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Extract Text From PDF With And Without OCR: 6 Efficient Methods

PDF format has become the most adopted format for businesses. As most of the important data of businesses is saved on PDF files, it is often required to extract text from the PDF. However, you may find it difficult to do it as copying, extracting, and editing texts on PDFs is not possible without the correct methods and tools, especially if your PDF files are scanned or created by images.

Some of you may know that you can extract text from PDF using OCR. But when you should or should not use OCR? For your convenience, this article will provide you with solutions on how to extract texts from PDF files with and without using the OCR feature. Keeping reading.

Way 1. How to Extract Text from PDF With OCR?

If PDF files are created by scanner or images, the commonly used method to extract text from PDF is to use a PDF editor with the OCR tool. Here, we will use UPDF to show you how to extract text from scanned or image-based PDFs.

 extracting text from PDF using UPDF

UPDF is an innovative PDF editor offering a complete PDF file solution that meets the need of large organizations as well as of an individual working on a small scale. It offers all the features you need, such as editing, converting, merging, and annotating your PDF files.

If you want to extract text from scanned PDFs, you can use UPDF as it provides a dedicated OCR facility that can help you turn scanned PDF documents into editable and extractable text. You can follow the steps as advised below:

Step 1. Download and Install UPDF

Now, download UPDF and follow the guide below to learn how to extract text from scanned PDFs.

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Step 2: Access the OCR Feature

You can start by opening the PDF on UPDF and pressing the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button on the right.

In the pop-up window, select "Searchable PDF", then have to specify the layout in the "Layout" settings. Select "Text and pictures only", "Text over the page image", or "Text under the page image" and if there are advanced layout options to look out for, select the "Gear" icon and work on the options, if needed.

OCR PDF to extract text from pdf

Select the Document Language from the list of 38 different languages available. Following this, work on the "Image Resolution" settings and set a particular value from the list provided with it. If unsure, hit the "Detect Optimal Resolution" button and proceed.

Step 3: Perform OCR Successfully

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

Perform OCR to extract text from pdf image

Step 4. Extract or Copy Text from the PDF

Now, you can click and select the text you want to copy and extract in PDF, then copy and paste them to the destination you prefer.

Also Read: How to Remove OCR from PDF? (3 Ways)

Way 2. How to Extract Text from PDF to Word/Excel/Other Format

You may find the method above is good if you need to copy the text of one part in the PDF. It will take a long time if you need to extract all text from PDF. There is a quick way to use UPDF. Check out how to do it here.

Step 1. Open PDF and Go to the "Export PDF" Option

Launch UPDF on your computer, click on "Open File" and select the PDF from your computer to open it.

Navigate to the "Export PDF" on the right side menu and click on it. Select the desired format you need. For instance, select "Word".

export pdf icon to extract text from pdf

(Please note: If your PDF document is a scanned one, you need to follow the instructions in Way 1 to perform OCR first. The performed OCR document will be open automatically in UPDF.)

Step 2. Convert PDF to Excel/Word/Any Format

After selecting the format, you can set the page range if needed in the new window. When all is done, click the "Export" button, and select the location where you want to save the converted files.

Once the process is done, you will successfully extract all text from the scanned PDF to Excel, Word, or any format you need. You can open the editable file on your computer and do any operations.

extract text from pdf to excel/word

Also Read: How to Easily Extract Emails from PDF (2 Effective Methods)

Way 3. How to Batch Extract Text from PDF

Extracting text from a single file can be done with several steps with UPDF. But how can you extract text from multiple PDF files? No worries, we will also get you covered here.

Step 1. Launch UPDF

Double-click on the UPDF icon on your desktop to run it. You can find there are some options on the home screen. Go to click on the "Batch" icon.

batch extract text from pdf

And then you will find there are several option. Select the "Convert" option.

batch convert pdf to text

Step 2. Batch Extract Text from Multiple PDF Files

In the new window, select the output format, change other settings, click on "Apply", select the location to store, and click on "Save" to perform the process. Once done, you can find the editable files in the pop-up location.

Batch conversion to Extract Text from Multiple PDF files

Way 4. How to Extract Text from PDF Without OCR?

OCR is a great way to extract text from PDFs. However, you may have a normal PDF and want to extract text, or just do not want to use OCR features. Whatever the reasons are, you are looking for a way to extract text from PDF without OCR. We know your scenarios and here are three effective ways for you.

If you are using a normal PDF file instead of those created by scanners or images, you can use UPDF editing features to extract text from PDF. Here is how.

Step 1: Navigate to Edit Mode

The first step lies around opening a PDF file in UPDF from which you want to extract text. To do that, click on the "Open File" button in the center of the UPDF interface.

After importing PDF to UPDF, navigate to the toolbar and click the "Edit PDF" tab to apply edit mode to your file.

Edit pdf to extract text from pdf using UPDF

Step 2: Extract Words from the PDF

Select the text you want to extract from a PDF by right-clicking it and following it up by clicking on the "Copy" option or using the "Ctrl + C" shortcut. After copying the text, you can paste the extracted text into a Word file or other file formats.

copy text in pdf

Moreover, UPDF is available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices and supports one license for all platforms, making it an ideal solution for users across different operating systems. Besides extracting text from PDF, UPDF also has many other features. Here are some of its key features:

Key Features of UPDF User-Friendly PDF Editor:

UPDF offers various key features for its users, making it a hub of solutions for everyday PDF editors. Some of those features are mentioned below:

  • Convert PDF to Image, Word, Excel, PPT, and any format you need: UPDF supports the feature of converting PDF into any file format. If you need to extract text from PDF directly to Word, Excel, or other formats, you can do it with no hassle using it.
  • Edit PDF texts, and add images, texts, and links to PDF: UPDF allows you to edit PDF texts, change its fonts, color, and size, change the image size, and add any texts, images, and links to PDF.
  • Annotate PDF: Add sticky notes, text comments, highlights, strikethrough, underline, shapes, stickers, and more comment features to your PDF.
  • Manage and Organize PDF: UPDF supports inserting, deleting, extracting, splitting pages, and rotating pages.
  • Add an Open and permission Password: UPDF also allows users to add a password to the PDF files to add an extra layer of security to important PDF documents and forms.
  • Play the PDF in SlideShow.

After learning all the amazing features of UPDF, you may wonder where can you download this powerful software. Click the "Free Download" button below and install it now!

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To learn more about how to ocr a pdf, watch the below video guide.

Way 5. How to Extract Text from PDF Online Using Google Drive

If you are someone who wants to extract text from a PDF, you can also try Google Drive if you don't mind the formatting will be damaged.

Users can easily extract text and other elements from a PDF without downloading or installing software. It is an easy, convenient, and reliable method compared to other methods to extract text from PDF files. Described below are steps to extract information from a PDF file online using the Google Drive method:

Step 1: Access Google Drive on your internet browser and click on the "New" tab. Next, click "File Upload" from the drop-down menu to browse the PDF file from your computer to upload it on Google Drive.

Step 2: As soon as the PDF file gets uploaded, it will be shown on your My Drive. Right-click on the uploaded PDF file, tap "Open With", and follow it up by choosing "Google Docs" to open the PDF in Google Docs.

Step 3: After opening the PDF file in Google Docs, the text on the PDF file will automatically become editable, and you can easily extract text from the PDF online for free.

extract text from pdf online using Google Drive

Way 6. How to Extract Text from PDF Using Python

Who would've thought that Python could also be a source to extract text from a PDF? If you are on your computer and are a frequent user of Python, you can make use of the PyPDF2 package for executing this task. You need to follow the script provided below to learn more about this method:

from PyPDF2 import PdfReader

reader = PdfReader("example.pdf")

page = reader.pagers[0]

text = page.extract_text()


FAQs on Extracting Text from PDF

1. Can you Extract Text from a PDF Image?

Yes, you can extract text from PDF images using the OCR feature offered by UPDF. Import the PDF image on UPDF and click on the "Recognize Text Using OCR" icon from the right panel of the UPDF window. After clicking on "Recognize Text Using OCR", select the "Perform OCR" option to initiate the conversion process from PDF image to editable and searchable PDF. You can extract text in the OCR PDFs as soon as the conversion is completed.

2. How Can I Extract Text from a PDF without Acrobat?

You can extract text from a PDF using UPDF instead of Adobe Acrobat since it is a more cost-effective, faster, and intuitive solution. It works for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.

3. Can I Extract Text from PDF on Linux?

Yes, you can extract content from PDF on Linux using different online tools available on the market, such as the Google Drive method or PDF24 Tools OCR feature on your Linux operating system.


While there are many options available on the market for extracting text from PDF with and without OCR, the wisest and more reliable choice is to use a dedicated and renowned tool for PDF files. In that regard, UPDF is the best choice as, besides completing the task efficiently and accurately, it supports keeping your data secure, editing PDF, converting PDF, and more. Now it has an exclusive offer and you can upgrade to UPDF Pro now. You can also download UPDF today on your Windows computer or MacBook and avail a satisfactory user experience.

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