How to Make a Scanned PDF Searchable for Free

If you want to make a scanned PDF document searchable as well as editable, you have to get the pro version of Adobe Acrobat X or Adobe Acrobat XI. In case you do not want to purchase the pro version of Adobe Acrobat, there is the trail version for 30 days that you can try, which includes all the functionalities of the pro version. You can go here if you want to get the pro version of the Adobe Acrobat XI: https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/acrobat-downloads.html.

Once the Adobe Acrobat XI is downloaded, please install the software. When it is installed, you can now open the scanned PDF or clicked documents with the newly installed pro version of Adobe Acrobat. If there are a lot of scanned documents and you want to make a single searchable PDF file, the first thing that you have to do is to merge the individual documents.

When the Adobe opens, a dialogue box appears which has an option to Combine Files into PDF. Feel free to use this option to make a single PDF from some different files. When you open a scanned PDF for the first time, you can see that you cannot choose the text. If you try searching for a word or sentence in the document, you will see a message saying that no search results were found. The message will return even if the document has the searched text.

How to Make a Scanned PDF Searchable for Free

If you want to make a searchable PDF from the scanned document, you will need to open the Tools option located in the upper right corner. Under that option, choose Text Recognition and press the In This File option. Doing so will open a new Recognize Text window. Please choose PDF Output Style: Searchable Image and then hit OK. Following the step will start the Adobe Acrobat to process the pages one by one.

This program will detect the text within the scanned pages with the help of OCR. The process of everything can take some minutes, depending on the size of the file. Once it is completed, you will be able to see that you are not able to choose and copy the scanned text. On top of that, the PDF document is also now searchable. You can look for a word or sentence and it will return all the instances of that word or sentence. Do not forget to save the document in order to retain the changes. It will remain searchable and editable the next time you open the document with any other PDF reader.

There are several online searchable PDF converters, but some people think that Adobe Acrobat is the best for converting the scanned PDF to searchable PDF, especially when you are working with a large document. Not only the scanned documents, this one is also able to be used to convert the other non-editable PDF documents to the searchable and editable PDFs.

Adobe Acrobat is a perfect solution that offers users with a plethora of capabilities and features. This one enables you to make, sign, convert, send, and manage PDF documents on any device. The Standard version works on Windows on desktops and devices, while the Pro one is good with both Windows and Mac devices.

For those who have ever downloaded a scanned document, you must know the frustration that comes when trying to search for some specific words and phrases. If you want to find the text to read through in just a second, something like a particular explosive report that was just released as an unsearchable PDF, the optical character recognition of Adobe Acrobat Pro can be used to convert the scanned document into fully editable PDFs with the searchable text.

How much does it cost for an Adobe Acrobat? Please take a note that the Adobe Acrobat is different from the Adobe Reader. While the Adobe Reader is free, the price of Adobe Acrobat depends on your Creative Cloud subscription.

This one might come bundled with your apps, or you need to subscribe to the app for $14.99 a month for Windows and Macs. If you do not have enough cash and want something free, there is a free trial. Feel free to try this free trial anytime you want. However, you will need to remember that it is a week-long free trial before you commit.

Adobe Acrobat pricing plans:

  • Free Trial: –
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard DC: $22.99/month
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: $24.99/month

Features of the Adobe Acrobat Standard DC:

  • Send and track documents online
  • Export PDFs to Microsoft Office and image formats
  • Turned scanned documents into searchable PDFs
  • Fill forms, sign, and comment on mobile

Features of the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC:

  • Meet ISO and accessibility standards
  • Edit or add text in a PDF from your iPad
  • Compatible with both Windows and Mac
  • All Adobe Acrobat Standard DC features

For those who are not familiar with searchable PDF, this one is the name of a PDF file that includes text that is able to be searched when you use the standard Adobe Reader “search” functionality. Aside from that, you can select and copy the text from the PDF.

Basically, the PDF files made from Microsoft Office Word and the other documents are by their nature searchable as the search document has text that is replicated in the PDF, but when making a PDF from a scanned document, it will only contain images of the text and an OCR process has to be applied in order to recognize the characters within the image to get text from PDF.

The searchable PDF documents are really useful, especially for those who want to access the content in documents that need to be archived with the precise original appearance.

Once the process of text rendering has started with the OCR tool, if you see a message that states that the OCR could not be performed because the page has text that can be rendered, this one simply means the text was already able to be searched before the first attempt to convert.