Scanned Documents show grey background we would like to change the background to white and OCR scan the document.

We have some scanned book images that have a grey background. We would like to fix this in Adobe Pro 9 then OCR scan the document. We are unable to re scan these pages. So far we have tried "optimize scanned PDF" with no luck. It just adjusts the text but the background remains grey. Is there a better way to do this?
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CityInfoSysAsked:
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captainCommented:
Hi

the "optimized scanned PDFs" is usually the correct tool.

In the options for the tool did you adjust the "Background Removal", quite often this is set to 'off'. Try setting it too 'High'

hth
capt.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> We would like to fix this in Adobe Pro 9

I don't think there's a way to fix this in Acrobat 9 Pro. I have Acrobat XI (aka 11) Pro and I don't even think there's a way to fix it in that. Problem is, if it's a scanned document where the scanner was set too dark (which is why you have the gray background), then it's not really a "background" technically, and Acrobat won't detect it. You'll get a message like this:

not real background
A product that will do what you want is PaperPort. It has a tool called Convert Color:

PaperPort SET tools
Clicking on that gives this dialog:

PaperPort Convert Color
I selected Black-and-white on the document in the screenshot above, and it created this:

gray background turned white
It does it for all pages of a multi-page PDF, so if a book has many pages, it's just a few mouse clicks to do it on the entire book.

> then OCR scan the document.
> We are unable to re scan these pages.

PaperPort can do the OCR without having to re-scan. You simply do a Save As to a PDF Searchable Image file. This retains the scanned image and creates text in the PDF file via PaperPort's built-in OCR (based on the excellent OmniPage OCR engine). Once again, it does all pages of a multi-page PDF at once in a few mouse clicks.

If you'd like to post a few pages of one of your books, I'll run it through PaperPort and post the resulting PDF — with white background and text from OCR. But make sure that nothing you post contains sensitive/private information and that it doesn't violate anyone's copyright.

The latest version of PaperPort is 14. To upgrade it to the latest point release (14.5), read this EE article:
PaperPort 14 - Free Upgrade to Version 14.5

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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CityInfoSysAuthor Commented:
Excellent description!
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Thanks — happy to help. Good luck on the project! Regards, Joe
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