What is the difference between the original PDF and the scanned PDF

Ricardo Lee

2022-08-04 11:27

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Original PDF refers to PDFs created from editable documents (Word, Txt, etc.), which can be converted into editable text as long as they have permission.


Scanned documents are scanned into image format and then saved as PDF format. Scanned PDF is essentially an image PDF, and the text in it cannot be directly extracted. In terms of file conversion, for example, when converting PDF to Word, native PDF can be converted perfectly. Even if scanned, it is still a variety of pictures, and the content cannot be edited. Converting editable text requires image recognition technology (image-to-text tool OCR).
Converting scanned files is more complicated, even if the conversion effect of good software may not be good. Generally speaking, professional conversion professionals are good at it. No PDF converter is omnipotent. Maybe this software converts this kind of files well. No matter how powerful the software is, it has its own shortcomings. It is inevitable that you will encounter files that cannot be converted.

The effect of a normal file transferred by different software is different. For example, a file of "partial data corruption" is transferred from Adobe with a blank page, and ABBYY indicates that the data is corrupted.

It's like a calm lake lurking a threat that we can't directly detect with our eyes. Therefore, in order to solve the problem of file conversion perfectly, the key is that professionals use the software correctly and are familiar with various file conversion techniques. In this regard, manual conversion is incomparable to software. After all, software is a hard-coded program. Conversion can be handled flexibly according to the file type.

Why do some PDF files look scanned, but text can be selected and copied?

Perhaps these files are in the double-layer PDF format (searchable PDF). The double-layer PDF format file is a PDF format file with a multi-layer structure, which is a file derived from the PDF file. Its characteristics are: files can be either text (such as files generated by word) or images (such as files generated by scanning)

A double-layer PDF file means that the content of the file contains both a text layer and an image layer, and their positions correspond one by one.


Double-layer PDF is to quickly enter standard data through a scanner, and then go through decontamination, deviation correction and OCR recognition, and then directly generate a PDF file that can be retrieved. This PDF file is double-layered, the upper layer is the original image, and the lower layer is the recognition result. , so that 100% of the original layout effect can be retained, and functions such as selection/copy/retrieval are supported. Such PDF files are easy to build an index database for scientific management.

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