Convert Images, Scans, and Other Files to Searchable PDFs via OCR

FolderMill can automatically create searchable PDFs out of various files by converting scanned documents into searchable PDF files with text. You can save TIFF, PNG, JPG files, CAD drawings, scans, and other data as searchable PDF files. 

We provide a free Optical Character Recognition (OCR) package that can be installed to make FolderMill an OCR application.

How to enable OCR in FolderMill step by step

  1. Download and install FolderMill 5.0 or newer version (skip this step if you already have it installed);
  2. Download OCR package from:
    Install the package and restart the Control Panel;
  3. Create a new Hot Folder and add Convert to PDF Action;
    Create a new Hot Folder and add Convert to PDF Action
  4. In the Action settings, check the box next to Make PDF searchable (OCR);
    Recognize Text in PDFs, Scanned Images & Batch Convert to Searchable PDF
  5. Check OCR languages and select the language depending on the contents of your source files;

    Note: the fewer languages are selected, the better character recognition accuracy will be.

  6. Click Apply Changes;
  7. Start FolderMill Processor and copy files to the Source

Note: the text copied from the resultant PDF may contain typos, errors or random symbols. No OCR software is perfect, so you'll have to check the results – it is necessary to proofread the produced text after OCRing. Still, it's a lot faster than typing the entire document manually. We also suggest reading our tips on how to improve OCR accuracy.

How to use Adobe Acrobat as OCR engine

If you have Adobe Acrobat installed, you can try switching the OCR processor to Acrobat. This option may provide better results compared to the default optical recognition engine. 

To enable Acrobat as OCR processor:

  1. Open Convert to PDF Action's Advanced settings;
  2. Set OCR engine to Acrobat;
  3. Check the Disabled helpers setting and ensure that Acrobat is unchecked;
  4. Click OK.
Use Acrobat as OCR processor in FolderMill

Note: you must have Adobe Acrobat DC (Version 12 or higher) installed. The full version is needed, not Acrobat Reader.

OCR languages

FolderMill supports the following OCR languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Chinese Simplified

If you would like to have more languages added, please contact us.

How to select pages for OCR

You can choose a specific range of pages for OCR. This can be time-saving when you only want to recognize text from a few pages instead of the entire document.

To select a specific page range, open the Advanced settings of the Convert to PDF Action and adjust the OCR page range.

How to select pages for OCR

Why you may need OCR software

After scanning a document, it becomes an image. Afterwards, you might need to turn printed documents into machine-readable text. The text that you can edit with an editor or copy and paste somewhere. Once the OCR is complete, the text in searchable PDF documents can be selected, copied, or marked up.

DocuFreezer is a simple file converter that can be an alternative OCR solution. You may also like to read:

How to Create Searchable PDFs with DocuFreezer