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Edit scanned documents on your Mac or on the go! Take advantage of the power of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in PDFpen for Mac and PDFpen Scan+ on your iPad or iPhone.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the process of converting a bitmap image of text (like a scanned document) into text that can be selected, copied and searched by PDFpen and other text editing software. PDFpen for Mac uses the OmniPage OCR engine, which is recognized for its accuracy.
For more info, see Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in Wikipedia.
"If you’re looking for a way to convert already-scanned documents to usable text without rescanning, PDFpen’s OCR software may be a viable alternative to costly standalone OCR packages." - Macworld, 4 mice
1. Open a scanned PDF in PDFpen, or scan your document using PDFpen's "Import from Scanner" command.
2. An alert box opens with the message “This document appears to be scanned. Would you like to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on it? OCR will allow you to select the text.”
3. Click on “OCR Page” or “OCR Document” to start the OCR.
Once OCR is complete, the text generated by the OCR operation can be searched and edited like any other text.
The quality of the original document affects the quality of the OCR performance. Crisp, clean originals with clear text will produce much better results than crumpled, faded photocopies.
Before performing OCR, use PDFpen's "Deskew and Adjust Image" command to straighten the image and to adjust image contrast and exposure for optimal OCR results. The text should be as level as possible.
Documents in a standard paper size, like US letter, work best. Documents with large pages, like architectural plans, do not OCR very well.
OCR technology does not always produce perfect results. You do need to proofread and edit the text that results from OCR.
The OCR process results in a normally invisible layer of text above the visible layer. To view this layer in PDFpen or PDFpenPro 7:
If you have PDFpenPro 7, you can select and edit these results by clicking on a word and editing it in the resulting popup.
Once you run OCR on a document, the text becomes recognizable as text and can be copied and pasted into a word processing app.
Once you have run OCR, you will see a blue overlay of the OCR results. Tap the document to make the preview appear or disappear. You can also acces the preview through the "OCR" menu.
A clean scan will get the best OCR results. To take a good scan, make sure the document is well lit. When you crop the document, make sure the text ends up as straight and horizontal as possible.
Whether you have taken a new scan or opened a PDF, if it is dim or blurry go to the edit screens and increase the contrast and brightness and make the text as legible as possible.
Use new touch-free scanning on contracts, invoices, or receipts! The camera will scan and crop for you. Use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to transform that scan into a searchable PDF. All with your iPhone® or iPad®.
PDFpen for iPad & iPhone, version 2, is full of pro-level features, like iCloud Drive, palm protection, a new easy to use iOS 8 interface and more! Get full-featured PDF editing power in a mobile app that doesn't feel like you left some important features back at the office.
With PDFpenPro, you can:
PDFpen 7 and PDFpenPro 7 require a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later. For previous versions see our downloads page.