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Recognizing text in a scanned PDF

From: Acrobat X Essential Training

Video: Recognizing text in a scanned PDF

Now you can have Acrobat automatically run OCR on scans as you scan them in or on scans as you convert them to a PDF, but you can also start with just a regular picture PDF and then run the OCR directly from within Acrobat while you're looking at it. So let's see how that's done. If we go to Create, we are going to create a PDF from a file again, as we did in the previous video. And I'll use the magazinescan.tif again, but this time in Settings, I'm going to turn off OCR and Scan Optimization.

Recognizing text in a scanned PDF

Now you can have Acrobat automatically run OCR on scans as you scan them in or on scans as you convert them to a PDF, but you can also start with just a regular picture PDF and then run the OCR directly from within Acrobat while you're looking at it. So let's see how that's done. If we go to Create, we are going to create a PDF from a file again, as we did in the previous video. And I'll use the magazinescan.tif again, but this time in Settings, I'm going to turn off OCR and Scan Optimization.

And I'll click OK and then click Open. So it has converted the document to a PDF-- it's magazinescan.pdf--but it's a picture. Let me zoom out a bit. If I have the text selection tool, I can't select any text; it just recognizes it as one big picture. So to convert this to a recognizable PDF that has text that I can select, you would run the command from the Tools menu under Recognize text.

So we want to run it from in this file, and I am going to click In This File, and it says, "Which page is the current page," and again, here are the Settings that we've looked at before, so we can choose Edit. What is the primary OCR language? What language should it use? What language is this document in? It's in English (US), so we will leave it there. What is the PDF output style? And I had two examples to show you, but we have Searchable Image. Searchable Image (Exact), and Clear Scan. You will see what that difference is in a bit. I'm going to leave it at Searchable Image, which is the one you would normally want to use.

And then any kind of down sampling that you want to do, you can choose that option as well. I am going to leave it high-res at 600. Click OK and then click OK here. So it deskews the image, it rotates it, it does its image processing, it does its OCR, and then we ended up with actual text that you can swipe over and select, and you can search on it. So that's how you do it from within Acrobat. You don't have to do it at the same time that you're converting, or while you're scanning.

You can take any file that is currently in image and convert it into searchable text. Now let's look at those different kinds of searchable text. I am going to close this for a second. And we don't need to save any changes. This time I am going to open a couple of examples that I saved, and these are in your samples file, if you want to take a look. I will leave them at this size, but I am going to show them to you side by side by going to the Window menu and tiling them vertically. And we can close Tools there.

So on the left, we made this into a PDF using the Searchable Image setting, and this one is Clear Scan. And if we zoom in--I am pressing Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus a few times-- I think that you can see that the text in the Clear Scan one is cleaner than the text in the Searchable Image one. Can you see that? They both are actual text, but this one seems cleaner. So why would you ever want to choose Searchable Image, rather than Clear Scan as the kind of OCR output? Well, because Searchable Image is actually two things in one. It's the image; it's the actual scan that is sitting on top of the type.

So when you do this, you are selecting type that is behind these letters, and so this Searchable Image is the closest to the original that you can get, but still be searchable as far as text is concerned; whereas this one doesn't have any image data in it at all for the type. It's been replaced by actual characters, so it might not be exactly as true as what was in the scan. It's just clearer to read. For example, if there was a typeface that Adobe didn't recognize that was used here, it could not show you that typeface if it doesn't have that typeface loaded, so it's not going to be that close to the original if you use Clear Scan.

The third type of PDF output that you can make is called Searchable Image Exact, which gets even closer to the original. It would keep it tilted. It wouldn't deskew it. It would look exactly like the original scan; however, it would still be text behind there. So those are your choices when you do OCR. Do you want Clear Scan? Do you want a Searchable Image? I would say in my experience, most people use Searchable Image, because they want to keep the look of the scan, but they also wanted to do double duty as an actual PDF that's searchable and index-able.

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This video is part of

Image for Acrobat X Essential Training
Acrobat X Essential Training

97 video lessons · 32567 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción
Author

 
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  1. 1m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 55m 0s
    1. Opening documents and moving them around
      6m 3s
    2. Working with the toolbars
      5m 59s
    3. Working with the panels
      3m 43s
    4. Customizing the toolbar with Quick Tools
      4m 40s
    5. Using the Pages panel to navigate
      3m 57s
    6. Selecting and copying text and graphics
      3m 24s
    7. Rotating pages
      4m 49s
    8. Changing the viewing options
      6m 12s
    9. Reviewing preferences
      7m 6s
    10. Finding words and phrases
      2m 35s
    11. Searching a PDF and working with the Search panel
      4m 21s
    12. Sharing PDFs by email and with Adobe SendNow
      2m 11s
  3. 33m 18s
    1. Creating PDFs from Microsoft Office applications
      9m 46s
    2. Creating PDFs from Creative Suite applications
      8m 57s
    3. Creating PDFs from within Acrobat Pro
      4m 27s
    4. Creating PDFs from a web site
      8m 22s
    5. Creating PDFs from the clipboard
      1m 46s
  4. 30m 58s
    1. Editing text
      8m 51s
    2. Adding text
      4m 40s
    3. Editing images and graphics
      3m 39s
    4. Changing the page number display
      3m 48s
    5. Digitally signing PDFs
      6m 26s
    6. Cropping pages and documents
      3m 34s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Adding watermarks
      6m 17s
    2. Adding page backgrounds
      5m 41s
    3. Adding page numbers
      5m 56s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      9m 7s
    5. Adding bookmarks
      11m 30s
    6. Attaching files to a PDF
      7m 11s
    7. Adding metadata
      3m 45s
    8. Optimizing a PDF for file size and compatibility
      10m 12s
    9. Creating initial view settings
      7m 16s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Adding hyperlinks to URLs
      7m 33s
    2. Creating links with the Link tool
      6m 9s
    3. Working with interactive actions
      6m 56s
    4. Creating and adding buttons
      6m 28s
    5. Adding video, sound, and SWF files
      7m 29s
    6. Adding page transitions
      3m 24s
  7. 27m 12s
    1. Extracting pages
      3m 53s
    2. Splitting a PDF into multiple files
      4m 13s
    3. Inserting pages from files and other sources
      5m 42s
    4. Moving, copying, and replacing pages
      8m 17s
    5. Combining PDFs
      5m 7s
  8. 27m 9s
    1. Exporting text
      8m 33s
    2. Exporting images
      6m 33s
    3. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Word
      7m 21s
    4. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Excel
      4m 42s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Working with portfolios
      6m 57s
    2. Creating portfolios
      6m 26s
    3. Customizing portfolios
      7m 23s
    4. Optimizing backward compatibility
      5m 41s
  10. 32m 9s
    1. Creating an interactive form
      6m 42s
    2. Working with form fields
      6m 41s
    3. Editing field properties
      5m 34s
    4. Distributing and collecting forms
      9m 43s
    5. Enabling Reader to save form data
      3m 29s
  11. 34m 26s
    1. Adding sticky notes and other annotations
      9m 2s
    2. Using the drawing markup tools
      6m 10s
    3. Viewing, filtering, and replying to comments
      5m 24s
    4. Printing, summarizing, and exporting comments
      6m 35s
    5. Exporting comments to Word for Windows
      3m 28s
    6. Enabling extended commenting in Acrobat Reader
      3m 47s
  12. 25m 29s
    1. Understanding the different review processes
      2m 7s
    2. Using the email review process
      4m 33s
    3. Conducting a shared review with Acrobat.com
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Review Tracker
      4m 32s
    5. Using the Collaborate Live review process
      7m 23s
  13. 31m 2s
    1. Reviewing the print production tools
      5m 18s
    2. Previewing color separations
      3m 51s
    3. Using the Object Inspector to learn details
      3m 13s
    4. Working with the Preflight dialog box
      5m 34s
    5. Fixing hairlines
      3m 57s
    6. Converting colors
      2m 27s
    7. Saving as a standards-compliant PDF
      6m 42s
  14. 19m 16s
    1. Scanning a paper document to PDF
      4m 44s
    2. Setting up optimization options
      6m 48s
    3. Recognizing text in a scanned PDF
      4m 43s
    4. Reviewing and correcting OCR suspects
      3m 1s
  15. 17m 18s
    1. Using the built-in Actions for automation
      5m 32s
    2. Editing Actions
      4m 7s
    3. Creating new Actions
      4m 51s
    4. Sharing Actions with others
      2m 48s
  16. 35m 27s
    1. Choosing a security method
      5m 27s
    2. Password-protecting a PDF
      7m 28s
    3. Securing a PDF with a certificate
      5m 6s
    4. Creating a digital id
      5m 43s
    5. Removing sensitive content with the Redaction feature
      6m 52s
    6. Revealing and clearing hidden information
      4m 51s
  17. 33m 45s
    1. Opening and navigating PDFs in Reader
      7m 30s
    2. Adding comments
      3m 14s
    3. Viewing extended features
      6m 53s
    4. Digitally signing a PDF
      6m 15s
    5. Sharing PDFs
      2m 29s
    6. Using Acrobat.com
      7m 24s
  18. 3m 54s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 54s

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