Use Acrobat Batch Processing To OCR Your PDFs Easily

Use Acrobat Batch Processing To OCR Your PDFs Easily

As you may know, when I want to OCR a bunch of PDFs at once as part of my scanning workflow, I use an Applescript droplet to have Adobe Acrobat OCR the files.

The other day I came across this blog post from Jonathan Bowman over at Adobe. He shows how to use a feature of Acrobat that I didn’t notice before: Batch Processing.

He has screenshots showing how it works, but I thought I would put together this video that shows how I set it up.

The nice thing about it is the process is pretty much the same whether you use Mac or PC.

By the way, there are a ton of things you can use Batch Processing for, not just making PDFs searchable. I will definitely be poking around in there.

Do you use Acrobat Batch Processing for anything?

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 7 comments

esther - November 24, 2009 Reply

Thanks so much for this tutorial! It was exactly what I needed. I just wish there had been a transcript or other text instructions, because watching the video took forever =T

    Brooks Duncan - November 24, 2009 Reply

    Hi esther, thanks a lot for the feedback. I'll try to do both in the future!

Sarah - August 3, 2009 Reply

How does this compare to using Abbyfine reader? I never installed he acrobat because it seemed rather clunky and always popped up with error messages and other annoyances.

Mike - May 27, 2009 Reply

i have just tested a 92k file on 3 apps
acrobat 888k
readiris 733k
pdfpen 116k
can someone make a batch script for pdfpen please

    Brooks Duncan - May 27, 2009 Reply


    Check out this post from MacSparky. It might help?… />

    Also, thissupport pagefrom PDFPen implies that support has a collection of scripts, so they may be able to help you out.

    Let us know if either of those works out for you.

Brooks Duncan - May 27, 2009 Reply

Hi FrankR, that sounds about right to me unfortunately. I personally haven't looked into the file size issue too much as I figure hard drive space is relatively cheap (plus I am lazy).

That ClearScan does look interesting though! Maybe I'll try to get my hands on Acrobat 9 and play around with it.

I personally OCR almost everything unless its something I absolutely positively know I will never need to search for.

Anyone else have any PDF optimization tips?

FrankR - May 25, 2009 Reply

Thanks for this video, it helped a lot!

I set this up and OCR'ed a number of files, and was surprised at the file size increase. As an example, the first file went from 464k to 2.6m (almost 6x increase). Does this sound about right?

If so, do you OCR everything? Any optimization tips? I was reading about Adobe's new ClearScan tech. available in Acrobat 9 which supposedly solves this issue.

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