- If you’ve got a scanned file or PDF that you wish to edit / search something on it, you’ll first need to convert it into a searchable and editable document.
- Although there are many PDF solutions that can help you do this on a Mac, not all of them are equally effective and possess the necessary feature set to help you out.
- A notable exception is PDFelement by Wondershare. It’s a one-stop solution for all your PDF manipulation needs, including OCR text conversion, and is pretty easy to use as well.
PDFs are commonplace in most work environments. They’re typically small in size, secure, and compatible with most devices, irrespective of their operating systems.
However, not everything about PDFs is perfect. Among many things, one of the notable drawbacks of the PDF file format is that it isn’t easily editable and requires the use of a PDF editor for any manipulation.
Although you can find several PDF manipulation tools on the internet for this purpose, not all of them are equally effective or come with all the necessary PDF manipulation tools you’d need.
Enter PDFelement, a one-stop solution for all your PDF management needs, including the ability to extract text, something you won’t find even on some of the most popular PDF solutions out there. Let’s explore PDFelement and see how you can use its built-in OCR reader to extract text from PDFs.
Table of Contents
What Is PDFelement?
PDFelement is an all-in-one PDF manipulation tool from Wondershare that lets you edit, convert, or sign PDFs, among other things, across desktop, mobile, and even the web.
As part of its recent release, called PDFelement9, Wondershare has added a bunch of updates to the software. Some of these updates include an improved UI, cloud document management, faster document loading, and rendering speeds, and a document translation feature that lets you instantly translate your PDF into any language.
Another useful and interesting feature of PDFelement9 is its OCR reader, which leverages the built-in OCR technology to recognize and extract text snippets from PDF files.
What Is OCR? And What Makes PDFelement’s OCR PDF Converter Unique?
OCR, short for Optical Character Recognition, is a technology that recognizes text within a digital image and converts it into an electronically-accessible version that you can use anywhere. It’s sometimes also referred to as text recognition, and it eliminates the need to manually type out the text as seen on a PDF or image.
What makes Wondershare PDFelement’s OCR reader stand out from the rest of the OCR converters is its ability to preserve and reproduce the document layout exactly how it is. Ergo, different document elements like headers, footnotes, graphics, etc., retain their layout and formatting when you extract the text in PDFelement, so you don’t have to bother fixing them yourself.
To sum it up, with the OCR reader in PDFelement, you get the following advantages:
- Fast and reliable OCR engine
- Accurate and high-quality conversion
- Batch OCR processing
- Support for 20+ languages
What Can an OCR Reader Help You Do With PDF Files?
One of the well-known use cases for an OCR reader is converting paper documents into computer-readable digital documents so as to eliminate the need to manually re-type text, which can be time- and- resource-consuming. As an added benefit, this also minimizes the risk of human errors and ensures your documents are error-free.
By transforming a PDF file into an editable document, you can easily select and modify text on the converted text—similar to how you’d do if you created the document yourself. An editable document also means that you can select, copy, and paste text from/to it, which comes in handy when you need to move long text snippets between multiple documents.
Another advantage of turning a PDF into an editable document is the added ease of finding something on it. Since the text is now selectable, you can easily search for any word or sentence by simply invoking the search window and entering it.
How to OCR a PDF File on Mac Using PDFelement
PDFelement makes converting a PDF file into an editable document a painless operation. Below we’ll show you how to do this, but first, download and install the PDFelement software on your Mac using the following link.
Download Wondershare PDFelement9 (for Mac)
Open the DMG file and follow the on-screen prompts to install PDFelement. Once the program is installed, we now need to install the PDF Converter and OCR plugins to be able to OCR PDF files. Follow these steps to do this:
- Launch Wondershare PDFelement on your Mac.
- Click on PDFelement in the menu bar and select Preferences.
- Select Plugin from the sidebar.
- Click the Download button under PDF Converter and OCR plugins to install them.
After the plugins have been installed, re-open PDFelement and follow these steps to OCR PDFs in it:
- On the main PDFelement window, click Open. When it brings up Preview, select the scanned PDF or image-based PDF on which you want to perform OCR, and click Open. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the PDF document onto the PDFelement window to import it.
- Click on Tool in the top menu bar and select OCR Text Recognition.
- PDFelement will now open the OCR Text Recognition window. Here, you need to select the document language, page range, downsample size, and document type for the resultant document.
- Once done, click the Perform OCR button.
Depending on your PDF size, it may take some time for PDFelement to finish the operation. Sit back and let the process finish.
When the OCR process is finished, you can start making changes to this document. For this, click on the Edit tab and select the appropriate option based on the action you want to perform.
After you’ve finished making the changes, go to File > Save to save the document. Note that the free version of PDFelement doesn’t let you save documents, so you’ll need to upgrade to the Wondershare PDFelement Pro to be able to do it.
Wondershare PDFelement Pricing
Wondershare’s PDFelement is a paid tool. It has three different plans for individuals, namely:
- Perpetual: $159
- Quarterly: $49
- Yearly: $129
Besides, there’s also a free Trial version of PDFelement, which you can check out to evaluate the software before buying its subscription. Do note, however, that it’s limited in terms of functionality, so you won’t be able to do much in the Trial version.
As for OCR conversion, PDFelement offers the functionality for free on PDFelement9, but with a few limitations. One, you cannot save the editable PDF. Two, you don’t get to control the page quality, and the maximum number of pages you can convert is limited to 3. And three, when you save a document, PDFelement will add a watermark to it.
You can get rid of these restrictions by upgrading to PDFelement Pro if you want more from OCR conversion.
Convert PDFs to Actionable Documents in a Matter of Seconds
OCR is undeniably the most useful—and must-have—feature on any PDF manipulation tool today. It unlocks the ability to convert any PDF file into an actional document on which you can perform a wide range of image selection and manipulation operations effortlessly without having to switch to a separate OCR converter.
Wondershare PDFelement excels on this front by offering a built-in OCR converter that’s accurate, reliable, and fast. Additionally, thanks to its extensive feature set, PDFelement also lets you perform a bunch of other operations on PDF files, such as conversion, signing, annotation, password-protection, and form filling, all of which make it an easy recommendation over other PDF editing software.