[2 days left] What’s wrong with your cloud strategy? Learn why multicloud solutions matter with Nimble Storage.Register Now


PDF Document Scanner & Text Search Software

Posted on 2011-09-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi I would like to know what the cheapest software available to scan up to 250 pages of a hard copy text book and have it converted to a pdf doc. I need to then be able to electronically search for any text once it has been converted to pdf.
Question by:Frank .S
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 5
  • 2
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 36570755
I've been using PaperPort for more than 15 years:


The latest version is PP14, which just came out on 2-Aug. The main enhancement is cloud support, which you probably don't need. The new version is fairly expensive, but you can get the previous version, which is 12 (yes, they were superstitious and skipped 13), as a download at Newegg for $39.99:


It can automatically make PDF Searchable Image files, meaning that it automatically invokes built-in OCR to create a layer of text (searchable!) which resides in the PDF file along with the scanned image. You can then search it with the All-in-One Search that is built into PaperPort or with any search engine that can index PDFs with text, such as dtSearch (not free), Google Desktop Search (free), X1 (not free), or Windows Search 4 (free).

Btw, the Newegg download is likely to be 12.0. Do not install that. Instead, read my EE article on how to upgrade to 12.1 (free!):


Regards, Joe
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 36570762
I should have added as a disclaimer that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe

Author Comment

by:Frank .S
ID: 36570853
Hi Joe, thanks for your information however Im assuming that i need to buy some type of scanner to use this software?
Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 36570953
Hi Frank,
Based on your question, I assumed that you already have a scanner and are looking for software that is capable of creating a PDF with searchable text. Is that right? If so, what scanner do you have? If not, then you'll need both hardware (scanner) and software (which often comes bundled with scanners, but isn't always robust, and many times can't create searchable PDFs – hence the need for a third-party package). Regards, Joe

Author Comment

by:Frank .S
ID: 36571061
Hi Joe, i have a BROTHER MFC 7340 which allows me to scan docs which is fine when Im scanning a small amt of docs, but because I intend to scan hard copy books which are not loose leaf pages, I may need to look at one of those scanners you can buy that you hold the scanner in your hand and just pass it over the doc, what do you think?
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 36571153

I have a Brother MFC-3820CN, MFC-7820N, and MFC-9840CDW, so I know exactly what you mean – doing a book on the flatbed is no picnic! I looked into book scanners a while ago. My favorite is the TREVENTUS ScanRobot:


But I couldn't afford the $100,000 for it. :)  You must look at the videos for this thing – they will knock your socks off:


The five videos total nine minutes – trust me, it's worth it!

Now, back to reality. After my wife decided that the ScanRobot was not the best way to spend our life savings, I looked into scanning services that specialize in books. Here are a couple I found (I'm sure there are plenty others):


Even the TREVENTUS folks have a "Scanservice":


I also found a really interesting site called Do-It-Yourself Book Scanning:


In the end, my books are still sitting on the shelves, un-scanned, so I can't give you any wisdom on what worked and what didn't.

Of course, it you're willing to destroy the original book (not usually the case), you can remove the binding and then put the pages through an ADF. Great, but only if you don't care about the original book. As far as your idea of passing a hand scanner over each page of the book, I think that may be as painful as using a flatbed.

Regards, Joe
LVL 56

Accepted Solution

Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 500 total points
ID: 36574849

One other thing. If you really want to give a hand scanner a try, the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP) looks interesting and is relatively inexpensive:


But I'm still having a tough time wrapping my head around this technique for a several hundred page book. Regards, Joe

Featured Post

On Demand Webinar: Networking for the Cloud Era

Did you know SD-WANs can improve network connectivity? Check out this webinar to learn how an SD-WAN simplified, one-click tool can help you migrate and manage data in the cloud.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code and the code snippets to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe INTRODUCTION This Article is a follow-up to the Article entitled How To Rename-Move a Batch of PDF Files Based o…
Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe INTRODUCTION This article presents a solution to a question (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Installation/Q_28396542.html)…
In this first video of the three-part Xpdf series, we introduce and describe Xpdf, a library containing nine command line utilities that perform various functions on PDF files. We show where the library is located and how to download it, discuss its…
In a question here at Experts Exchange (https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29062564/Adobe-acrobat-reader-DC.html), a member asked how to create a signature in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (the free Reader product, not the paid, full Acrobat produ…
Suggested Courses

656 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question