Convert Scanned Documents and Images into Editable Word, Pdf, Excel and text output formats

How to recognize text?

step 1
step 1
Upload file
Select file, which you want to convert from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox or drag and drop it on the page
step 2
step 2
Select language and output format
Select all languages used in your document. Also choose any desired output format, for example, .doc (more than 10 text formats supported)
step 3
step 3
Convert & Download
Click the 'Recognize' button and then download your file with the recognized text

Different types of PDF files

Before you begin to make your PDF text searchable using OCR, it is vital to know the different types of PDF files. The three popular types are described below.

  • Text-Only PDF – Also known as true PDF or text-based PDF. This file is made when you save a document as PDF using a word processor or any save to PDF function/application.
  • Image-Only PDF – As the name suggests, image-based files are created when they are scanned or captured as an image. Examples include files taken by a scanner, photograph, screenshot function, etc.
  • OCR PDF – Refers to files made searchable using optical character recognition (OCR). The process reads the document structure and adds a text layer that’s searchable.

How to make a PDF searchable with OCR

There are several methods for making a PDF searchable. If you're working with word processors, you can publish the document directly as a PDF. However, if you already have a file that needs to be made searchable, using an OCR tool like 2PDF is your best option. Follow these steps to successfully make your PDF searchable with OCR on 2PDF:

  1. Open PDF OCR – OCR operates on image-based files, so you'll need to scan the document or ensure it's saved as an image-based PDF. Then, click on All Tools in the main navigation and select PDF OCR. This will open the program in a new window.
  2. Upload PDF – There are two ways to upload your file to 2PDF. You can either drag and drop the file directly onto the OCR interface or select the file from your computer. The upload process will take a few seconds, depending on the size of the PDF.
  3. OCR PDF – To perform OCR on your PDF, set the desired language and format for the final output, and click the red Recognize button. The program will make the document searchable, after which you can download the OCR-processed PDF.

Benefits of using 2PDF for OCR

2PDF is a handy utility that enables you to transform images and scanned documents into searchable and editable PDF, Word, Excel, and other text formats. Here are five advantages of utilizing 2PDF for OCR:

  • Free – 2PDF is a complimentary tool, allowing you to OCR your PDF files without any cost.
  • Instant – The tool provides on-the-spot conversions accessible whenever and wherever you need them.
  • Fast – 2PDF swiftly changes PDFs into searchable, OCR-enhanced files in just seconds.
  • Easy – The procedure is straightforward: upload, choose language, convert, and download.
  • Convenient – You have the option to upload files from your computer, phone, Dropbox, Google Drive, or simply drag and drop them.

What is OCR?

The meaning of OCR is best expressed when you spell out the acronym. OCR stands for optical character recognition, which is an electronic process that recognizes optical characters and converts them into machine-encoded text. Optical characters can be scanned files of printed or handwritten documents, photographs, or screenshots taken with a phone or computer.

How does it work?

When seeking to understand how to split pages in a PDF, you'll likely need to learn how to merge, extract, rotate, compress, and OCR PDF files. 2PDF is a comprehensive suite of tools designed to simplify PDF file processing. Here are two tools you may need at some point:

  • Merge PDF – Splitting files enables you to obtain specific sections of the document or separate it into smaller portions. Conversely, merging combines two or more individual files to create a single, larger PDF document.
  • Compress PDF – If your goal in splitting files is to reduce their size or save space, compression is a superior alternative. Compression retains all the information in the file while minimizing its size.

Digitizing scanned documents

Mastering the skill of OCR-ing a PDF is essential when you aim to digitize scanned documents. When working with physical files, using top-notch scanners and capturing high-quality images significantly contributes to successful OCR processing. Scanners come with various capabilities, as do OCR tools. Ensure you're using a dependable tool equipped with cutting-edge technology, capable of recognizing a wide range of scanned documents and images.

How to make a PDF text searchable

Using OCR for PDF allows you to make a scanned file searchable and editable. However, there are times when you want to create a non-searchable PDF file. The process simply converts the text elements into an image-only format that standard search tools and functions don’t recognize. Below are the two best methods for making your PDF text unsearchable.

  • Image-Only PDF – You don’t need OCR for PDF to use this method. Simply save the document as an image-only PDF within the processor you are using.
  • Use 2DPF – 2PDF allows you to run OCR when you need to make a text searchable. The site also converts searchable documents to unsearchable image-based PDFs. Simply select the conversion you want at the top menu, upload your file, convert, and download. The platform offers tools for converting, merging, splitting, password protecting, unlocking PDF, etc.

Optical character recognition

Optical character recognition (OCR) is a process that converts images of typed, handwritten, or printed text into machine-readable text. OCR technology can convert scanned documents, photos of documents, scene-photos, or subtitles superimposed on an image into machine-encoded text. OCR is commonly used to digitize printed text from paper records such as passports, invoices, bank statements, business cards, and mail. Digitized text can be electronically edited, searched, stored more efficiently, and used in machine processes such as cognitive computing, machine translation, and text mining. OCR is a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, and computer vision. While early versions of OCR needed to be trained with images of each character and worked on one font at a time, advanced systems are now capable of producing highly accurate recognition for most fonts and support a variety of digital image file formats. Some OCR systems can even reproduce formatted output that closely resembles the original page, including images, columns, and other non-textual components.