Top 3 OCR Tools to Convert Scanned PDF to Editable Text

Last updated on October 8, 2019 by Cindy Smith

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Top 3 OCR Tools to Convert Scanned PDF to Editable Text

Scanned PDFs are somewhat more difficult to deal with as OCR technology is needed to make the content of the document editable otherwise you would need to retype the entire document even if you wanted to make only minor changes. Converting your PDF document to Text format is the most efficient way of extracting the text of your document, which you can then easily work with, but you do have to keep in mind that when converting a scanned PDF to TXT, the original formatting of the document will be lost. After trying out various free online tools with OCR technology, capable of converting scanned PDF to text, we have picked out the top 3 and will provide a short review and some guidelines for you on how to use them.

LightPDF Free OCR Online

LightPDF offers a wide range of PDF management tools, among which is its Free OCR Online converter which is capable of converting images and PDFs to TXT. The program features a user-friendly and intuitive interface that lets users of any level of computer skills use the tool. It features a drag and drop system for uploading your files and the conversion is done in seconds, after which you can download your converted file directly to your computer. With LightPDF you will be able to convert scanned pdf to text free and easy. If you prefer working offline, due to security or other reasons, LightPDF offers a desktop version as well of the tool. Here is how you can convert scanned pdf to editable text with LightPDF’s free online OCR tool:

How to Use LightPDF

  • Open LightPDF’s official website from any browser and on the homepage, where you can see all its different tools displayed, scroll down to the “Other” category.
  • Here, click on the OCR tool to launch it.
  • Upload your scanned PDF by dragging and dropping your file in the given box or by clicking the “Choose file” button and manually selecting the file from your computer.
  • Uploading you scanned PDF

  • Once you have your file uploaded, you need to select the language of your scanned PDF. This will make it easier for the program to recognize characters.
  • Click “Convert” after you have selected the correct language.
  • After the program has finished recognizing your document, it will present a download button for you through which you can download your converted TXT file directly to your computer.

download converted txt


Online OCR is a great online service for converting your scanned PDFs and images into the editable DOC format or plain text files. The advantage of converting to Word instead of TXT is that all of the original document’s formatting is preserved. Without registration, Free Online OCR lets you convert 15 files per hour and the file size limit for your uploaded file is 15MB. If you want to have access to exclusive features and unlimited conversion, you need to register. The program supports 46 languages in total with some exotic languages as well. The guidelines below will show you how the tool can be used to convert scanned PDFs to text.

How to Use OnlineOCR

  • Once you have Free Online OCR’s web page opened, click the blue “Select file” button and choose the PDF from your computer that you wish to convert.
  • Using the drop-down menu, select the language of your scanned PDF. This will make it easier for the program to recognize the characters of your document.
  • Now, select the output format of your document. In the drop-down menu, click on Text Plain (txt).
  • Once you have set everything up, simply hit the blue “Convert” button. After processing your file, the program will display the extracted text.

start conversion


FreeOCR is an excellent tool for extracting text from a variety of image formats and PDF documents. With this scanned pdf to text converter you will be able to convert documents from online sources by providing their URL. Another good thing about Free Online OCR is that it supports the conversion of multi language documents. The free service however comes with a number of limitations. It only lets you convert the first page of your document and the max file size for upload is 7MB. As all the previously mentioned programs, this pdf to text converter OCR uses the OCR technology. Below we will provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use Free Online OCR.

How to Use FreeOCR

  • Upload your document you want to convert to text by clicking the “Choose File” button and selecting the document from your local drive.
  • If you want to convert from an online source, paste the link to the document in the given field.
  • Select the language of your document. If your document is a multi-language document, you can select more than one language.
  • select ocr language

  • Simply hit the blue “Start” button when you think you are ready to convert your file. The conversion can take up to a couple of minutes based on the amount of data that needs to be processed.
  • The output result will be displayed in a text box and you can download he text file using the download link under the text box.

convert scanned pdf to txt


To Convert scanned PDF to text you are going to need some kind of third party service to get the job done for you. Luckily, there are a number of free, quality conversion tools available online that are able to recognize and extract the characters of your scanned documents so you would not have to retype the entire thing if you want to make a minor change to its contents. PDF to text OCR is a powerful character recognition technology that forms the basis of all of the above mentioned programs. However, not all tools are the same in terms of their performance and functions, so it is worth experimenting with more than one to see which one suits your needs the most. If you are looking for a more comprehensive tool, that features a complete set of PDF management functions and lets you have full control over your documents, check out AceThinker’s PDF Editor, which also has its very own built-in OCR recognition tool.

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May 14, 2018

Post By Cindy Smith to Free PDF Converter

Last updated on October 8, 2019

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