August 12, 2022

What is a Searchable PDF Document and How do you Make One?

Searchable PDF documents are the ones that help you search their content through keywords and phrases. Learn how you can create one with OCR software.

PDF files are one of the most commonly used file types to store and access information. They enable better formatting and offer ease of printing, among other benefits. They are a vital part of every business, and you would be dealing with tens and hundreds of them daily.

But have you ever faced difficulties in locating the information contained in them? If there is no option to search their content, it will become time-consuming as you will have to scan everything manually.

This is where searchable PDF documents come into the picture. But what exactly are they, and how do they work? More importantly, how can you make a PDF file searchable? This article explores the concept to help you understand better.

What is a Searchable PDF Document?

A searchable PDF document is a file type you can use to look for information by entering keywords and phrases. It allows you to find specific information within the document quickly and easily. The search function works just like any other search engine on the internet. However, it only searches through the words contained in your PDF file, not the content of any images within it.

Searchable PDFs are ideal for document-heavy businesses related to healthcare, logistics, insurance, and legal. They usually have to deal with large amounts of information and store them in PDF documents. They are also helpful for individuals who need to find specific information quickly.

What is an Example of a Searchable PDF Document?

Searchable PDF documents are usual in legal situations where people need to find information quickly and accurately. For example, if you have a lawsuit against someone, it's critical to find the relevant information about the situation quickly and easily. For this to happen, you will want to use searchable PDFs as they will make finding information much faster than if you use regular print copies of your documents.

Another situation can be about an accounts team that needs to deal with several invoices related to outstanding payments. The accountant would need swift information access to ensure the work gets completed faster and with accuracy. Searchable PDFs will help the accountant locate vital information like item name, unit price, client name, and contact details within seconds.

What are the Different Types of PDF Files?

Here are the two types of PDF files:

Text-based PDFs

Text-based PDFs often get used for e-books or manuals that only contain text. You can convert these files into any other file type or format. It will help you read them on a device like an e-book reader or smartphone.

Image-based PDFs

Image-based PDFs are essentially a bunch of images compiled into one file. An image-based PDF finds use for brochures and flyers, where you want to be able to zoom in on certain parts of an image without losing any quality. They do not contain text layers just like PNG and JPEG file formats. You cannot search or copy text from these documents.

How to make PDF documents Searchable?

Here’s how you can make a PDF document searchable. We show how you can use Adobe Acrobat for this process:

  • At the first step, open Adobe Acrobat and click on the menu bar. Then select file -> enhance -> edit with OCR.
  • Pick the language and technique from the relevant options. You can then click the Enhance button and wait for a minute. The OCR will detect the text in the file.
  • Once OCR completes the activity, you can click the Protect button to save the document as a PDF file.
  • When you open the PDF file, you will notice highlights on the pages. It is nothing but the OCR text.
  • You are all set now to run a standard search query and locate the desired information. The entire process will not take more than 5-10 minutes.

This process, however, comes with drawbacks. It is not the ideal solution for any document-heavy business that needs to process the bulk of documents daily. It will cost you time and money to make all the documents searchable. To begin with, you will need the official license to run the program.

If you have several employees working on the same task, you will need that many licenses. Furthermore, it will not be possible for you to process documents in a batch, which can save time. This is where automated OCR software comes into the picture. It leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to simplify the process.

Making PDF Documents Searchable with OCR Software

One of the most reliable solutions to make your PDF documents searchable and editable is with the help of OCR software that leverages deep learning. An OCR software will quickly and conveniently convert your input files into searchable PDF documents. An OCR with deep learning algorithms comes across as a next-gen solution.

It offers better speed and accuracy compared to traditional OCR systems of yesteryears. You do not need to add unique fonts, as deep learning will take care of it and make your documents searchable.

About us: If you are looking for an automated PDF document processing solution, we have VisionERA. VisionERA is an intelligent document processing (IDP) platform that can extract data from huge volumes of unstructured pdf document and store it your central database with minimal intervention.

Want to learn more about VisionERA, click on the CTA below. You can also send us a query using our contact us page!

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