Hidden Gems in Acrobat DC: How to Optimize Hidden OCR Text

How to optimize hidden OCR text.

Certain workflows require an exact replica of the printed paper when they’re scanned to digital format. Like the numerous legal and accounting documents sent to records management containing handwritten notes and ink signatures. Authenticity and integrity of these digital “duplicates” can be critical. To address this unique workflow, Acrobat introduced scanning and text recognition using the Searchable Image (Exact) command. This tool creates a PDF with an image layer of the original scan with hidden text over it, allowing searching of your page.

Sounds great. But, what if you’re tasked with double checking or proofreading the hidden text for accuracy? Or, how can you add searchable text for each handwritten signature?

A newly introduced Preflight fixup in Acrobat Pro DC makes short work of this task. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open your scanned image and select Enhance Scans from the right-hand pane.
  2. Select In This File from the Recognize Text dropdown. Select the gear Settings icon and choose Searchable Image (Exact) from the Output dropdown and click OK. Click the Recognize Text button.

3. Close the Enhance Scans tool using the X in the upper-right corner. In the Search Tools box in the right-hand pane, type the word “preflight”. Select the Preflight tool in the search results.


  1. Type OCR in the Preflight search bar and select Make OCR text visible in the search results. Click Analyze and fix at the bottom.


  1. Save your file and close the Preflight tool.
  2. Open the Layer panel on the left to reveal the new layers. Click the eye graphic to toggle the layers on and off for proofing and editing.


Think you know everything there is to know about Acrobat DC? Think again! Learn about more hidden gems by taking a look at the “Learn” section of our blog.

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