Searchable PDF

Create Searchable PDF Documents [Tutorial]

Scanned PDFs are often expressed as images inside the PDF document. Each scanned page is represented by one image on one PDF page. Usually, that’s all some people need from a scan. However, there are certain things that get lost in this way of scanning things.

All and foremost, the search-ability is lost. Luckily, it can easily be restored with a simple trick! Read more to find out how you can make PDF scans searchable again.

The issue with scanned PDFs

If you scanned an article, you can often not do not much more than reading and adding notes. Searching for specific parts doesn’t work without browsing and reading through. At the same time, getting quotes means that you would have to type them out.

This can be solved by making a PDF document searchable.

In the process, an extra layer is added to your scan behind the image of the scanned page. This layer contains the extracted text from the scan. It is not visible but shows up when you use the search function of your PDF viewer.

Depending on the quality, it also makes it possible to mark and copy the text on this second layer, enabling you to copy quotes, numbers, and more from the scan.

How to create a searchable PDF?

It’s quite easy. All you need is your PDF, a PDF converter, and a moment to spare.

  1. Go to
  2. Upload your scan – you can upload it directly, from cloud storage, or by providing a link.
  3. Click on “Start” and wait until your new, searchable PDF is ready for download.

Optionally, you can also set the language of the file to make the result even better.