Making Accessible PDFs

In order to make a PDF more accessible and useful to your users, you may wish to scan it with optical character recognition (OCR) to produce text that the computer recognizes and can select, highlight, and read. Doing this allows recipients to interact with the PDF in different ways, including using screen readers. There are multiple ways to embed OCR text into a PDF, including the options below. 

Desktop:

Scanning PDFs:

HWS Multi-Function Devices (MFDs):

  1. Prepare your document(s) for scanning. Clean, flat, well lit documents that are scanned one page at a time produce the best results. Documents with excessive annotations or severe damage may not be good candidates for OCR text recognition. Preparing and laying out documents in a logical order before you approach a scanner will expedite the process.  
  2. Follow the instructions provided in the Multi-Function Device (MFD) a.k.a. Xerox copier/scanner/printer Scan to E-mail Instructions

Other Devices:

Consult your scanning device's support documentation for exact methodology. Contact the Help Desk if you need additional assistance with an HWS administered device.

Converting to OCR Text:

Acrobat:

  1. Begin by opening your PDF in Adobe Acrobat (File > Open)
  2. Select Tools and scroll down until you locate Action Wizard
  3. Click the icon for Action Wizard
  4. From the Action Menu on the right, choose Make PDF Accessible
  5. Follow the on screen instructions to complete the accessibility process; for more information, please see Adobe's Support articles
  6. Save document under a new title, using File > Save As... 

Online:

There are a number of converters that can be found online by searching the term "OCR Text Converter" on any search engine.  Follow the instructions provided to convert scanned PDFs to OCR text. One example of these that has been useful is https://docdrop.org/ocr/  These converters can vary greatly in quality, speed, and ease of use, and we encourage you to use caution when selecting this method.  

Mobile:

Using the Adobe Scan App on mobile circumvents the need to scan and do OCR text conversion separately, as both are completed in one application. 

  1. Install the Adobe Scan App from the App Store (iOS Devices), or the  Adobe Scan App from the Google Play Store (Android)
  2. Log in to Adobe on the app
    • If you do not have an Adobe ID, create a free one from Adobe.com or the Sign Up link in the app
  3. Follow the on screen instructions to grant access to your camera, if needed
  4. From the Home Menu (House Icon), select the Settings Menu (Upper Left) > Preferences
    • Make sure run text recognition is enabled
  5. Prepare your document(s) for scanning: clean, flat, well lit documents that are scanned one page at a time produce the best results; documents with excessive annotations or severe damage may not be good candidates for OCR text recognition
  6. Scan documents using your phone camera and the Document setting on that app
  7. Use the in-app sharing feature to e-mail new documents to recipients or save to a location for later access

For additional help and tutorials please visit the Adobe support site.

 

 

Details

Article ID: 117325
Created
Wed 9/30/20 12:17 PM
Modified
Wed 1/27/21 4:37 PM