Fix the OCR error Could Not Perform Recognition in Acrobat


When you start the Recognize Text Using OCR command, Adobe Acrobat returns the following error:

Acrobat could not perform recognition (OCR) on this page because: This page contains renderable text.


Do one or more of the following:

Solution 1: Obtain a version of the document that does not contain renderable (editable) 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.

Solution 2: Convert the PDF to TIFF and back, and then rerun OCR.

Convert the document to TIFF:

  1. Open the PDF document in Acrobat and choose File > Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog, choose TIFF (*.tif, *.tiff) from the Save As Type (Windows) or Format (macOS) dialog. 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 run the Recognize Text Using OCR command.
  1. Open Acrobat, and choose File > Create PDF > From Multiple Files.

  2. Select Browse (Windows) or Choose (macOS) to select and add each PDF file. Rearrange the files in the way that you want them to appear in the new PDF.

  3. Select OK.

Additional information

OCR (Optical Character Recognition), is the process in 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 editable text that exists within the PDF file. Acrobat cannot perform OCR on a document that contains renderable text. For more information about OCR, see the Complete Acrobat Help.


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