OCR or Select Text Out Of Images or PDFs
You can OCR scan a PDF by making a screenshot of it in macOS Monterey
- Most Macs do not do automatic OCR of PDF's.
- Using Mac Preview, you can completely OCR scan (make selectable text you can copy) on any PDF, or any image with text on it.
- No downloads. No tweaks. No changes to settings.
- Open the PDF or whatever file or image or video has text on it.
- Take a screenshot using Cmd+Shift+4 or Cmd+Shift+3, or whatever built-in Mac screenshot mechanism you prefer.
- Now just open the screenshot.
- The screenshot will automatically have selectable text you can copy.
- You can do this with anything you can take a screenshot of on your Mac.
- This seems to be a feature for Monterey and above only, though.
Adobe Acrobat Pro does this, but takes some additional tweaks and steps often.
Windows user alternative
- Adobe Acrobat Pro, of course, but also...
- Google Photos, when viewing an image in your web browser, as of April or last year, provides a copy text from image button. Not bad, honestly.
- Mobile apps like Office Lens or Google Lens or Adobe's version also work.
- Pixel users (maybe others on Android) have Lens built into Google Photos, but since you can open Photos in a Desktop web browser and copy text, that might be the better way to go.
- iOS/iPhones/iPads let you select text in photos and copy to your Mac without any additional apps.