Tip of the Day: Understanding Scan Output Choices

Here’s the video transcript (with extra punctuation and headings for readability):

In today’s tip, I’m going to show you basic choices to make when converting a scanned page to text. I have a scanned page of a very old cookbook and I want to capture its text.

Add the Scan tools

This time, I’m working from the scan tools. To start, click Tools, then click the Add label under the Enhance Scans tool’s icon to add it to the right hand pane.

Capture text using Searchable Image settings

  1. Click Enhance Scans to open the toolbar.
  2. Click Recognize Text to open a submenu, and click In this File to open the supplementary toolbar.
  3. Click Settings to open the Recognize Text dialog. The setting we’re looking at today is the Output. Click the drop-down arrow and you’ll see a set of three choices. These include Searchable Image, Searchable Image (Exact) and Editable Text and Images—the same option used when working from the Edit PDF tools.
  4. First, let’s try the Searchable Image. Select the option from the drop-down list. You can also specify the downsampling, but I’ll leave the default 600dpi, and click OK.
  5. Click Recognize Text on the toolbar and let Acrobat get to work.

To see what’s up, I’ll click and drag over the page to select some of the content, copy it, and paste it into a blank Word document. There are quite a few issues to correct, which I’ll cover in another video.

Using the Searchable Image (Exact) choice

Let’s try another output choice with a new copy of the original.

  1. Choose Enhance Scans, click Recognize Text, and then click In This File.
  2. Click Settings again, and this time, choose the Searchable Image (Exact) You’ll see you can’t choose a downsampling value for this output option.
  3. Click OK, and then click Recognize Text. In a few seconds we have the sample ready.

Again, I’ll paste some selected content to a Word doc. Do you see there’s no difference in the captured content?

Comparing the two scans

So what IS the difference? If I go back to Acrobat, I can check the sizes of the two captured pages. Both are almost identical. The actual difference lies in the quality of the original page. In this case, there’s little difference, so I can choose either capture output option for the same results.

Searchable Image vs. Searchable Image (Exact)

As you saw in the video, there is little difference in the two types of scan captures in practical terms. In some cases, there is more visible difference in that the Searchable Image (Exact) option doesn’t deskew or adjust anything in the original image.





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