How to Make Scanned PDF Searchable on Mac (Online & Offline)?

Sat. 13 Jun. 20203832.5 mins

PDF file is widely used in people's work and life since it can keep all formats unchanged during propagation. In general, PDF files provide more convenience for us. But, when you get a scanned PDF file, it doesn’t allow you to locate the content with keyword search (can’t be copied, pasted and marked up as well). In this case, you should make your scanned PDF searchable. In this article, we will show you how to make PDF searchable on Mac. There are two PDF tools that can convert PDF to searchable PDF on Mac for you, online PDF tool and offline PDF tool.

How to make scanned PDF searchable on Mac with PDF Reader Pro?

If you work with PDF files a lot, we recommend you use the offline PDF tool since online PDF tools are not very convenient to use and there are file security issues. PDF Reader Pro is an all-featured PDF tool for Mac users, it has a very mature OCR function, which will enable Mac users to recognize text contents in scanned PDF, and make PDFs searchable on Mac. PDF Reader Pro provides a free trial for all of you, you can click the hyperlink to get more product details, and you also click the “Free Download” to download it directly. And PDF Reader Pro is super easy to use. Next, we will show you how to make scanned PDFs searchable on Mac with it.

Steps to make scanned PDF searchable on Mac with PDF Reader Pro:

Step 1. Click the "Open Files" to choose the scanned PDF file you want to convert, or just drag and drop to open it. If you input some word in the search box and search at this time, you will get nothing since the scanned PDF file doesn’t support searching text content directly.

make scanned pdf searchable on mac


Step 2. Then, you need to choose the “OCR” feature, PDF Reader Pro will allow you to enter the OCR interface. Just click the "OCR" button, the scanned PDF file will start to be converted.

make scanned pdf searchable on mac


Step 3. After the conversion, you will get all contents from the scanned PDF file, choose to Save as PDF, you will get a converted PDF file. And you can also choose to Save as TXT.

make scanned pdf searchable on mac


Step 4. Now, let us check that the scanned PDF file is converted to searchable PDF file or not. From the search results, we can see it clearly, making scanned PDF to searchable file on Mac is successful.


make scanned pdf searchable on mac


How to make scanned PDF searchable online?

If scanned PDF files are not used frequently in your work and life, and you won’t to download and install applications, you just want to convert PDF to searchable PDF Mac occasionally, you can try an online tool. When you search for such a tool, you may get Smallpdf. Smallpdf is an all-in-one online PDF tool, which also enables users to make PDF into searchable files on Mac. Different from PDF Reader Pro, the way to make scanned PDF searchable with Smallpdf is converting scanned PDF to Word with OCR, and then you need to convert the Word to PDF.

Steps to make scanned PDF searchable online with Smallpdf:

1. Access the online PDF to Word converter - Smallpdf.

2. Drag and drop your PDF into the blue toolbox.

3. Choose the option to ‘Convert to Word with OCR’.

4. Download the Word file, with searchable content.

5. Click ‘Word to PDF’ via the footer to save it as a now searchable PDF.

Disadvantages of making scanned PDF searchable online

1.     The converting process is complicated. When you convert scanned PDF to Word with OCR and then convert Word to PDF, your formats may be confused. So the conversion accuracy can't be ensured.

2.     Smallpdf is a not totally free PDF tool. If you want to convert PDF to Word with OCR, you need to input your email and password to have a free trial.

3.     Privacy security can't be guaranteed by online tools, your PDF files will be kept on their servers.

Why should we choose PDF Reader Pro?

1. 99%+ accuracy assurance. If you use an online PDF converter, you can't ensure the accuracy. But PDF Reader Pro promises that the format of your scanned PDF file won't be changed.

2. PDF Reader Pro turns scanned documents and images into fully editable, selectable and searchable PDFs in over 50 languages.

3. PDF Reader Pro also can convert PDF to DOCX, PPTX, XLSX and more other document formats. And it also will keep the fonts and layouts intact, including bullets and tables.

4. PDF Reader Pro does more than conversion, it also supports Mac users to read, annotate, edit, compress, remove password on PDF.


Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!