How to Use OCR Software With PDFs
If anything, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a time-saver. OCR converter technology allows users to turn paper-based content and pictures into a digital variant. To put it simply, OCR allows you to convert handwritten, printed, or typed content into an online file.
Why you need OCR
A PDF editing platform equipped with Optical Character Recognition software is an excellent way to edit multitudes of content. As you scan your paper documents, typically you’ll receive an image full of diverse page elements, both textual and graphical. If you were to use a standard scanner, there would be no way to search and edit text. As such, traditional scanners will not provide you with the opportunity to alter the content the way you need.
Here’s how OCR features embedded into PDF editing software come in handy. Using the corresponding feature of an editor, users can easily customize their results. Here’s what you can do:
Select the desired language of a text
Transform a document into a searchable image so it looks the same as the original (however, you cannot edit the image in this case)
Scan any text related to your image. As a result, you’ll get both an editable and searchable document
Finally, if you choose a PDF editor online, there are features that allow you to recognize ‘OCR suspects’ — parts of the scanned text that require corrections.
Free OCR with Google Drive
Since the majority of people are aware of and/or use Google Drive on a daily basis, it’s beneficial to understand how to perform OCR with PDFs using this platform. Furthermore, an online PDF scanner allows you to remain in line with the pressing trend of a paperless society.
Just think about how many printed copies, paper-based documents, contracts, and more that you’ve handled in your professional life. Thanks to platforms like Google Docs, collaborative files, presentations, tables, spreadsheets, and other sensitive information can all be managed safely online — the need for paper simply vanishes overnight.
Although certain companies still require paper documentation, still, online PDF OCR enabled platforms are highly affordable. In fact, there are several ways to create an editable file from its original paper form. Some people prefer to purchase a licensed PDF editor, while others prefer working with tools that are free of charge, such as Google Drive, for instance.
Step 1: Scan the documents for OCR
The first thing you need to do is prepare your PDFs to correspond with several requirements. The selected document should be in high resolution, complete with no vivid damage. For best results, the contrast of the file should be relatively clear. It’s also critical that you can read the scanned text horizontally across the page.
Another thing to consider is the font. The most recommended fonts for an online OCR converter are Times New Roman and Helvetica. These fonts are clear and deliver the best results. Keep in mind, if your document doesn’t contain these fonts, although you can still scan it, nevertheless, the results will not be that impressive.
Step 2: Upload your PDF to Google Drive
Go to your account in Google Drive or create a new account if you don’t have one. Click on the ‘Drive’ button, and then click on the icon titled ‘My Drive’, located right below the search box. Upon clicking on it, a drop-down box will appear — select ‘upload files’.
Once you have completed these steps, you will see your document in Google Drive. Double click on your file and select the option ‘open with,’ then select Google Docs in the menu. Patience is required here as Google Docs is in the process of conversion and PDF text recognition.
Upon completion, you can use the OCR features. Keep in mind that after using the OCR features, your text will require particular editing and formatting. Thanks to the multiple editing features of Google Docs, you can modify the text to your preference.
How to use OCR to edit PDFs with a PDF editor
Licensed PDF editing platforms are a popular way to gain access to OCR features. OCR allows you to work with a machine-readable variant of a scanned document. Although this can be done with Google Drive, quality PDF editing software can significantly save you much more time.
Professional editing tools utilize built-in OCR features that allow you to upload scanned documents to the online editor in order to carry out all sorts of unique editing manipulations. As a plus, you can even store all your documentation on the cloud for easy access and enhanced security.
Once files have been scanned, if any additional corrections are required, users can always open PDFs via the editor to make any changes. Let’s take a look at what else these platforms can do:
Annotation – leave comments via text and/or drawings, and tag and notify associates for quick corrections
Page Manipulation – rotate pages, delete, and add new pages
Collaboration – work with colleagues across documents in real-time
Editing – change fonts, including the color and size of the text. Add shapes, photo/audio content, highlight elements, adjust alignment, etc.
Digital Signature – use OCR features to create a digital version of a contract and provide e-signatures.
These are just some of the creative features and uses of PDF editing platforms. Whether you choose to go with Google Drive or prefer a top-notch PDF editing platform, however you choose to access OCR features, you won’t regret switching to a digitalized, paperless office.