How to Convert a PDF Image to Text with OCR

When would you need to convert a PDF image to Text with OCR? Let's assume you have an image-based PDF or a JPG that's been converted into a PDF. Now imagine that there's some text in the image that you want to extract - but that's impossible because you can't edit the text inside an image file or an image-based PDF. The only way to do this is to use a PDF image to text converter that offers OCR functionality to recognize and extract the text. You can also do this online, but the best way is to use a secure offline utility - one that works on both Windows and Mac computers.

The Best PDF Image to Text Converter with OCR

Introducing UPDF Converter, a cross-platform desktop application for Mac and PC that can convert PDF files into numerous editable file types including PDF image to text, PDF image to Word, etc. The conversion can be done with or without OCR, but when you have a PDF image, then you need to use the text recognition module to extract the text content so you can use it elsewhere, edit it in a word processor, and so on.

pdf image to text

What Can UPDF Converter Do? Key Features

  • Convert PDF to over a dozen different editable file types including MS Office files, images, HTML, text, PDF/A, XML, CSV, and more.
  • Maintain the original formatting of the source PDF file in the output file.
  • Secure environment to keep your private and confidential files safe at all times.
  • OCR capability to recognize text in images and extract it to an editable text file.


  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Batch Process to save a significant amount of time for heavy workflows
  • Convenient OCR settings for language, page range, etc.

How to Convert PDF Image to Text in Windows

Step 1: Add/Import the PDF File to the Conversion Queue

Drag and drop the PDF image into the UPDF interface to import it.

The "Add Files" buttons can be used for the same purpose.

convert pdf image to text

Step 2: Enable OCR and Set the Parameters

Against the file name, click the vertical ellipsis (three vertical dots) to access the OCR Settings panel.

First, toggle the OCR button to the "On" position to enable it.

pdf image to text converter

Next, choose the language contained in the PDF image and set a page range for multi-page PDFs.

Click "Apply to All" if you have more than one file in the queue.

Step 3: Convert PDF Image to Text

Close the OCR panel, and on the right side, click the "Text" option - this will be the output format.

pdf image to text

Finally, hit the "GO" button at the bottom - 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.

convert pdf image to text

​​How to Convert PDF Image to Text on a Mac

Step 1: Add PDF to Queue

Drag your file into the UPDF Converter for Mac interface and drop it there to import it.

The "Add Files" button can also be used to import one or more PDFs.

pdf image to text converter

Step 2: Activate OCR for PDF Image to Text Conversion

Click the vertical ellipsis and enable OCR by toggling the button.

pdf image to text

Set the various parameters such as language and page range.

Choose to convert just one file or click "Apply to All" to process everything in the queue using the same OCR settings.

convert pdf image to text

Step 3: Convert PDF Image to Text on Mac

You need to close the OCR panel and choose "Text" as the output format.

pdf image to text converter

Click the "GO" button to convert and save the file. You can now double-click the file to open it in the native Text application on your Mac.

pdf image to text

How to Convert PDF Image to Text Online

There are many online OCRs out there. I can take one for example to explain how to convert PDF image to text. But the steps for different tools are different. You can learn by yourself. SodaPDF is a great online tool for PDF conversion, compression, file management, and other tasks. It's easy to use and quite powerful in terms of OCR conversions. You can directly access it on a modern browser on any connected device. Here's what the process looks like:

Step 1: Upload the PDF Image File

Go to the SodaPDF OCR page and upload the PDF file using the Choose File option or with a drag-and-drop action. The conversion will happen automatically.

pdf image to text online

Step 2: Preview and Download the Text File

After conversion, the file will be displayed on your screen, where you can perform other actions such as adding more text, selecting text portions, etc.

Click the disk icon on the top-left corner of the browser tab to Download the file to a local folder.

Final Thoughts

SodaPDF Online is no doubt a powerful utility to convert PDF images to text with OCR, but a lot of users avoid online services as a rule due to potential document security issues when uploading and downloading files. The site itself is secure, but your files may be compromised in transit. If you're dealing with confidential client information or internal company documents, it's better to use an offline tool such as UPDF Converter. It supports both Mac and Windows and offers a native experience on both platforms. Moreover, there are numerous conversion options, advanced OCR capabilities, batch processing, and many other features that make it one of the best cross-platform PDF converters on the market today.