Acrobat cannot run OCR due to renderable text on page

OCR (Optical Character Recognition), is the process by which Acrobat examines a pixel-based picture of text. It recognizes each character and turns it into editable text. Acrobat compares the image shape and line thickness to the fonts installed on the system during the OCR process. Renderable text is an editable text that exists within the PDF file. Acrobat cannot perform OCR on a document that contains renderable text.

Problem: Acrobat cannot run OCR as the page contains renderable text

When you open a PDF and select the Recognize text option from the Scan & OCR tool, Acrobat returns the following error: "Acrobat could not perform recognition (OCR) on this page because: This page contains renderable text."

Solution 1: Run OCR on a document that does not have renderable text

This message appears if the PDF document already contains the editable text. Obtain a copy of the document that does not contain editable text and then run OCR.

Solution 2: Convert the PDF to TIFF file format and then back to PDF

  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat and select the hamburger menu   (Windows) or File menu (macOS) > Save as.

  2. In the Save as PDF dialog, choose TIFF (*.tif, *.tiff) from the Convert to drop-down list. Specify a location, and then select Save. Acrobat saves each page of the PDF document as a separate, sequentially numbered TIFF file.

  3. Open each TIFF file into Acrobat and select Recognize text from the Scan & OCR tool.


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