Free PDF OCR Converter

Choose the online option for:

  • High quality scanned documents
  • Non confidential files
  • Small to medium file sizes

1 Select PDF to convert

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2 Type your e-mail address

3 Convert PDF & Send e-mail


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Advanced Desktop OCR PDF Conversion

Choose the desktop option for:

  • Most Accurate OCR Output
  • Editing PDF content
  • Converting all types of scanned documents
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Able2Extract Professional 11 is one of the leading PDF OCR conversion tools on the market, used by 93% of the Fortune 100 companies.

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Why Able2Extract Professional 11?

  • Instantly convert any PDF to 12 file formats
  • Convert any printable file to Excel
  • Convert multiple PDFs at once and save time
  • Edit PDF text on the spot
  • Split and merge PDF documents quickly and easily
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Note: The quality of the OCR conversion process will largely depend on the quality of the scanned image and the clarity of the characters of that image.

General Information & Free Scanned PDF to Word FAQ

How Will My Email Address Be Used?

Your email address will only be used for providing you with information regarding conversion statuses and account-related issues.

How Long Does The Conversion Take?

The conversion process from scanned PDF to .doc should happen almost immediately. However, the conversion process may vary depending upon such factors as: (1) the size of the PDF and (2) the number of other conversions in queue. For an average size file, the conversion should be completed in just a few minutes.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 electonic character-based file that can then be entered into an editable format, such as a Text or Word document.

What are some common issues for converting scanned PDFs?

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 v.11.0 can help. It contains advanced OCR technology which is used to accurately extract the information in scanned PDFs.

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