Searchable Adobe PDF Documents

Hey guys,

We received about 50 PDF documents and we want to search for text within these documents. I tried doing a search but nothing comes up. These look like scanned PDF's, how can i search for text on all of the documents?
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If the pdf's are scanned then you can't search in them without ocr'ing them. They are no more than an image which obviously can't be content searched.

You can Google "PDF OCR" for free or paid solutions, the quality of different ocr products greatly differs.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
If you have Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader), then you already have OCR. Acrobat calls it Recognize Text in Version X (10) and Text Recognition in Version XI (11). You'll find it in the Tools section. Here's what it looks like in Acrobat XI Pro:

Acrobat XI Pro OCR
If you don't have Acrobat, I recommend the excellent (and free!) PDF-XChange Editor:

They also have a PRO (non-free) version, but I think you'll find that the free version does everything you need — including OCR! Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
One other thought. Doing 50 documents manually would be painful, so you may want to consider a batch processing solution. Here's an EE article that discusses a batch conversion approach using Nuance's Power PDF Advanced:

It is not free, but is reasonably priced, and as the article shows, they offer a 30-day free trial. Also, if these documents are coming in regularly, you may want to consider a Watched Folder approach, which is available in the same Power PDF Advanced product. Regards, Joe

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Our messages just crossed. Yes, that's exactly what I was talking about in my first post <http:#a40291063> — Adobe Acrobat's Text Recognition. I showed the screenshot from Acrobat XI Professional in that one. Here's the Recognize Text screen from Acrobat X Standard:

Acrobat X Std OCR
Regards, Joe
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