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How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Make‌ ‌a‌ ‌PDF‌ ‌Searchable‌ ‌for‌ ‌Free‌

Jane Zhou updated on May 26, 2021 to PDF Editor Tutorials

Searchable PDFs are a great way to make your PDF files more useful. Instead of manually opening each and every PDF document manually, you can use the search feature to find exactly what you're looking for. You can also use them to create a table of contents, a hyperlinked index, or even highlight important information.

The problem is that flatten PDF files are not easily searchable. This makes it hard to find text or other information in your file. To create searchable PDFs from documents stored as images, you will need tools equipped with OCR (Optical Character Recognition). The technology analyses the text extracts it, and converts it to word editable files. The result is a PDF with two layers, one for the original image and the other with the searchable text.

In this article, we'll show you how to make a PDF searchable for free on Windows, Mac, and online.

How to Make PDF Searchable in Windows 10

EaseUS PDF Editor is an easy-to-use software for editing, modifying, and converting PDF documents. It uses OCR technology to convert scanned PDF files to searchable and editable files. This tool also provides you with the capability to extract texts from PDF files, save them to editable Microsoft Word .doc, .txt, .htm, HTML, etc.

With its help, you can make searchable PDFs, highlight the search result, copy it to the clipboard, or export it to Word, Excel, or other text documents. This Windows PDF editor also allows you to add or remove watermark or background image, rotate or crop the document, merge PDF files, and add text, images, or shapes to your PDF document.

Follow the below steps, and you will be able to do it in a few minutes.

Step 1. Launch the PDF editor. Click to open the file and import your PDF file.

Select and open PDF file

Step 2. On the toolbar, Click the OCR icon. Select the desired languages to convert your searchable PDF.

Select language

Step 3. Wait for the loading bar to finish the conversion of your flattened PDF to a searchable PDF. Check the results with EaseUS PDF Editor, using the Search tool, on the left side of the screen.

Check result

Step 4. Done. The conversion is complete. Save your searchable PDF in the desired folder location.

Saved changed PDF

How to Make a PDF Searchable with Adobe on Mac

If you have flattened PDF files on your Mac and want to search for specific information or keywords, you need to convert the PDF files to a searchable format.

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is an app that will turn scanned documents and PDF files into searchable and editable Word and Excel files. This saves you hours of editing time and turns your scanned documents and PDF files into searchable and editable files that can be easily edited and shared.

This tutorial shows step-by-step how to make a searchable PDF on Cisdem for Mac systems.

Step 1. Download Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, install, and open it on your Mac.

Open PDF file

Step 2. Select the PDF file. Drag and drop the PDFs on the Converter interface, or click "+", it pops a window to add files. Alternatively, click Files, then Add Files on the menu bar.

Add files

Step 3. On below, Turn the OCR button ON. Click All Pages or fill Page Range and choose the language and output as PDF.

Step 4. Click Convert. The searchable PDF archives are in the output folder.

Convert to seachable PDF

How to Make a PDF Searchable Free Online  

Smallpdf is a free online PDF converter service that lets you convert PDF files to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, image, and text with a single click, in minutes!

Powered by cloud servers dedicated exclusively to PDF to Word files, SmallPDF is fast and safe. It offers quick and easy conversion to PDF to Word within seconds for all platforms, just simply dragging and dropping. No file size limit! No signup! No install!

Note: Free users can make up to 2 searchable PDFs per day. 

Learn how to make searchable PDFs for free with Smallpdf online in few steps:

Step 1. Access the PDF to Word converter. In the blue toolbox, click Choose files or drop the PDFs inside its zone.

Step 2. After uploading, choose to Convert to Word or "Convert to Word with OCR" for pro users.

Make a searchable PDF online

Step 3. Wait for the conversion. Smallpdf is running the scanning process.

Step 4. After the conversion, download your Word file converted with searchable content.

The Bottom Line

PDF Editor allows you to make PDF documents searchable using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) with a single click. With this software, you can index PDF files, edit text, remove text, and save a searchable PDF file. These are useful features for those who need to search many PDF documents, especially documents that are scanned and saved as PDF files.

Free alternatives often are limited per file used by month. They convert PDFs to Word files instead of scannable PDF files. Such programs don't offer editing tools, and the license only works under a subscription, increasing the cost you spend during the years.

So, here we highly recommend EaseUS PDF Editor. Because it is easy to use and affordable, making it a great option for your business. Purchase it for a lifetime license and download it, any time you need.