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Need Capability of Copying Unrestricted Text

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I've scanned and uploaded over 20 years of personal research notes. Then, I discovered that I cannot copy selected content from this un-copyrighted content. I'm afraid I've made a horrible mistake. Whereas it isn't often I need to copy a paragraph here and there, it does happen. I've also discovered that because my content was scanned, even PDFExpert cannot copy text because the pdf is now "flat." I really do not understand.  Whereas I can understand the prohibition of copying copyrighted material, my personal notes and material NOT under copyright should be able to be copied. 

I use a Mac, but cannot use Preview to do this either (I have backups of all content loaded into Evernote). Preview running on Yosemite OS is practically unusable on anything longer than a couple of pages. It takes forever to render ever a single page and crashes my Mac if I try to render anything larger that 50+ pages. That's partly why I investigated purchasing PDFExpert.

Does anyone have a suggestion? 


Leslie TNT

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  • Level 5*

Hi.  If you OCR the scans of your text,  the 'picture' of the whole document (which is the basic output from the scan) is replaced by the actual characters of the text.  You should then be able to copy individual sections of text - words or paragraphs - elsewhere if you wish. 

As I understand it,  Evernote OCRs the content of PDF files for subscribers,  but the index it produces is not an integral part of the PDF file,  so when you open a file you're looking at the original pictures of the pages,  not the index.  Files OCR'd with external software are 'searchable' PDF files and have the text replaced. 

The file size is also up to 50% smaller (depending on how many illustrations there are in the text.)

I'm a Windows and Adobe Acrobat user,  so your mileage...

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I just discovered that Adobe Acrobat Reader will do what I want. I tested two examples of scanned documents and, voila, small amounts of text copied with no difficulty. Now, if Reader will be more stable on my Mac than Preview, I'm in business. With multiple crashes per day, I'm sick of Preview!!

PDFExpert plans the OCR ability soon. I understand it is much faster on rendering than Preview so will keep my eye on it as a possibility.

Thanks for responding on a  Saturday!


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Boy is my face red. I have a ScanSnap ix500 scanner (instead of the Evernote-branded one) because of its additional capabilities. What I hadn't noted was that it came with ABBY OCR capability. All I have to do is to open a file in this included software and . . . . voila . . . . I can output in rtf, word or excel format. It is fast and works. With a pdf OCRed by ABBY, I can copy whatever I need to copy. I am adding this just in case somebody else has the same problem (and hasn't checked included software). In my defense (?), no manual was included so I simply forgot I had it. Moral: don't conclude that included software isn't of interest; look at it!


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