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How to OCR a PDF to Edit/Recognize Text

Jane Zhou updated on May 20, 2021 to PDF Editor Tutorials

PDF is one of the most commonly used file formats in today's world. It is a format that is used by everyone in daily life, including work and study purposes. However, sometimes we find ourselves in need to extract text from PDF to make it editable. So how to make PDF recognize texts becomes a problem. If you find yourself in a situation like this, relax. Here you find the best solutions related to this issue.

To make PDF editable, you need to OCR a PDF. OCR is the abbreviation of Optical Character Recognition, and this feature helps you edit or recognize text in scanned PDF. Most of the PDF programs have the OCR feature, and in this article, you will find the free OCR software for Windows and Mac.

How To OCR a PDF in Windows for Free

After 16 years of experience, EaseUS has released a new PDF editing software to meet all needs of Windows users - EaseUS PDF Editor.

With a user-friendly interface, this program is suitable for both beginners and professionals. Besides, this multifunctional PDF editor makes the whole process of editing PDF easy. With the program's help, you can edit PDF files and create slick and professional PDFs with ease. Moreover, if you want to OCR a PDF file to make it editable or recognized,  this software is all you need.


  • Allow you to combine, crop, split, and rotate a PDF
  • Support adding or removing watermarks
  • Allow you to sign PDF in seconds
  • Support converting PDF to 10+ file format or vice versa
  • Make PDF editable with OCR feature


  • It does not support Mac

How to OCR a PDF in Windows.

Firstly, download this Windows PDF OCR software by clicking the below button.

Step 1. Click Create and choose From file from the top left corner

If you want to OCR from an existing PDF file, click from the File option on the top left corner to start the process.

Open PDF file

Step 2. Click OCR on the toolbar

After clicking OCR on the menu, select the language, then wait for a couple of seconds.


Step 3. Edit your PDF as you wish

You can use crop, rotate, combine, etc. features according to your needs. There are several features, and it allows you to manage this process easily and effortlessly.

Edit PDFs

Step 4. Click Save to keep the changes

When you are finished with editing, click save to keep the changes. You can also click save as and type a new file name if you want to keep the old version unchanged.

Save files

How to OCR a PDF on Mac for Free

There are many programs out there to do the job for those who are currently using the Mac operating system. Among all those software available, Adobe Acrobat DC stands out. In this part, you are going to get a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use Adobe Acrobat DC to OCR a PDF.

OCR PDF with Adobe

Step 1. Open the scanned PDF on Adobe.

Step 2. After loading the PDF file, click on Pages. On the right menu, select "Add" below the "Header and Footer" Section.

Step 3. Click the text element you want to edit and start. New text matches the look of the original fonts in your scanned image.

Step 4. Click File > Save As. After you made the changes, click Save As to keep the changes.

How to OCR PDFs Online

If you do not want to use any software to OCR a PDF, don't worry. There are many online tools that can help you out as well. In this part, you will learn the best online PDF editing tool. Here we suggest OnlineOCR.net for a better OCR experience.

Follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step 1. Go to the online site and click "Select file" to upload your PDF.

Step 2. Select Language and output format for your file.

Step 3. Convert the PDF to word and start editing.

OCR PDF online

However, do not forget that you risk your data security every time you upload your file on any online site. 

The Bottom Line

In this article, you learned how to OCR a PDF on Windows, Mac, and online. The simple interface and toolbar of EaseUS PDF Editor with its multifunctionality makes it the best choice for Windows users. If you are a Mac user, Adobe Acrobat DC is a good option. All of the solutions in this article allow you to get where you need to easily and effortlessly.

People Also Ask

Some of you may still have question marks on your mind. If you are one of them, we have compiled a couple of questions and answers for you below to clear up your confusion.

1. Can I OCR my PDF file to edit?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is to convert it to an editable file format like .txt .word etc. If you are a Windows user, try EaseUS PDF Editor, if you are a Mac user, give Adobe Acrobat a try.

2. Are there any online tools to OCR a PDF?

Multiple online tools can do the job. OnlineOCR.net is one of them. Yet using online tools for this type of job is not recommended due to data security reasons.

3. Do I have to pay to OCR my PDF?

For Windows users, EaseUS PDF Editor can get the job done for free. Also full version available with many advantages. For Mac users, the Adobe Acrobat Pro version costs about 95 USD, but it has a free trial version as well.