Tip o’ the Day: Capturing Editable Text in Acrobat DC


You can capture text in Acrobat DC in a few ways.

In this video, see how to use the Convert to Text command in the Edit PDF tools to capture editable text from your document.


In today’s tip, I’m going to show you one choice for capturing text in Acrobat DC. Here’s the starting document. When I click the page, the entire page highlights, indicating it’s a single image.

Let’s start from the Edit PDF tools. Scroll down to the bottom of the right hand pane, and click Convert to Text. You’ll see a progress dialog, and then the page results display. As I click around on the page, you’ll see the text items are now in separate bounding boxes. Interestingly, any text on the graphics is also captured as text objects.

As part of the capture process, Acrobat defines fonts for the captured text. Select a text frame and check the Format section in the Edit PDF pane. You’ll see a font name followed by an asterisk identifying a custom font. Other content, such as the bold text or the text captured from the graphics show different fonts. If I click the font dropdown, you can see there are a number of fonts identified and added to the captured document.

Let’s make a comparison. I’ll turn off the bounding boxes, and let’s compare this captured text to a version converted to PDF from InDesign. The text itself is clearer, as are the graphics. The text formatting indicates the actual fonts used in the document.

This capture option isn’t perfect, but it does produce usable content that lets me make changes to the captured text.

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