How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word Using OCR Software (Free included)

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word Using OCR Software (Free included)

2020-08-06 09:23:00 / Posted by to Convert PDF Follow @ admin

PDF itself is difficult to work with, let alone scanned PDF. In general, scanned PDF are essentially an image form that cannot be edited. Then people will ask:

Question 1: How to identify scanned PDF and native PDF?

Broadly speaking, scanned PDF and native PDF are two types of PDF. To identify scanned and native PDF, you just need to figure out if the text is searchable or not in the PDF. If the words can be searched in the PDF, it is a native PDF and if the words cannot be searched, it is a scanned PDF file. You will find that you can't select any text from scanned PDF, you can only select an area instead.

Question 2: Is there any way to convert scanned PDF to Word?

Yes, of course. There are actually many ways to convert scanned PDF to Word. In this article, we’re going to show you different methods to get the job done. Just read on!

The method that fits you may vary depending on your needs:

  • If your scanned PDF contains sensitive information and you want to convert large scanned PDF files regularly without losing any format, choose the offline solution to convert scanned PDF to Word.
  • If you convert scanned PDF to editable word infrequently and don’t want to pay a cent on it, the way to convert scanned PDF to Word online should be enough.

Jump to:


How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word Offline

In total, according to the different user of Mac and Windows, we prepared two PDF to Word converters with OCR enabled to convert scanned PDF to Word offline.

For Mac User

Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR is the go-to Mac's PDF converter software when it comes to converting scanned or native PDF to editable Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other formats. The program has an OCR feature that allows you to convert scanned PDF to Word that can be edited or searched.

It is worth mentioning that it's very cost-effective when compared to the similar software like Adobe acrobat DC, Foxit PhantomPDF.

5 Steps on How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word

  • Download, Install and Launch
  • Add Scanned PDF
  • Choose the Output Format
  • Modify Advanced Settings (optional)
  • Convert Scanned PDF to Word

Step 1: Click the Free Download button to install it on your Mac.

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Step 2: Drag and drop the scanned PDF file you'd like to convert or click the + button to add scanned files.

Step 3: Turn the OCR button on, set the output format as Word (DOCX/DOC), also choose the page range, file language before converting scanned PDF to Word on Mac.

Step 4: In the Advanced Settings, you are navigated to features that enable you to tweak the applied zone of the scanned PDF. You will be able to modify Text, Image and Table to make sure they are marked well. For example, if you want to export a specific area as Table, just click Mark Table in the OCR applied zone, then drag a mark box to select the contents you want to mark, and this part will be saved as Table in your output. If there is an image on your scanned PDF and you don't want to convert it to word format but keep its image format, you can still achieve it by modifying this setting.

Step 5: After everything has been done and set as required in the above steps, it is time to hit the Convert button to convert scanned PDF to Word. Just wait for the editable word file.

(check the output result)

For Windows PC User:

The first time I heard the name of Icecream PDF Converter, I feel it a funny converter. At the same time, it is a simple to use PDF converter to convert files from and to PDF (PDF to TIFF, JPG to PDF, ePub to PDF, etc). Icecream PDF Converter has a built-in PDF reader and supports password-protected files. With OCR function, it is capable of converting scanned PDF to Word.

How to convert scanned PDF to Word with Icecream PDF Converter?

  1. Download and run it on your Windows.
  2. There are two modes: From PDF and To PDF. Here we choose From PDF.icecream01
  3. Drag and drop the scanned PDF to it. Alternatively, you can click the Add PDF File button to add files.icecream02 
  4. Click the All in the Pages column to adjust pages and choose the output format as doc.icecream03 
  5. Click the Convert button to convert scanned PDF to Word. 
  6. Then there will pop up a new Window, choose the Use OCR button.icecream05 
  7. Click the OK or OPEN FOLDER to check out the converted document. 


Although it is a very good scanned PDF to Word converter in efficiency and functionality, it has its own shortcomings too. There are some occasional issues when converting documents that contain images and graphics. And the PDF to editable Word process can take a while. On top of that, users cannot edit the converted files in the program. You need to open the file in Word (if you are converting to DOC/DOCX) to edit them.


How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word Online Free (No email required)

You can also convert scanned PDF to Word online if you don’t have to do that very often. These online tools allow you to convert scanned PDF to Word without platform limit. You can do that on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS or iPad. Most importantly, they are totally free.

Along with the above features, we have also noticed a few pros and cons of converting scanned PDF to Word online free.


  • Free, quick and convenient
  • No specific requirement in operating system
  • Don't need to download and install any third-party software


  • Poor output quality
  • Possibility of privacy leakage
  • File size and number limits
  • Internet required

Here we recommend OnlineOCR. It is a free online OCR service to convert scanned PDF to editable Word, Excel and Text output formats. Besides, the website supports OCR 46 languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

  • Output formats: Word, Excel, Text.
  • Support languages: English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and others.
  • Max file size: 15MB.

Steps to convert scanned PDF to Word online free

  1. Visit OnlineOCR website
  2. Follow the tutorial on the webpage. Upload File> Select language and Output format > Click Convert.                  
  3. Download output file. The converted contents will be shown below or you can just download the output file.         


OCR Matters in Software that Convert Scanned PDF to Editable Word

No matter which PDF to Word converter we choose (online or offline), it is the OCR technology that helps us to convert scanned PDF to editable Word. If you don't apply OCR in the conversion of scanned PDF to word, the output file is still uneditable.

What is OCR?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a technology that allows us to convert scanned PDF editable Word. This technology has been around for some time and gets better day by day. The name itself refers that the technology is used to recognize characters from PDF or image.

How to Use OCR?

OCR is a technology that cannot convert anything by itself. Therefore, it is embedded in some PDF converters to convert scanned PDF to Word. There are many OCR converters out there available for free. Basically, there are two kinds of OCR software, online and offline.

In Google searches, you’ll find a wide range of online OCR services available on the Internet and there is a lot of downloaded OCR software that can be used for converting scanned PDF to Word too. Today, to avoid confusion, we just have focused on two offline software namely Enolsoft PDF Converter with OCR and Icecream PDF Converter. We will test more OCR software for you in our later article.



These are the ways we wanted to share with you. As we said at the beginning, the best method can vary from case to case. Which method do you find most effective and efficient? or do you find any other better solutions for converting scanned PDF to Word? Please feel free to let us know.

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