How to Make a Searchable PDF.
Many PDFs are not searchable these days, making it difficult to find specific text in a document. Luckily, several online tools allow you to make a PDF file searchable using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and OCR technology.
These tools are free with limited features, but they are more affordable than expensive PDF software that you may only use once or twice. You can simply upload your file, click a button or two, and upload a searchable document.
Is My PDF Searchable?
One of the easiest ways to find out if your PDF is searchable is to look for specific text that you know exists in the document. Depending on the PDF tool or platform you are using, you may have several ways to search for text.
Here are some examples:
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Windows or Mac: choose Edit > Find from the menu. PDFelement on Windows: select the search icon on the left. Mac Preview: choose Edit > Find from the menu bar and choose Find. Keyboard shortcuts: on Windows press Ctrl + F, or on Mac press Command + F.
When the search box opens, enter some text and press Enter, Return, or the search button. If you see a message that the text could not be found, and you know it should, your PDF document is unsearchable.
You can use the PDF2Go tool to create searchable PDF files directly, or select All Tools > Make PDF Searchable from the drop-down menu at the top.
Drag and drop a file into the red box or use other options to select a file, enter a URL, or upload it from Dropbox or Google Drive.
Once your file is uploaded, you will see it displayed. Select Start to convert it.
When the process completes, you will see a success message. If the file automatically opens in a new tab, go there. If not, select Download to open it.
In a new tab, use the Download icon (or other download option depending on your browser) to save the file to your computer.
Please note that there is a 100MB limit for free PDF2Go conversions.
Drag and drop the file into the gray box, or select Select Files to upload it from your computer.
Once the file is uploaded, it will be displayed next to file 1. Make sure Searchable PDF is selected in the Convert to field, and select Convert.
When the process completes, you will see the file in your default browser’s Downloads folder. If you don’t see it, you can use the manual download link. Open the folder containing the file to access it.
Please note that there is a 100MB limit for free conversions from Online2PDF.
Select “Choose File” to browse for the file on your computer and enter a password if required. When you see the file name displayed next to #1, it has been uploaded. If necessary, select the language to convert next to #2 and click Start next to #3 to convert the file.
When the process is complete, select “Download” and then get the file from your browser’s “Downloads” folder.
Please note that there is a 5MB limit for Free PDF Online conversion.
Another free verification tool is SandwichPDF, which specifically creates searchable PDFs.
Select Browse to download the file, or use the URL field to enter a link to it. Optionally select the source language and check the box to improve the quality if you wish. Select Start.
When the process completes, you will see the result with a link to your file. Select the link to open it in a new tab, then download the document to your browser.
Please note that there is a 10MB limit for free conversions with SandwichPDF.
Search Your PDF
After using one of the above file converters, open the file in a PDF reader and find the text by following the instructions at the beginning of this guide. Your reader should now recognize the text, turning it into a searchable PDF document.
Also, you should be able to highlight the text so that it can be copied and pasted elsewhere.
Related articles can be found in PDF editor add-ons for Chrome or in the best PDF writing and printing software.
How to Make a Searchable PDF
How to Make a Searchable PDF