How to Convert PDF to a Searchable PDF in 2024

July 31, 20231.6K views

Attempting to conduct a word search within the text of a scanned pdf file is not permitted. The text in a scanned pdf is preserved as a bitmap image, so it cannot be copied, searched for, or modified. OCR must first process the scanned pdf before converting it to a searchable pdf. How to convert pdf to searchable pdf?

How to Convert PDF to Searchable PDF with Adobe Acrobat?

Sharing documents with clients, employees, and other organizations is easier because pdf files can be viewed on a wide range of devices and operating systems. However, when the source of a pdf file is an image rather than a typed document, the pdf file does not contain searchable text by default. You can use Adobe Acrobat's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability to modify a pdf if the original image is at least 72 dpi. Generating a searchable pdf will add a layer of text on top of an image.

1-Open the pdf you want to modify in Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the file.

2-Select Tools from the menu bar and choose Text Recognition. This will bring up the Recognize Text panel in the right-hand pane of the app.

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3-You may also choose pdf Output Style Searchable Image from the text options by clicking In This File..

4-Depending on the size of the pdf file, set the appropriate options, and then click OK. pdf files may be searched using a search engine because of this method of creating an invisible text layer on top of images.

5-Please click on Save to keep your pdf updated.

How to convert PDF to Searchable PDF Online or Offline for Free?

The online converters to convert PDF to searchable PDF can be used for free for a limited time. The use limits are removed for half a month with trial accounts after you've used up your initial free access. In addition, many additional capabilities have been added for subscribers to enhance scans saved in pdf documents. You'll be able to use the OCR method to recognize text and create searchable pdf files. Aside from that, your editable pdf can be modified in several ways. All text layers and formatting will be saved, if necessary. It's worth checking our pricing if you're an existing Adobe Acrobat user looking for an affordable and equally effective replacement.

Is there a Way to Undo what I've Done?

There are two ways to undo the process of making a pdf searchable after you've done it. Mostly, this is done by saving the file as a JPG, which essentially transforms the text into an image. We have detailed instructions on how to do this on our blog, which you can access here: How to Lock a pdf From Editing.

WPS Office as the Best Alternative to Adobe Acrobat

In 2023, you can download WPS Office for free. In addition to being visually appealing, this software suite may be used online and offline. As a result of its compatibility with so many major file formats, it is highly sought after due to its versatility.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.