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How Do I OCR a PDF Document In Order To Find Words?

I’m trying to search for specific terms in a pdf document within Preview. I use the “FIND” feature, but it seems that no terms show up. In other words, Preview is not doing OCR.

Is there a built-in app within Catalina that will OCR a pdf doc? Or, if not, is there a trusted app you recommend?


Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I OCR a PDF Document In Order To Find Words?”

    3 years ago

    A search should work on a regular PDF document, one made from an app like Pages, Word, InDesign, etc. But if the PDF is actually a scanned image, and no OCR was done when it was scanned, then it might as well be a picture of a landscape as far as Preview is concerned. It has no idea there are words there.

    There is nothing built-in that will do this. But I think there are things in the Mac App Store that will take the PDF and use OCR on it.

    A clunky but free way is to upload the PDF to Google Drive, then choose the file in Google Drive and open it in Google Docs. It will then convert the text for you.

    3 years ago

    What is OCR?

    3 years ago

    Deb: OCR = Optical Character Recognition. It is most often used when you scan a document and the text in the document is turned into actual text, as opposed to just an image. Then you can search copy and sometimes edit the text.

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