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Simplified Ways to Learn How to OCR PDF on Mac in 2024

OCR is a much-needed feature when it comes to scanning PDF files. Without applying the OCR, you will not be able to edit a text in PDF. But, if you use Preview on your Mac, you might be disappointed knowing you can't OCR PDF on Mac.

However, we have the solution for you in the form of a UPDF PDF editor for Mac. Below, learn how to use this feature and make your task much easier.

Part 1. How to OCR PDF on Mac

PDFs have become a necessary part of our lives. Ranging from professional to individual work, PDFs help us convey information more conveniently and edit them when needed. However, when it comes to scanned PDF files, one can only edit them with the OCR technology. That is where the UPDF for Mac comes to your rescue. It is a top-notch tool with a high-end OCR feature to make your PDFs editable. Now, let's head to the detailed steps and learn how to perform OCR using this tool and make files editable:

Step 1: Import the Scanned PDF via Open File

Initially, please click the free download button below to get UPDF on your device.

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On your Mac, locate the UPDF tool in "Applications" using Finder and double-tap to open it. Next, access the scanned PDF on your device and import it via the "Open File" option.

ocr pdf on mac

Step 2: Install the OCR Plugin and Access the Feature

Afterward, head to the right toolbar, find the "Recognize Text Using OCR" option and click it.

In case you are using this tool or a feature for the first time, you will need to install the plugin. Moving on, hit the "Install" button, and the installation process will begin. When done, close the "Plugin" window and again access the same button for OCR. Then, from the extended options menu on the left side, choose "Document Type." However, for the full-text search feature, hit the "Searchable PDF" option.

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Step 3: Set the Custom Settings and Start the OCR PDF Process

Following this, now you will need to customize the settings and set the "Layout," "Document Language," "Image Resolution," and "Page Range" as per needs.

Now, hit the "Perform OCR" button and wait for the completion of the OCR process. Then, save the file on a Mac device to access it later.

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Users can even customize the layout of their PDFs in the required manner. Moreover, you can even choose the language and enable text recognition as per needs. Furthermore, users can even compress the scanned images to handle their PDF needs more effectively. Also, UPDF offers some AI built-in features to summarize, translate, and explain terms in PDF without switching tools.

PDF annotation is yet another additional feature in this PDF editor for Mac. You can create signatures, add stamps, flatten PDF, and even export it to nine different formats. You can even organize the pages to make macOS OCR PDF management more innovative.

Part 2. How to Batch OCR Multiple PDFs on Mac

Using UPDF, you easily make multiple scanned PDFs editable and searchable with the Batch Combine feature. So, if you have many scanned PDF files, access this tool and head to the following instructions to learn to batch OCR PDFs on Mac:

Step 1: Batch Combine Files with Custom Options

  • When on the UPDF tool, look for the "Batch Combine" feature on the UPDF main interface.
  • Click on this, and now tap on the "Downward" arrow to import files via "Add Files," "Add Open Files," or "Add Folders," as per your needs.
  • Once you choose multiple PDFs and "Open" them, tap on three dots and head to "File Setting" for custom options. Then, head to the bottom right corner and click the "Apply" button.
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Step 2: Perform OCR on Customized Batch PDF File

Afterward, save the batch PDF file on your Mac and close the "Batch Combine" tab. Then click "Open File" again and import the recently saved file. Next, in the right toolbar, choose the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button and choose "Searchable PDF" under the "Document Type" option. Now, in the right-side panel, customize the settings as per needs and hit "Perform OCR" to convert batch PDF to editable format.

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Part 3. Why You Need to OCR PDF on Mac

Have you been thinking about the reasons why you need to OCR PDF on Mac? Well, there can be multiple reasons for that. So, we have explained it all below:

1. Make Your Files Searchable

If you have bulk PDF files and electronic textual images, you might be unable to search for specific information. These files are not searchable, meaning you cannot easily find the necessary information. However, OCR allows you to convert this text into machine-readable data, making the PDF content searchable and editable.

2. Easy Editing of PDF Files

You might need to change something in your files at some point. So, OCR makes the task easy for you. It converts uneditable files into ones you can easily edit. So, instead of writing everything again, you can change the parts you need making work more flexible.

3. Avoid the Mistakes

There can be mistakes when dealing with files, but a free OCR Mac tool can help you catch and fix them. It not only lets you edit but also finds mistakes for you. So, you can be sure your files are accurate and are free of any correction mess, as you can remove the unnecessary parts.

4. Saves Time and Space

All the files lying around you can take up a lot of space in your room, and you might spend some money on paperwork too. Well, OCR technology can change all these files into computer stuff in the form of PDFs. This means you don't have to type everything in, saving time.

Part 4. FAQs on How to OCR PDF on Mac?

1. Can Mac Preview OCR PDF?

No. While Mac Preview is a useful tool for viewing PDF files, it lacks the OCR feature. So, Mac Preview cannot convert this image-based text into editable text. Therefore, if you want to convert scanned documents into editable text, you must use dedicated OCR software, such as UPDF PDF editor, for better PDF file handling.

2. Is there a real free OCR on Mac?

Most OCR software applications that offer advanced features and accurate text recognition typically come with a price. So, if you want an OCR PDF on Mac toll with a cost-effective budget and optimal performance, you can consider UPDF. It offers OCR capabilities at a more affordable price compared to other premium options.

3. How do I make a PDF searchable on Mac?

To make the PDF searchable on Mac, you must use the UPDF tool and import the PDF. Then, open the "Recognize Text Using OCR" feature and hit the "Searchable" text option. After this, change any other settings for customized results and press "Perform OCR" to save the file on Mac. Now, open the file again using UPDF, and you can see it is searchable.


All in all, performing OCR on scanned PDF files is very necessary. This can help you handle your professional and individual work more easily. You can even get many more benefits with this feature. However, we have detailed descriptions of the reasons why OCR PDF on Mac above, along with detailed steps.

With that, UPDF is the most recommended tool in this case. This tool has a built-in OCR feature along with a variety of other features, such as editing, annotation, and organizing. Also, this has a user-friendly interface for making your tasks easier. Kindly download and install it by clicking the button below. You would love the features of it.

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