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Make scans searchable with OCR text recognition

Save time and achieve peak productivity. Transform scans and printed documents into searchable PDFs with our quick and simple optical character recognition tool.
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OCR text recognition

searchable documents
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Turn scans into searchable documents

Stuck with a PDF scan of a 50-page legal or financial document? OCR a PDF and make it searchable to instantly find what you need. Our accurate optical recognition software works great on both scanned and image PDFs.
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OCR to Word and Excel

Convert your scanned PDF to DOCX or XLSX and turn static documents into something easier to work with. Search, copy, and highlight any of the contents within Microsoft’s powerful frameworks and make collaboration simple.
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OCR to Word & Excel
phone as an OCR scanner
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Use your phone as an OCR scanner

Stay paperless even on the go. Use your phone’s camera* to quickly scan printed text, IDs, or images and turn them into searchable PDFs. Seamlessly extract text from documents, images, or handwritten notes to make it editable, then transfer your work over to your Windows PC for further processing.
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*Requires a mobile app (PDF Extra for Android or iOS).
Cross-platform support is available to PDF Extra Ultimate users only (check pricing).

Why digitize your scans with us?

We pride ourselves on accurate OCR results (up to 98% accuracy) that can be achieved in just a single click - no user input needed. With PDF Extra, however, you get more than an OCR scanner - from an in-depth editor and a drag & drop PDF organizer to powerful conversion, compression, and protection tools that can be used on any device.

Short for optical character recognition, this type of technology allows your device to read texts from scans and PDF images the way a real person would. The most common use for this technology is to make a PDF file searchable or perform OCR to Word, but it can also be used to digitize passports, IDs, handwritten notes, make books and other printed materials accessible for people with disabilities, and a variety of other use cases.
While there are quite a few free OCR web tools that claim to provide perfect results, not many live up to that claim. Some even attempt to steal and sell your data! While PDF Extra is a paid product, the price is affordable enough to allow almost anyone to benefit from reliable OCR and PDF editing services around the clock, both online and offline.
For an OCR scan to work, it needs to be applied to a PDF file. However, you can also convert a PDF into a fully searchable scan inside Excel or Word, giving you more options.
Yes, OCR technology can scan and make image texts searchable. OCR image to text extraction is fully supported by both the Android and iOS versions of PDF Extra.
The OCR software can recognize a long list of fonts, however standardized fonts like Arial and Times New Roman have been shown to provide the most consistent results.
No technology is perfect and optical text recognition software is no different. Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind if you want to create searchable PDFs with high accuracy:

  • Where possible, use high-quality instead of deformed, blurred, or shadowed images
  • Strip documents from complex fonts like handwritten styles and cursive scripts
  • Simplify your PDF layout to exclude things like multi-column texts, tables, and graphs
Yes, but the difference is negligible at best - the searchable PDF format will take up about 1 to 5% extra compared to the size of the original document and even less so if you OCR a colored scan. If you still worry that you might run out of free space, you can always use PDF Extra's built-in PDF compression tool to shrink your files without degrading their quality.
PDF Extra's OCR to text feature can accurately recognize English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew text, with support for more languages coming soon.

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