The Need for Scanned PDF to Text
Many scanners have an option whereby you can scan your documents and then automatically save them in your computer as adobe PDF files. While this has the advantage that PDF files have small size and hence can be emailed easily, the disadvantage is that the pages are not in text format, but in image format. What the scanner essentially does is scan the pages of your paper documents as images, compresses these images into a jpg format and then directly combines the jog files into a single acrobat PDF format.
How to Convert Scanned PDF to Text
In order to convert these scanned PDF files to text, you need to perform and optical character recognition (OCR) operation on them. To read the image files, you have three options - either use a third party professional OCR software that needs to be installed separately, or use Acrobat's inbuilt OCR function or use an online scanned PDF to text service. While the first option is the best, because professional OCR software has a high text detection rate, the third option means you need to upload your files to an online converter, and hence need to share your data with an outside organization. If you do not wish to purchase an expensive OCR suite, the second option may work out for you, provided you accept an output document with a moderate number of errors.
Options Available for Scanned PDF to Text
Professional OCR software, as well as online services, come with several options. They scrub the input images, removing scratches and noise from the files, extract the text from the images, allow you to save in multiple formats such as word, excel or PDF, and they also let you edit the extracted text in real time, before saving the text file. In this way, you can remove any error while scanning the document and make sure that the text file is error free.