Convert Scanned Image-Only PDF Files to PDF Searchable Image Files via OCR with Power PDF Advanced

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Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
50+ years in computer industry. Everything from development to sales. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015, EE MVE 2016, EE FELLOW 2017.
In this video, we show how to convert an image-only PDF file into a PDF Searchable Image file, that is, a file with both the image (typically from scanning) and text, which is created in an automated fashion with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. To do this, we will set up a Watched Folder, such that whenever an image-only PDF file arrives in the Watched Folder, it will automatically be converted to a PDF Searchable Image file. We will achieve this using Power PDF, the newest product from the Document Imaging division of Nuance Communications. There are two editions of Power PDF — Standard and Advanced. The Watched Folder feature is in the Advanced edition only.

Video Steps

1. Download and install the trial software

Visit the Nuance website at:


Click the free trial link, which takes you here:


Fill out the short form and submit it.

Download the trial software and install it.


2. Run the program and invoke the Watched Folder feature

Run the program by clicking Start>All Programs>Nuance Power PDF Advanced>Power PDF Advanced.

Invoke the Watched Folder feature by clicking the Advanced Processing menu, then the drop-down on the Batch Controls ribbon button, then Watched Folder.


3. Configure the Watched Folder settings

Tick the Enable Watched Folder box.

Click the Source button and Browse to the folder that you want as the Watched Folder.

Tick the Include Subfolders box if you want them.

Click the Destination button and Browse to the folder where you want to store the converted PDFs.

Click the File Type drop-down and select Searcheable PDF (Nuance's spelling, not mine).

Fill in whatever other options you want, especially what to do with the finished source files.


4. Test the process

Copy one or more image-only PDFs into the Watched Folder.

After a short wait, check the Destination Folder to view the searchable PDFs that have been created.

Check the Source folder and the Move to folder specified in the Finished source files settings to make sure that the source files were handled correctly.

That's it - you're done! If you find this video to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. Thank you for watching, Joe


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