Making PDFs Searchable for Court Filings
Some courts require your PDFs be made searchable using “Searchable Image (Exact)” text recognition software before filing them online. Why? Most text recognition or “OCR” software—including Searchable Image, Clear Scan, and Editable Text and Image—make a PDF searchable by fixing the text as needed. Skewed lines are straightened, hard-to-read characters in scanned PDFs are filled in, and “suspect” words may even be corrected. Altering the text in any manner naturally compromises the overall integrity of your original PDF. Searchable Image (Exact) text recognition software does not change the text. It simply adds a layer to your PDF with the corrected text that can be searched. This increases the file size slightly, but the added layer can be removed by the court should the contents of your original PDF be questioned.
Here’s how to ensure Adobe Acrobat Pro DC makes your PDFs searchable using “Searchable Image (Exact)” text recognition software:
1. Before editing PDF, open TOOLS to select ENHANCE SCANS
2. In the Enhanced Scans ribbon at top, click down arrow to right of RECOGNIZE TEXT option to select IN THIS FILE.
3. Choose SETTINGS. The Recognize Text box displays.
4. Under SETTINGS in Recognize Text box, use down arrow to right of OUTPUT option to choose SEARCHABLE IMAGE (EXACT).
5. Hit OK, then click on RECOGNIZE TEXT in the ribbon.
6. Text on page can then be searched and copied without the original text having been altered. If you’ve done this correctly, the file size should be slightly larger.