How to Make Scanned PDF Searchable Free

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With high technology, now you are able to convert documents from one format to another. But, how about making scanned PDF searchable for free? You are also able to do this by using a converter that you usually use for converting documents.

A Quora user, Audrey Goodwin, says that if your PDF file is a normal non-scanned PDF file, it is already searchable. So, you only need a PDF tool that you can use to search content. However, if your PDF file is a scanned file or created from an image, it is not searchable. So, you need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology which is usually not free. In addition, she also says that Google Drive has the free OCR tool which will be able to help you. However, it is not the professional PDF tool so the layout of the content will be changed after you use it and also the images in PDF will be damaged. She suggests that you are able to try the professional PDF tool PDFelement which can support OCR technology and can help you keep the format of the content after you use OCR to change the PDF to be searchable.

Connie Yu, another Quora user also says that you can use free OCR tools to be able to recognize the text from non-searchable PDFs. Then, you have to export the file in editable or searchable PDF  Here are the steps for it.

  • First, you can use Google OCR. To access it, you can go to your Google account and then go to Google Drive. Now, you have to upload scanned PDF into Google Drive by clicking on New and then File Upload.

  • After that, you have to right click on the scanned PDF or image and open with Google Docs. The scanned PDF editable will be found in Google Docs. Now, you can go to the File and then choose Download as, and then export the scanned PDF to searchable PDF.

  • She recommends some online OCR tools which are free such as Online OCR, Free OCR, Investintech and Abbyy FineReader Online.

Using Free PDF Online Tool

When we tried to search online OCR tool for free, there is Free PDF Online which can be accessed at . On the OCR page, you can see that it functions to render PDF pages to images and then enter the recognized text with the right font into PDF. There are 5 language options which are provided by the OCR function including French, English, Spanish, Italian and German. However, it also can work for other languages and fonts including CJK fonts. The result of the ocred PDF will contain text content which is selectable, searchable and highlightable.

 Follow the steps below to use OCR on the Free PDF Online site.

  • First, you have to start by clicking on Choose File to choose your PDF file.
  • Then, under Options, you have to choose the language of the PDF document.
  • In this step, you have to click on Start which will upload your file and start the OCR process.
  • Then, you need to note that the Start button will be the Download button when the process is finished.
  • Now, you have to click on Download to begin downloading the resulting PDF to your device.

Using PDF2GO Online Tool

There is also another online tool that you are able to use for making your scanned PDF searchable. It is PDF2GO that you are able to access at On this online tool, you are able to use the PDF creator online to make PDF documents searchable. And of course, it is free. How to make a PDF searchable on PDF2Go online tool? Follow the steps below carefully.

  • The first thing that you have to do is to upload your scanned PDF.
  • After that, you have to choose the language of your PDF from the dropdown menu for a better result. But, this step is optional.
  • Now, you have to click on Start and then the tool will do the rest for you.

It is important for you to know that turning a scanned PDF such as receipt, invoice or contract into a searchable PDF has a lot of advantages. The most important advantage is that it can make a PDF searchable as the name suggests. So, you are able to search for numbers and keywords in the scan by using the search function of your PDF reader.

Using Sandwich PDF Online Tool

There is also a Sandwich PDF site that you are able to access at Here, you are able to create searchable PDFs from scanned documents. The PDF will be OCRed and then the resulting text will be included as a searchable text layer in the PDF. To use this tool is very easy. You just have to upload your file by clicking on the Browse button. Or you are able to enter a URL. There is a note that the maximum size for upload is 10 MB and the supported file types are tiff, pdf, jpg, png, bmp, and jpeg. After you upload a file or enter a URL, you have to choose the Language. You are able to choose up to three languages if your document contains more than one language. Then, you are able to put a tick on the Enhance Scan Quality. After that, click on the Start button.

Using PDF Convert Online Tool

PDF Convert Online which can be accessed at is another online tool that you are able to use for making the scanned PDF into searchable PDF. The use of this tool is also simple.

  • The first thing that you have to do is to click on the Choose File button. However, it is important for you to know that different web browsers may have different button names such as ‘browse’ and so on. After clicking on it, there will be a browse window which will open and you have to choose a local Adobe PDF file and then you have to click on the Open button.
  • Now, you have to click on the Convert Now button to convert the file. You have to wait for a few seconds for the file conversion to finish.
  • You are able to directly download or view the output PDF file on your web browser after conversion. To receive the file, you are not required to put your email address.

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