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What software, apart from Adobe Acrobat Pro, will convert a regular pdf to a searchable pdf?

What software, preferably open source, will convert a regular pdf to a searchable pdf?
1 Solution
Nitro PDF Professional.  (Paid and not Open Source.)
Tim PhillipsCommented:
Here is a website that will do 15 images for free: http://www.onlineocr.net/
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016DeveloperCommented:
Lots of software will do this, some open source, many not. One commercial (not open source) product is Power PDF. Here's an EE article on how to do it via a batch command line:

Here's an EE 5-minute video Micro Tutorial on how to do it via a Watched Folder:

An excellent option for a free (but not open source) solution is PDF-XChange Editor:

They also have a PRO (non-free) version, but the free version does everything you need — specifically, OCR.

For other free and/or open source tools, here are some for you to consider and experiment with:

(1) Tesseract OCR Engine, an open source product now maintained by Google:

It has numerous add-ons:

(2) FreeOCR, which uses a compiled version of the Tesseract engine:

(3) GOCR/JOCR, an open source OCR package developed under the GNU Public License:

(4) OCR Desktop, which is not open source, but is free for personal use (needs to be registered in order to turn off popups and advertising):

(5) SimpleOCR, which is not open source, but is free, with both an end-user version:

and a royalty-free SDK:

(6) Boxoft Free OCR (I use several Boxoft free tools):


(7) Google Drive/Docs has an option to perform OCR on uploaded files, but the last time I tried it (a while ago, so it might be better now), the resulting PDF did not hide the text layer, so the file looked ugly.

Regards, Joe
Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

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

Iris vHCommented:
You can also try Udocx. It'll OCR & route documents when you scan. www.udocx.com
100questionsAuthor Commented:
Thank you.   I have not tried any of these yet however hopefully they do.
100questionsAuthor Commented:
Have not tried this, however hopefully it works.
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016DeveloperCommented:
> I have not tried any of these yet however hopefully they do.
> Have not tried this, however hopefully it works.

If you haven't tried anything, you should not close the question. When answers are marked as Accepted and Assisted Solutions, the question goes into EE's PAQ archive (Previously Asked Question – the database of all questions with solutions). EE members have an expectation that questions in the PAQ have a solution verified by the asker. In addition, three other experts took the time and effort to provide possible solutions for you. It is unfair to those experts to accept another answer where you haven't even tried the recommended solution. Regards, Joe
100questionsAuthor Commented:
PDFX change works, however you need to be careful that when it opens pdfs you may not see the whole pdf image.
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016DeveloperCommented:
I'm glad that PDF-XChange Editor works for you. To see the whole page, click the View menu then Zoom>Fit Page. Or the keyboard shortcut for it is Ctrl-0. Or click the Fit Page icon on the toolbar:

Fit Page
Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016DeveloperCommented:
One other thing. I see that you graded the answer a B. You may not be familiar with EE's grading system, so I recommend that you read this article:

A B grade is the exception. As the article says, an A grade "should be the default grade awarded unless the answer is deficient." Also note the comment that an "asker should explain why a B grade was awarded." The point is, if an answer is deficient (such as lacking some information to resolve the problem), it's helpful for the Experts to know how/why it is deficient, and to give them a chance to improve the answer (as in this case, where you said the whole page doesn't show, but I was able to explain how to do that). This is a critical feature of the EE community.

In terms of this particular case, I don't think the answer is deficient in any way and, thus, deserves an A grade, but, of course, that's your call. However, if you choose to leave it a B), then it's your obligation to explain why you awarded a non-A grade. Thanks, Joe
100questionsAuthor Commented:
Then please change this to an A grade.  Thank you.
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016DeveloperCommented:
Thank you for explaining grading at EE, reviewing the grade in this case, concluding that there's no reason it shouldn't be an A, and then changing it. I appreciate it!

Thank you for agreeing with eenookami and me that it is worthy of an A.

Regards, Joe

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