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How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text with OCR

Converting scanned PDF to Text has been made easy with Optical Character Recognition or OCR feature that is found in most online conversion tools. This feature makes it easy to convert all the scanned and image-based PDFs to editable versions with ease. The best tool to use is UPDF featuring an OCR feature you can use to do the conversion. Continue reading the article to learn how to use OCR to convert scanned PDF to Text on Mac and Windows.

The Best Scanned PDF to Text Converter with OCR

UPDF is created to offer high-level PDF conversion to different editable versions such as HTML, XML, Text, CSV, excel, word, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, and others. It offers accurate conversion and consistent formatting. The tool has excellent features that make it an exception from other similar tools. With its simple interface, you just need a few clicks to have the conversion work done within a few seconds.

scanned pdf to text

The tool is versatile since it supports the conversion of image-based or scanned PDFs into other editable formats with its OCR or Optical Character Recognition feature. It also supports the editing of PDF documents, by modifying texts and images on PDFs more efficiently.

  • Its friendly and intuitive interface makes it easy to learn how to use it without the learning curve.
  • The other great thing is that UPDF is available across all platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android (features are different in different versions).
  • The tool is also a PDF editor, thus helping you make modifications to the texts and images easily.
  • It is also a PDF annotator and you can markup them simultaneously within a few seconds.

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text with OCR

A scanned PDF can't search and edit the text. You can Convert it to text with OCR. UPDF can support OCR features both on Windows and Mac. The following are the steps to convert scanned PDF to text with OCR:

Step 1. Add the Scanned PDF

Launch the program to start the scanned PDF to Text conversion with OCR. Drag and drop the PDF files you want to convert from your storage device into the interface. Another option to import the documents is clicking the "Open Files" button to upload the files into the tool.

scan pdf to text

Step 2: Select the Type of Document to OCR

Start by opening the PDF and pressing the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button on the right. As the menu opens, click the "Document Type" tab and select "Searchable PDF."

select searchable pdf type

Step 3: OCR Setting

You will then have to specify the layout in the "Layout" settings. Select "Text and pictures only" or "Text over the page image" and if there are any advanced layout options to look out for, select the "Gear" icon and work on the options.

layout setting

Below, you can define the Document Language. Also, you can work on the "Image Resolution" settings and set a particular value from the list provided with it. If you are not sure, tap the "Detect Optimal Resolution" button and proceed.

setting ocr language and image resolution

Step 4: Perform OCR Successfully

Work on the page range on which you want to execute the OCR tool. Following this, select the "Perform OCR" button, define the location of the saved OCR document, and let the process execute. Once done, it opens on UPDF, where you can extract the text from the PDF.

perform ocr

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text Format on Windows

With the OCR feature, you can scan PDF to Text with these simple steps. Note that you can also convert a batch of scanned PDFs to Text with these steps with UPDF.

Step 1. Select Output Format as Text

Once the scanned PDF is imported on UPDF, follow it up by clicking the "Export PDF" option in the top-right corner. A small window will be displayed on the screen as soon as you click on the "Export PDF" option. Choose the output format as Text from the menu options.

pdf to text ocr

Open the OCR feature by clicking "Text Recognize Setting". Below the toggle button, choose the right language. It has 11 languages to choose from. Now set the page range for your conversion. If you want to convert all the PDFs, no actions are required.

convert scanned pdf to text with ocr

Step 2. Convert Scanned PDF to Text on Windows

Now click the "Export" button to begin the conversion. The file will be converted as saved in the folder you just choose and displayed on your screen. Double-click it to open it with the default Text editor.

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text Format on Mac

Here are steps on how to convert scanned PDF to Text on Mac with UPDF for Mac.

Step 1. Open Scanned PDF Document

Open the software and then click "Open File" to upload the documents from your storage into the conversion queue. You can also open the documents by dragging and dropping the files from your local drive.

scanned pdf to text

Step 2. Choose the Output Format

There is an "Export PDF" button on the right toolbar and you need to click on it. This will reveal the conversion panel.

export pdf button

Now choose the format you want to export your PDF documents. For this case, choose "Text" from the formats options.

pdf to text ocr

Step 3. Enable OCR

In the new pop-up, you find a "Text Recognition Settings" panel on the interface. Toggle the OCR setting slider to ON (the green color). Now the feature is enabled. Below the toggle button, you also find the languages you can use for the conversion.

pdf to text ocr

Step 4: Convert Scanned PDF to Text on Mac

Tap the "Export" button on the right button to start the conversion.

pdf to text ocr

Video Tutorial on How to Convert PDF to Text on Mac


UPDF allows you to convert scanned PDFs to Text easily with the OCR option. You can use the tool to extract Text and characters from your scanned PDF files to other formats such as doc or Text. The tool features OCR which supports more than 20 languages. It can also convert PDFs to supported files like JPGs, JPEGs, BMPs, PDF files, and others. As an all-in-one PDF editor, you can also use it to read, edit, annotate, protect, and organize PDF pages. It is the best tool that you will regret missing. Download it now and try it for free!