I have a djvu file in which I can search for specific words. However, If I convert it to pdf (I tried with cutePDF and with the online djvu-pdf tool) the possibility to search for words seems to be lost.

How can I convert a djvu file to a pdf preserving word searchability?


I wrote a script to do this a long time ago. It is essentially glue code around a few utilities that do the heavy lifting. The difference between my script and the other tools at the time is that mine was the only one that did all of the following:

  • had a similar compression ratio to the original DjVu file (1.5-2x the size instead of 10-20x the size)
  • preserved bookmarks / table of contents metadata (for navigation in the pdf reader)
  • preserved the embedded text layer for searching

That being said, it is very primitive. I just made sure it worked well for all of my own files and haven't worked on it since.


Open the PDF file in PDF-XChange Viewer and perform OCR (I believe only four languages are supported). It takes time but it is damn good (even on two-column documents).

On Mac and Linux you will need Wine.


This DjVu to PDF converter definitely preserves word searchability in case the original DjVu is searchable. It also produces smaller output files than calibre.


Have you tried Calibre? The contributor to Calibre mentions that OCR'd text in djvu is supported. So it could probably be converted to PDF with searchable text.

  • 1
    Tried to convert djvu to pdf with calibre and it absolutely ruined the document – Fluffy Jun 2 '17 at 7:33

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