How to OCR a PDF File on Mac in Simple Steps


Oct 15,2019 • Filed to: Mac Tutorials

We might get some image based PDF files, from which we cannot edit the texts, images, graphics or do any changes on the file. If we want to edit or get contents from scanned PDF, we need to use Optical Character Recognition or OCR software. For Mac users, it is hard to find the best PDF OCR for Mac software. And you will find that few programs can work well to OCR PDF on Mac. Don't feel upset! Here we will share 2 simple ways to OCR PDF documents on Mac with ease, which can run on macOS 10.15 Catalina system also.

Method 1. OCR PDF on Mac Using PDFelement Pro

To OCR PDF files on Mac can be an easy task with the help of PDFelement Pro. This fabulous software can help you convert scanned PDF into searchable and editable document. Over 20 OCR languages are well supported. In addition to OCR, this PDF editor also lets you edit PDF with a bunch of powerful tools. You can freely insert and delete texts, images and pages, highlight and annotate PDF, add signature and watermark and more.

The following steps will explain you how to convert scanned PDF to editable document on Mac using the OCR feature.

Step 1. Import Your PDF into the Program

After download and installation, you can then launch the PDFelement Pro and click "Open File" to load your PDF. When the PDF has been fully loaded, you can edit and annotate it as you want.

macOS 10.15 Catalina

Step 2. Convert PDF with OCR

To OCR your PDF, you can click on the "OCR Text Recognition" button under "Tool" menu. You will be prompted to perform OCR. Click on "Perform OCR" and select the pages you want to apply this to, as well as your preferred language. Once you've done this, select "ok". OCR will be performed immediately.

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Why Choose PDFelement Pro to OCR PDFs

Moreover, with PDFelement Pro, you can convert and create files between PDF and many other popular file formats. It will maintain the original layouts and quality. This software works with Mac OS X 10.12 or later, including the latest macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Key Features:

  • With OCR function, edit and convert scanned PDF will be no longer a problem.
  • You can convert PDFs to popular document formats in batch.
  • Easily add multiple PDF files to convert at one time.
  • The output file will be kept in original formatting.
  • You can also fully control PDF with combine, split, merge and compress features.
pdfelement 6 win

Method 2. Perform OCR on Mac Using iSkysoft PDF Converter

Extract text from a scanned PDF file on Mac using iSkysoft PDF Converter Pro's OCR feature. This program can helps you convert image-based PDF files to Word, Excel, Text and other popular formats with the advanced OCR technology. 17 languages are supported, including English, Spanish, French and more.

In addition to OCR PDFs, this fabulous program can also lend you a hand in converting native PDF documents. It supports batch conversion, which will undoubtedly save you a lot of time. Now, click the "Download" button below to try PDF Converter Pro for Mac.

main interface

Steps to OCR PDF on Mac OS X

How can you convert scanned PDF files from your Mac to Word, Excel, or other editable files? With this OCR software you can do this in the simplest way possible. This program is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 or later, including the latest OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Here are the steps that you need to do in order to finish the extracting process.

Step 1. Import PDF Files

After you have installed the program, you can then launch it and drag your files to the program from your local computer. Alternatively, you can also click "File > Add PDF File" to import the scanned PDF files you need to extract.

This program offers you 17 languages to choose from. Now click on "PDF Converter Pro > Preferences" to hange settings in the Preferences pop-up box. Afterwards, select the OCR tab and select your preferred language.

start pdf converter to ocr pdf

Step 2. Convert PDF with OCR

To convert image-based PDF documents, you need to set an editable output format for your documents. To do this, you can simply click the "Gear" button so that you can set its output format and choose to convert specific page range from the "Page Range" menu. Once this is complete, select "Convert Scanned PDF Documents with OCR" and then press "Convert" to begin.

pdf converter

Tips: If you're using Apple's Numbers application, you can convert PDF to Numbers compatible format (.xlsx) using the same method, and open the converted files with Numbers.


Ivan Cook

chief Editor

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