Sources: helpx.adobe.com, Office Support, Apple Support, and Open Office

Whether your document has been converted to a PDF from another file or created as a PDF, the content may not be automatically text-searchable. Click the links below to learn how to make your PDFs text-searchable using Adobe Acrobat DC.

  1. Open Document in Adobe Acrobat DC
    Select File > Open, and then navigate to the folder on your computer where the PDF you wish to convert is located.
  2. Recognize text
    Select Tools > Recognize Text > In This File to invoke the text recognition sub menu. If necessary, click the Language drop-down and choose the appropriate language from the list of options. Click Recognize Text to convert the image to text that can be selected and edited.Recognize text
  3. Search / Edit text (optional)
    Once you use the Recognize Text tool to convert your scanned image into a usable PDF file, you can select and search through the text in that file, making it easy to find, modify, and reuse the information from your old paper documents.Select the Find text tool and enter text to search in the Find field. Now that the text is editable, you can choose to replace the text if necessary.Note: You may get a low resolution scan warning indicating that editing the document may not produce the best results. Click Yes to continue and edit the scanned document. Click No to make no further edits to the file.

    Search text in your PDF

  4. Save the file, and you’re done!
    Note: You may wish to save the PDF with a new file name to preserve the original document’s contents.
    1. Open the image of your document
      Open the file of one of your own scanned documents or an image of your document in Acrobat DC.In the right hand pane, select the Enhance Scans tool.Note: The initial scanned document or photo of the document needs to be saved as a PDF.

      Open the image of your document

    2. Adjust skewing
      Select Enhance > Camera Image to bring up the Enhance sub menu. Select the correct option from the Content drop down. Auto Detect is the default and works on most scanned documents.Drag the blue dots to frame the part of the page you want to preserve. Align the dots along the edges of the document to fix the skewing and click Enhance Page.Adjust skewing

      Adjust skewing

    3. Adjust contrast
      In the resulting enhanced image preview, drag the Adjust enhancement level slider left or right to decrease or increase the contrast. When you are done, click Close to return to the main Enhance Scans menu. At this point, you’ve got an improved image of your document, but you still cannot edit, select, or search the text.Note: Refer to Scan documents to PDF for more details on how you can change the default settings to enhance scanned documents.Adjust contrast
    4. Recognize text
      Select Recognize Text > In This File to invoke the text recognition sub menu. If necessary, click the Language drop-down and choose the appropriate language from the list of options. Click Recognize Text to convert the image to text that can be selected and edited.Recognize text
    5. Search / Edit text (optional)
      Once you use the Recognize Text tool to convert your scanned image into a usable PDF file, you can select and search through the text in that file, making it easy to find, modify, and reuse the information from your old paper documents.Select the Find text tool and enter text to search in the Find field. Now that the text is editable, you can choose to replace the text if necessary.Note: You may get a low resolution scan warning indicating that editing the document may not produce the best results. Click Yes to continue and edit the scanned document. Click No to make no further edits to the file.

      Search text in your PDF

    6. Save the file and you’re done

Note: You may wish to save the PDF with a new file name to preserve the original document’s contents.

  1. Open document in Word to begin the export
    Choose File > Export > Create PDF/XPS
  2. If the properties of your Word document contains information that you do not want included in the PDF, in the Publish as PDF or XPS window, choose Options. Then select Document and clear Document properties. Set any other options you want and choose OK.
  3. In Publish as PDF or XPS, navigate to where you want to save the file. Also, modify the file name if you want a different name.
  4. Click Publish, and you’re done!
  1. Open document in Pages to begin the export
    Choose File > Export To, then select PDF.
  2. From the Export Your Document window, you can choose a different format or set up any additional options.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Enter a name for your file and select a folder to save it to.
  5. Click Export, and you’re done!Note: Make sure you save your file before closing. If you make any changes after exporting the file to a different format, they only appear in the Pages file you are working in.
  1. Open document in Open Office to begin the export
    Choose File > Export as PDF.
  2. The Export Your Document window has five pages (General, Initial View, User Interface, Links, and Security). Make your selections, and then click Export.
  3. Enter the folder location and file name of the PDF to be created.
  4. Click Export, and you’re done!