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 various ways to make a PDF searchable. You can publish the document as PDF if you are working with word processors. However, if you already have a file that you want to make searchable, an OCR tool like 2PDF is your best solution. Below are the steps required to successfully make a PDF searchable with OCR on 2PDF.

  1. Open PDF OCR – OCR works on image-based files, so you should scan the document or ensure it is saved as an image-based PDF. Next, click on All Tools from the main navigation and select PDF OCR. This will launch the program on a new window.
  2. Upload PDF – There are two ways to upload your file on 2PDF. You can drag and drop the file directly onto the OCR or choose the file from your computer. The process will take a few seconds depending on the PDF size.
  3. OCR PDF – To OCR your PDF, set the language and format you want for the final output and click on the red Recognize button. The program will make the document searchable after which you can download the OCR’d PDF.

Benefits of using 2PDF for OCR

2PDF is a convenient tool that allows you to convert images and scanned documents into searchable and editable PDF, Word, Excel, and other text formats. Below are five benefits of using 2PDF for OCR.

  • Free – 2PDF is a free tool, so you can OCR your PDF files for free.
  • Instant – The tool offers online conversions you can achieve anytime, anywhere.
  • Fast – 2PDF converts PDF to searchable OCR’d files in a matter of seconds.
  • Easy – The process is simple; upload, specify language, convert, and download.
  • Convenient – You can upload files from your computer, phone, Dropbox, Google Drive, or drag and drop.

What is OCR?

The simple question of what is OCR is best answered when you express the acronym. OCR simply means optical character recognition, which refers to an electronic mechanism that recognizes optical characters and converts them to machine-encoded text. An optical character can be any scanned file of printed or hand-written documents, a photograph, or a screenshot taken using a phone or computer snapshots.

How does it work?

When you run OCR on a PDF file, the first step is preprocessing, which cleans the document and separates the characters from everything else. Next, the process will isolate each character and compare it to a library to determine what it is. Advanced OCRs use more sophisticated programs to process handwritten documents by comparing character structure like the two vertical lines and a crossing horizontal line in the letter ‘H’. The programs also recognize groups of characters as words and compare them with the next word and sentence.

Digitizing scanned documents

Learning how to OCR a PDF is vital whenever you want to digitize scanned files. If you have the physical documents, using high-quality scanners and capturing the best quality image will go a long way in ensuring successful OCR processing. Scanners have varying capabilities, and so do OCRs. Make sure you are using a reliable tool with advanced programs that can recognize all types of scanned documents and snapshots.

How to make a PDF text unsearchable

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 or optical character reader (OCR) is the electronic or mechanical conversion of images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, a photo of a document, a scene-photo (for example the text on signs and billboards in a landscape photo) or from subtitle text superimposed on an image (for example from a television broadcast).Widely used as a form of data entry from printed paper data records – whether passport documents, invoices, bank statements, computerized receipts, business cards, mail, printouts of static-data, or any suitable documentation – it is a common method of digitizing printed texts so that they can be electronically edited, searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line, and used in machine processes such as cognitive computing, machine translation, (extracted) text-to-speech, key data and text mining. OCR is a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Yearly versions needed to be trained with images of each character, and worked on one font at a time. Advanced systems capable of producing a high degree of recognition accuracy for most fonts are now common, and with support for a variety of digital image file format inputs. Some systems are capable of reproducing formatted output that closely approximates the original page including images, columns, and other non-textual components.
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