki Hermansyah

10, 2013-05-22 22, 2013

Why, in my acrobat XI there is no recognize text in Tools menu.

donna baker

8, 2012-11-19 19, 2012

Hi Jud -

First of all, I hope you’re referring to Acrobat, since Adobe is the entire company, and I can’t speak to that ;)

Metadata gets taken with other document contents when you convert to PDF. Once you have the document open in Acrobat, there are a few ways to remove the metadata.

Open the Tools pane, then choose Protection tools from the menu at the far right of the pane. Once that set of tools displays, you’ll find options to handle Hidden Information, which includes metadata.



4, 2012-11-13 13, 2012

Will converting to Adobe remove metadata? If not, how do I strip metadata with Adobe?

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