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The OCR feature by UPDF allows you to convert the scanned text of a PDF document into searchable and editable content. Data across images can also be edited after using this feature which makes the document interactive for users. Click the below button and follow the below text guide or video guide to OCR PDFs.

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1. How to Download and Install OCR

As you open the respective document, navigate to the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button on the right.

click on ocr icon

If you are using this feature for the first time, you will have to download it as a plugin across UPDF. Continue with the process by clicking on the "Download" button across the pop-up window.

download ocr function

You will be automatically redirected to the next window, where the progress of the installation of the feature will be displayed. Let the feature install successfully across your Windows device before using it.

download progress

2. How to OCR PDFs

Once installed, close the window and navigate to the same button for accessing the OCR tool across UPDF. As it opens up, it will provide you with two different options of Document Type, which include "Searchable PDF" and "Image-only PDF."

  • Searchable PDF: By selecting this option, it will convert scanned PDF documents into searchable and editable documents.
  • Image-only PDF: By selecting this option, it will convert your searchable and editable documents into an image-based PDF document which is neither searchable nor editable.

2.1 Document Type: Searchable PDF

If you go for "Searchable PDF," it will convert your scanned PDF documents into editable and searchable documents.


To set this up, you must first decide on a proper "Layout" with the options available in the drop-down menu. You will get three different options in setting up the layout of the process:

  • Text and pictures only: The recognized text and pictures will be saved across the PDF document that will be created. The file that is created is also of a smaller size, and its visual structure may differ from the original file.
  • Text over the page image: This mode is responsible for retaining the background images and illustrations present across the source document across which the OCR is being performed. These files are larger; however, they may differ visually from the original ones.
  • Text under the page image: For this mode, the PDF images are retained; however, the recognized text is placed under an invisible layer beneath the images. This file type is quite identical to the original PDF file.
ocr layout setting

Click on the "Gear" icon to access more Layout Settings that you can define for your file. Here you can specify if you wish to "Keep pictures," while determining the quality between "Low," "Balanced," or "High" to save a file with a smaller size than the original with commendable image and picture quality.

layout setting

Document Language, Image Resolution, and Page Range:

Define a proper "Document Language" with the option of 38 different languages across the drop-down menu. This provides UPDF with a better ground for recognizing text accurately across the document.

select the document language

You can also specify proper resolution settings for the images with the "Image Resolution" option. Work over the "Page Range" and click "Perform OCR" to execute OCR across the file with the defined settings.

select the image resolution

2.2. Document Type: Image-only PDF

If you proceed with "Image-only PDF," it converts your searchable and editable documents into an image-based PDF document which is neither searchable nor editable.

  • Set up the image quality under the "Keep Pictures" section by selecting any of the available options of "Low, Balanced, or High".
select the image quality
  • Decide if you wish to compress your images using MRC.
compress image using mrc
  • Provide a proper "Page Range" and click on "Perform OCR" to perform the actions on the document. Select the folder and you will get a scanned PDF document immediately.
perform ocr

It is free to test the OCR feature in the free trial version. But you can only experience and cannot save, copy and edit the OCRed PDF. To have all features you need, you can upgrade to pro version.

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