One of the coolest things you can do with Adobe Acrobat is scan paper documents into PDF files; not only can you save digital copies of important files (and then secure them as PDF files), you can run OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in Adobe Acrobat to convert those scanned documents into usable text. This allows you to copy content, search for specific words or phrases, even edit the text on what was once a printed page. Digitizing your documents can help you keep your desk paper-free, as well as give you options for using those papers that you never had before.
The scanning functionality is so awesome that we get a lot of questions from Acrobat users about how best to use it, so we’ve decided that it’s time to put together a directory to help you get answers to all your scanning and OCR questions. Here’s our comprehensive list of resources to help you become a scanning pro with Acrobat.
Please note: These resources cover scanning and OCR functionality in Acrobat X and Acrobat XI; the information will be relevant to you no matter which version you’re using.
Basic document scanning:
1. How to scan documents (infographic): Basic step-by-step instructions for scanning a file to PDF.
2. Scan a paper document to PDF (video tutorial): A 90-second video that walks you through Acrobat’s scan settings.
3. Taking the guesswork out of scanning to PDF (article): This long-form tutorial tells you how to get your scanner to play nice with Acrobat, which presets to use for your scan, and how to get the best OCR results with Acrobat.
OCR and text recognition:
1. How to create a searchable text document from a scanned page (video tutorial): Once you’ve scanned a document, you need to make the text usable. This video shows you how.
2. How to find and correct OCR errors (video tutorial): After running OCR, find and correct any mistakes in the document to makes sure all the text is accurate.
Editing, optimizing, and using scanned content:
1. How to edit text in a scanned PDF - Acrobat X (video tutorial): Use Acrobat X to recognize text in a scanned image, then make changes to that text. Also includes some tips for getting the best OCR results.
2. How to optimize a scanned PDF (video tutorial): This video walks you through the steps to improve the appearance of a scanned document (even remove stains on the page!).
3. Export scanned content to Word or Excel (video tutorial): You can scan a document and export the content to Word or Excel to keep working on that content. This video will give you a few tips on how to export easily and accurately.
On-demand seminar (25-minute video). This is a long-form video seminar covering OCR and scanning to PDF using Acrobat X. The video includes: Ian Campbell on taking your correspondence totally paperless by scanning to PDF; David Mankin on how to use OCR in Acrobat X; an interview with our very own Ali Hanyaloglu on OCR basics; and Dave Merchant with scanning updates in Acrobat X.