Making PDF files searchable

Normal PDF and Searchable PDF files can be searched, both singly and in batches. This is valuable for archiving; PDF files can be protected so their content cannot be changed and they keep uniform appearance in varied environments – yet their texts can be searched in PaperPort or by applications like Windows Desktop Search or Google.


However, some PDF files are image-only and cannot be searched, for instance those created by scanning or from image files. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) must run to generate a searchable text layer. PaperPort can do this:  


Saving to Searchable PDF

Open an item from the PaperPort desktop and choose Save As from its shortcut menu. Choose Searchable PDF as the file type.

Scanning to Searchable PDF

1. Choose the Scan Now button in the Desktop ribbon to open the Scan panel.

2. Choose the supplied profile “Color Searchable PDF Document”.

3. Perform the scan to receive a searchable PDF file on the PaperPort desktop.


In PaperPort Professional you can make new profiles, e.g. for searchable PDF with MRC compression.

Transforming image-only PDF files

1. Open an image-only PDF in Nuance PDF Viewer Plus or PDF Converter Professional.

2. Choose Make Searchable PDF from the Tools menu.

3. Save this file to a new name if you wish to retain the image-only original.


When you import an image-only PDF into a Nuance PDF program, it may detect this and offer to make it Searchable, along with an option to retain or discard the image-only original.


Printing to PaperPort

When you print files to PaperPort, by default these become Image PDF files. Two more choices are offered under Desktop > Options > Item: PaperPort image (.max) and Searchable PDF.



The PDF Create program supplied with PaperPort Professional makes Normal PDF files from a wide variety of source files; the resulting PDF files are searchable. See the PDF creation section in the PDF Viewer Plus Help.

Making PDF files searchable