OCR on your Mac with PDFpen

Edit scanned documents on your Mac with ease! PDFpen features OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capability.

“If you’re looking for a way to convert already-scanned documents to usable text without rescanning, PDFpen’s OCR software may be a viable alternative to costly standalone OCR packages.”Macworld, 4 mice

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the process of converting a bitmap image of text (like a scanned document) into text that can be selected, copied and searched by PDFpen and other text editing software. PDFpen uses the OmniPage OCR engine, which is recognized for its accuracy.

For more info, see Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in Wikipedia.

Using OCR in PDFpen

  1. Open a scanned PDF in PDFpen, or scan your document using PDFpen’s “Import from Scanner” command.
  2. An alert box opens with the message “This document appears to be scanned. Would you like to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on it? OCR will allow you to select the text.”
  3. Click on “OCR Page” or “OCR Document” to start the OCR.

Once OCR is complete, the text generated by the OCR operation can be searched and edited like any other text.

Batch OCR with PDFpenPro

OCR multiple documents at a time.

  1. From the menu bar choose File > OCR Files.
  2. In the OCR Files window select some documents to OCR. Either drag and drop files into the window, or choose Add PDFs.
  3. Once the list of documents is ready, click Perform OCR.

As each file is completed its progress indicator turns green. Yellow means OCR failed. Either try again or send the document to support for assistance.

The documents will OCR in the background as you continue working in PDFpen. Add more documents to the list anytime. Each document saves back to its original file. OCR continues even if you close the window. Reopen the window from File > OCR Files. A chime sounds once the full list has completed. A list of completed files remains in the window. Remove completed entries with Remove.

Tips to improve the OCR results of your document

  • The quality of the original document affects the quality of the OCR performance. Crisp, clean originals with clear text will produce much better results than crumpled, faded photocopies.
  • Before performing OCR, use PDFpen’s “Deskew and Adjust Image” command to straighten the image and to adjust image contrast and exposure for optimal OCR results.
  • OCR technology does not always produce perfect results. You do need to proofread and edit the text that results from OCR.
  • Check out all the PDF editing features in PDFpen and PDFpenPro.