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A PDF needs to be searched for text but it is just an image so it's not aware of the characters. I've been trying to do OCR to the PDF but am not skilled in the programs required. I tried Foxit Reader but the latest version I can't find the option for OCR? Yes, I did Google search but all the instructions are for a totally different UI. example screen shot

I also tried Omnipage 18 but it just hangs and I couldn't find clear instructions for it either. The PDF is over 800 pages long so it's quite big. Not all of it's text, so I would like to preserve things such as tables and pictures that aren't supposed to be converted to text. I don't care what the output format is, may as well be PDF.

In short: where do I click FoxIt Reader to do OCR?

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@ekaj what exactly do you purpose? I couldn't care less how it's done, I just want to be able to search for words, so I'm open to suggestions. –  Celeritas Jan 11 at 22:16
    
Might be of use to you: free-ocr.com - output formatting isn't perfect but it's searchable –  ekaj Jan 11 at 22:23
    
@ekaj file too big –  Celeritas Jan 11 at 23:44
    
How much memory do you have in your computer? I have used Omnipage Pro 18 on smaller projects and it works fine. 800 pages is going to take a long time to load and process. If you have <8gb of RAM for a project of this size expect to wait a long long time. Omnipage Pro 18 may appear frozen, but if you leave it along for hours (say 24 hours), it will probably unfreeze and continue to work. In general OCR programs love RAM 8,16,32gb the more the better. –  cybernard Jan 12 at 1:31
    
@cybernard 8GB I left it for a couple hours and an error message said it stopped working. I'll try again with all other programs closed. –  Celeritas Jan 12 at 5:04

1 Answer 1

Microsoft OneNote (included with many MS Office suites) has an OCR function. Open the image file (not PDF) in OneNote, right click on the image and select "Copy text from picture." Now the text is on your clipboard and you can paste it elsewhere.

Another way to get the image into OneNote is to take a Screen Clipping of it and send it to OneNote: Open the PDF with the image, Go into your start menu -> MS Office -> "Send to OneNote," choose "Screen Clipping" and you'll get a gray overlay on your screen.

Select the portion of the image you want to find the text in. Once the image is in OneNote, the text is automatically recognized and you can also just press ctrl + F and search the text in OneNote as in the screenshot below.

enter image description here

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how? how do you do that? I have One Note 2013 –  Celeritas Jan 11 at 23:39
    
@Celeritas Open the PDF with the image, Go into your start menu -> MS Office -> "Send to OneNote," choose "Screen Clipping" and you'll get a gray overlay on your screen. Select the portion of the image you want to find the text in. Once the image is in OneNote, right click it and select "Copy text from picture." Now, the recognized text is on your clipboard and you can paste it in Word or anywhere else. You can also just press ctrl + F in OneNote and search the text in the image without pasting it elsewhere. –  P Fitz Jan 11 at 23:48
    
@Celeritas I've updated my original answer to further explain the OneNote solution. –  P Fitz Jan 12 at 0:00
    
So I'm a little confused. The PDF has over 800 pages. After I select "screen clipping" what do I do? I can't manually select the whole thing with the mouse. –  Celeritas Jan 12 at 0:08
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@Celeritas Adobe Acrobat has an OCR tool built in. In Acrobat X, there is a "Recognize Text" button in the tools pane that will scan the images in the PDF for text and make it selectable. I've uploaded a screenshot here: dropbox.com/s/48tlir5jm5a3ykk/CropperCapture%5B49%5D.jpg –  P Fitz Jan 12 at 0:45

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