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How to Copy Text from Scanned PDF Accurately

Without OCR software, it is difficult to copy text from a scanned PDF. There are a variety of OCR tools available, which is helpful; nonetheless, it can be challenging to determine which tool will be most effective when trying to copy text from a scanned document.

This post is for you if you have been continuously trying to find information on how to copy text from scanned PDFs. Here, we'll show you the steps to take to extract text from a scanned PDF.

Part 1. Why Can't I Copy Text from PDF?

When you try to copy text from a PDF document and paste it into another file, you may find that it doesn't work. This is because PDFs can be created in two different ways - as an image or as a text document - and the way they are created determines whether or not you'll be able to copy text from them.

If the PDF is an image, then it's effectively like a picture, and you won't be able to copy any text from it. The only way to get the text out, in this case, is to use optical character recognition (OCR) software to recognize the characters in the image and convert them into text.

If the PDF is a text document, then it should be possible to copy the text, but it may be protected from being copied by a permissions password. In this case, you'll need to enter the password in order to remove the protection, and then you'll be able to copy the text.

Now, let's take a look at how to copy and paste from a scanned PDF document.

Part 2. How to Copy Text from a Scanned PDF?

With UPDF, you can view and edit PDF files for free with features like conversion to text or images; categorization into folders based on document type (for example medical documents); editing tools including marks that stay persistent across different pages!

The use of UPDF can help relieve users from financial stress by providing them with a cost-free option for managing PDF processes. This software provides complete features that allow you to edit, annotate, or even read through files without paying anything extra! You can download it directly by clicking the download button below.

how to copy text from scanned pdf

Here are the most popular features of UPDF:

  • UPDF can convert PDF to many other formats and OCR scans into editable formats.
  • It lets you control PDF components. You can edit PDF text and graphics with a few mouse clicks.
  • It has annotation features including text markups (highlights, underlines), shapes, freehand drawings, stamps, and more.
  • PDF files may be easily managed by extracting, reorganizing, splitting, cropping, rotating, adding, and removing pages.

Here are two methods how to copying text from scanned PDF using the UPDF program:

Method 1: Use OCR to Copy Text from Scanned PDF

UPDF provides an effective OCR recognition tool for the conversion of scanned PDF documents to editable and searchable PDFs. Users who wish to copy text from scanned PDFs can make effective use of this function. To understand how the OCR tool is used in UPDF, let's find out below:

Step 1: Define Document Type

You must start by opening a scanned PDF on UPDF and proceed to select the "Recognize Text Using OCR" tool from the right column. As the menu pops up, select the option of "Searchable PDF" in the Document Type.

copy text from scanned pdf

Step 2: Set OCR Layout Terms

Following this, you have to define the "Layout" that you are going to use in OCR. Select "Text and pictures only" or "Text over the page image" from the drop-down menu against the option. You can also set the layout by Clicking on the "Gear" icon.

copy text from scanned pdf online

Step 3: Specify Language and Resolution Settings

Next, you must provide the "Document Language" by selecting any of the 38 languages available in the list. For setting up "Image Resolution," you can choose any particular value from the menu. If you are not satisfied and clear with it, tap the "Detect Optimal Resolution" button to continue.

how to copy and paste from a scanned pdf document

Step 4: Identify Page Range and Execute Function

Set the page range of the PDF document on which the OCR function should be applied. As it is done, hit the "Perform OCR" button and continue setting up a location for saving the converted document successfully. Once done, the OCR function starts converting the document within a matter of seconds. You can then easily copy text from scanned PDF after the converted document opens on UPDF.

how to copy text from scanned pdf

Method 2: Convert Scanned PDF to Text Format

Step 1. Download and Install UPDF

First, you need to download and install the UPDF program on your Windows or Mac device.

Step 2. Open PDF Files

After completing the Installation process, you have to launch the UPDF program. Now, open your PDF file in the UPDF by clicking on the "Open File" option. You can also drag and drop your PDF files into UPDF's interface.

open file in updf

Now, go to the top right panel of the UPDF and click on the "Export PDF" option.

enter into export pdf mode

Step 3. Choose Output Format

When you click on the "Export PDF" button, a list of output formats will appear. You can select the Text format if you want to copy text from a scanned PDF.

select the output format

Step 4. Turn On OCR Feature

Once you select your format, a pop-up window will appear. Now, you have to turn on the OCR feature. You can also select the language and page range preferences if you want to.

turn on the ocr function

Step 5. Convert PDF to Text

Now, click on the "Export" button to convert your PDF to Text. Your converted text file will be saved on your device.

The above steps are to convert PDF to Text. You can edit the text in converted Text. Would you like to use these steps in UPDF? Just click the download button below.

export pdf to text format

Step 6. Copy Text in Word

Now, open your Text file in notepad or in UPDF program and copy the text that you wanted to copy.

Part 3. How to Copy Text from a Scanned PDF Online?

Using the online tool, you can convert a scanned PDF into a searchable PDF, making it simple to pick and copy content from the document. Scanned PDFs may be converted to text format using this online converter.

Text from a scanned PDF can be copied and used similarly to text from a scanned document. Online image-to-text converters with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) let you easily copy text from scanned PDFs or convert them to Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or plain text. Here is how to copy text from scanned PDF online:

  1. Go to
  2. Select a file from your computer that you would like to have converted. The maximum file size allowed is 15MB.
  3. Copy text may be exported to Microsoft Word (Doc) format by selecting the Language of the PDF file as the output format.
  4. Next, choose the "Convert" button to initiate the conversion.
  5. You may now simply copy text from scanned PDFs, photos, and recorded images thanks to the Doc format conversion.
convert pdf with onlineocr


There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to copy text from a PDF. The PDF may be protected against copying, or the text itself may be an image that can't be selected. In either case, UPDF can help you convert the PDF to a format that will allow you to select and copy the text.

The UPDF OCR feature can convert a PDF to a format that will allow you to select and copy the text. This can be helpful if the PDF is protected against copying or if the text is an image. We recommend you use UPDF if you want to copy text from a PDF file.

UPDF is compatible with Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. So, you can use UPDF on any platform without any problem. Download UPDF Now!