Convert Scanned PDF

Yes, it is possible to unlock text and data from scanned, image PDFs. Able2Extract is a PDF OCR converter that converts all types of scanned documents to editable formats MS Word or Excel with utmost accuracy and speed. Check out this demo below to see how easy it is:

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Why Able2Extract PDF OCR Converter

PDF Editing

Most accurate OCR output

Extract content from your scanned documents into Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more with utmost precision. Edit text and analyze data instantly without the hassle of retyping missing content in your converted documents and tables.

Resize and scale pages

Secure OCR conversion

Protect your sensitive personal and business data by performing OCR PDF conversion right from your desktop. No need to upload your scanned files over the Internet connection to any website and risking the privacy of your documents.

 Extract and merge PDF

Convert Scanned to Searchable PDF

Need to only search your OCR PDFs? No problem, simply use the option to convert image file to searchable PDF and start searching its content in seconds.

Add Images to PDF Files

Extract Scanned Tabular Data into formatted Excel spreadsheets

Accurately export data from scanned tables into .XLSX or .XLS sheets. Choose between the automatic (standard) and advanced OCR PDF conversion to Excel. It allows you to fully customize and preview your output before the actual conversion.

Insert Shapes Into Content

Convert Scanned PDFs to AutoCAD

Unlock text and vector images stored in scanned PDFs and start editing them into AutoCAD supported formats like DWG and DXF. Recover CAD drawings and images to save time on drawing from scratch!

Customize PDF Content

No waiting for OCR conversion results

The entire OCR conversion process is performed locally, on your computer. You can start using your converted documents instantly. No waiting times usually associated with web-based converters.


Scanned PDF FAQ

Are All PDF Documents the Same?

No, they are not. PDF documents can be created in a variety of ways. The 2 main methods you will commonly come across are PDFs created by an electronic source and PDFs created by scanning in paper documents. This results in a “native” PDF and a “scanned” PDF, respectively. This is important because the way a PDF is created has an impact on how you can interact with the PDF content later on.

What Is a Native PDF?

As noted above, there is more than one way to create a PDF document. You can create PDFs from an electronic source. These are known as "native" PDFs and are generated from digital file formats, such as an MS Word document, a computer generated report, or an MS Excel spreadsheet. They have an internal structure that can be read and interpreted. These "generated" PDF documents already contain characters that have an electronic character designation. As such, conversion from such a PDF can rely on these electronic character designations and provide reliable output.

What Is a Scanned (Image) PDF?

PDF documents can also be created by scanning a paper document into an electronic format. This is done by using a scanner, or similar machine, that takes an image of a document and then stores this image as an electronic PDF file. What a “scanned” or “image” PDF document represents is really just a “picture” of the words contained within that document. A scanner, or photocopier with scanning capabilities, does not recreate each character of every word when it creates this scanned image, rather, it simply takes a “snap-shot” of the image. This snap-shot is then turned into a PDF document by software that integrates with the scanner or photocopier – the result is a “scanned” PDF document.

The text of a scanned PDF cannot be edited or searched. In order to edit a scanned PDF document, Optical Character Recognition software is required to electronically identify each character on a page and then convert it into a useable format. Essentially, what it does is extract text from an image.

How Can I Tell Which Type of PDF I Have?

There are a few ways to visually distinguish which type of PDF file you have. Visually look at the text in your PDF. Does the text look grainy? Are some letters broken? Does the page itself look like it was photocopied? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have a scanned PDF.

You can also generally visually determine if a document is a scanned document by enlarging the picture on your screen and looking closely at the text. A scanned image will appear to have much poorer resolution, when looked at closely, than a created PDF document.

What Is OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a visual recognition process that turns printed or written text into an electronic character-based file. In order to convert a scanned document into an editable format, OCR software is required to analyze the “image” of each scanned in character and match it to an electronic character-based file.

A document that is scanned and converted into a PDF document provides the basis for which character recognition software may interpret each character image on the PDF and assign it an electronic character-based file that can then be entered into an editable format, such as a Text, Word or Excel document.

What Are Some Common Issues for Converting Scanned PDFs and Performing OCR?

There are issues that can affect the quality of the OCR output, such as poor image quality of the scanned document, a mixture of fonts used in the scanned documents, the italicized and underlining of fonts, all of which can blur the quality and shape of the individual characters. Because of this, it is much more difficult to ensure that the character that is “recognized” by the OCR software is the character on the scanned document.

What Are Some Tools for Converting Larger Scanned PDFs?

There are a variety of scan to PDF software on the market today that can assist with this. If you’re looking to convert to formats other than word, a program like Able2Extract Professional 11 can help. It contains advanced OCR technology which is used to accurately extract the information in scanned PDFs.

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