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How to Use Google Docs to Convert Scanned PDF to text

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  Sarahs's Photo
Posted May 24 2012 08:01 PM

Google Docs lets you create and share ocuments, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more anytime anywhere. It is really very powerful and has been part of our working life. Every day we check, create and share documents, spreadsheets and more with others. But do you know that the Google Docs can convert scanned PDF to text?

Google Docs now can perform OCR on digital images and scanned PDFs. You can upload an image containing typewritten or printed text (like a scanned newspaper or a fax document) or scanned PDF files to your Google Docs account and it will turn that image or scanned PDF file into text. Google Docs' text recognition accuracy is quite impressive. And with Google Docs, you can perform OCR on images and PDFs as large as 2 MB and there are no limits on the number of files that you can process in a day. However, the recognition accuracy is not always excellent since Google Docs won't retain the original formatting of the document and the OCR engine almost fails with low-resolution images. If the scanned file or image contains tables, graphics or other formatting, it will be lost in the converted text file. So Google Docs only works for text-based scanned PDF files or images.
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Like Google Docs, PDF Converter Pro too includes OCR features but the difference is that while Google Docs can extract text from images, the OCR in PDF Converter Pro works only with <strong>scanned PDF files</strong> (not supporting images). However, the PDF Converter Pro can convert scanned PDF to editable document formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, EPUB, Text, RTF, Images. And with batch and partial conversion function, it can convert up to 50 PDF files at a time and also allows users to flexibly convert selected pages or page ranges from large PDF files. This highly improves the efficiency when Mac users need to convert multiple PDF files to different formats.

Anyway, Google Docs is a good option when you only wanna convert some text-based scanned PDF files. But if you'd convert large size of scanned PDf files and want to keep good formatting, PDF Converter Pro is your best choice.

3 Replies

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  thetecnica's Photo
Posted Feb 13 2013 02:21 PM

This is awesome. Would love to share it on my blog. :)
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  mattyclown's Photo
Posted Mar 02 2014 07:54 PM

"Google Docs now can perform OCR on digital images and convert scanned PDFs into text." I did not know that. Thanks for sharing. I just wonder is it free?
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  piter_10926's Photo
Posted Mar 18 2014 11:01 PM

Thanks for sharing! And for Mac users, I think the PDF to Text with OCR converter is more suitable and with better quality.