Make PDFs Searchable – 3 Expert Ways For All Users

It is becoming increasingly common for PDF files to lack search functionality, making it difficult to locate specific content inside a document. The good news is that you can use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and text recognition using numerous programs to make PDF searchable.

If you have scanned files, then it's inconvenient not to be able to search. In this article, 3 approaches are provided that make PDF searchable and you could download UPDF for a trial!

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Part 1. What is a Searchable PDF?

The process of applying OCR, or optical character recognition, to scanned PDFs or other image-based documents typically results in the creation of searchable PDFs.

During the process of text recognition, both the characters in the document and the structure of the document itself are examined and "read." The picture layer receives a text layer, which is often positioned beneath the image.

These PDF files are completely searchable and practically impossible to tell apart from the original papers they were created from. Documents in PDF format that support searching can have their text highlighted, copied, and annotated.

Part 2. Why are some PDFs not Searchable?

When a PDF was created from an image rather than from a written document, the resulting PDF file does not include any text that can be searched by default. In order to utilize Adobe Acrobat to convert a PDF, the original picture must have a resolution of 72 dpi or higher.

The content of a document does not become searchable instantly once it is either converted to a PDF document or produced as a PDF document. A PDF's text may be made searchable even if it was scanned and stored as an image by using the program's OCR text-recognizing feature and saving the file.

Another reason that can make your PDF unsearchable is the use of a password on your PDF document. In simple words, if your PDF file is password protected, you cannot search the text in it. You will have to enter the password to make it searchable.

Part 3. How to Find Out if Your PDF is Searchable or Not?

Simply opening your PDF and exploring by searching for or selecting text using your keyboard or mouse will help you determine whether or not your PDF is searchable.

If you are able to choose or highlight text in your PDF file, this indicates that it is searchable. If you are unable to, this indicates that the PDF you are using is not searchable.

Either way, you will have to open your PDF file. You cannot determine if your PDF is searchable or not without opening it.

Part 4: How to Make PDF Searchable with OCR?

UPDF is an excellent tool for both individual and commercial use. It allows you to make any necessary changes to the text and pictures in a PDF file. UPDF is not only a useful PDF editor for both Windows and Mac, but it also works with IOS and Android systems.

There are a wide variety of PDF editors to choose from. However, UPDF stands out as a trustworthy PDF editor. It's useful, and it provides useful collaboration tools for working with others on documents. UPDF enables read, annotate, convert, OCR, edit and organize PDFs' function for users. The best feature of UPDF is to make PDF searchable using the OCR function. That sounds great, right? You can get and try it by clicking the download button below.

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The following are some of the most popular features of UPDF:

  • UPDF allows you to annotate the text by highlighting, underlining, and striking it out. Notes, text boxes, and a typing tool may all be added to a PDF file. In addition, you have the ability to draw shapes in PDF documents. For instance, you may insert a rectangle, oval, line, or arrow into a PDF file.
  • You can also rotate the pages of your PDF documents with the help of a tool like UPDF. The program also has the ability to merge PDF files or add additional pages. Using the Extract, you may even pick a specific set of pages to extract.
  • It also provides the ability to insert and edit text in PDF, as well as add and edit images within a PDF file. It's possible to customize the text's appearance in many ways, including its font, size, color, style, alignment, and so on.
  • It can delete pages, annotate text, and strikethrough words. It even supports optical character recognition, which is useful for extracting text from PDF files.

Let's see how you can make a PDF searchable with the OCR tool of UPDF:

Step 1: Click "Recognize Text using OCR"

Start with opening the PDF on UPDF and direct to the "Recognize Text using OCR" button on the right column. Select "Searchable PDF" from the "Document Type" section to make PDF searchable.

Step 2: Specify Layout to Follow

For the parameters of the OCR tool, you can select any choice in the "Layout" tab. For more options, you can select the "Gear" icon to open the advanced layout settings.

Step 3: Set Language and Resolution

Set the language of the OCR tool by selecting any of the 38 languages offered in the list. Once you have defined the language, you have to set the resolution of the images. For that, select any value from the "Image Resolution" settings. If you are not aware of it, simply tap "Detect Optimal Resolution."

Step 4: Execute OCR to Make PDF Searchable

Work through the page range from the available options and simply click on "Perform OCR" to execute the process. Set a location on your computer and let the OCR tool make PDF searchable.

Applying OCR function makes search words in PDF easily.

Part 5. How to Make a PDF Searchable with Adobe Acrobat?

Even though it is one of the most widely used PDF editors, most people still struggle with Adobe PDF's lack of built-in search functionality. If you've ever run into this issue, this article will show you exactly how to fix it by adding search functionality to your PDFs in Adobe Acrobat. Here is how to make PDF text searchable:

  1. Get Adobe Acrobat and open the PDF.
  2. If you go to the "Enhance PDF" tab on the left side of the window, you may pin the "Enhance" button to the top of the menu.
  3. Select "Scan Document" from the "Enhance" menu, then "All Pages" from the "Pages" menu.
  4. Once the PDF OCR is complete (after clicking "Enhance"), you may search for any text inside the document. So, it was how to make a PDF searchable in Adobe.

Part 6. How to Make a PDF Searchable Online?

The online converter makes it easy to choose and copy text from a scanned PDF by turning it into a searchable PDF. This online tool may be used to transform scanned PDFs into editable text.

Scanned PDF content may be copied and used just like any other scanned text. With the use of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software available online, you may quickly and effectively extract text from scanned PDFs and paste it into other formats like Microsoft Word, Excel, or plain text. Here is how to make PDF searchable online:

  1. Visit the website
  2. Find the file on your hard drive that you wish to be converted, then click the button. You have a 15MB limit on file sizes.
  3. By choosing the PDF file's language as the output format, you may copy content and paste it into a new Microsoft Word (Doc) document.
  4. Click the "Convert" button to start the process of conversion.
  5. The Doc format change makes it possible to easily extract text from scanned PDFs, photographs, and recorded pictures.


Making your PDF searchable is not difficult anymore. You can easily make your PDF searchable using any of the methods explained above. However, we recommend you use the UPDF tool. It's the best option you can't miss. UPDF can more simply make PDF searchable. Now you can download it directly by clicking the download button below.

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