The PDF format was originally intended to display the exact same content and layout regardless of operating system, device, or software application it is viewed on.
Nowadays however, it has become a necessity to be able to search through PDF documents, extract information or convert complete documents into editable formats. This is not always easy, especially in the case of PDFs created by scanning – “scanned” or “image-only” PDFs. PDF conversion tools must incorporate OCR technology to enable search, extraction and repurposing of information.
What is OCR?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or text recognition unlocks the information that is ‘trapped’ in a scanned/photographed image of a document. OCR software ‘reads’ the content of a document (text and structure) by interpreting character images and assigning them an electronic equivalent.
This makes it possible to transfer the content and layout of the document into searchable and editable formats.
PDF to searchable PDF and PDF/A
Creating PDF documents with a scanner results in image-only PDFs without a text layer. Converting scanned PDF documents into PDFs containing selectable and searchable text enables easy management, copying and indexing of the content as well as full-text search.
Organizations, especially in the legal, education or public sectors, can thus benefit from fast access to information via electronic applications such as eDiscovery or DMS systems.
Converting PDF documents to the PDF/A format enables long-term archiving while meeting the latest compliance standards for archiving processes.
If you have an existing digital document library that you would like to improve by making it searchable please do not hesitate to contact us.