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Types of PDF documents
The features of a PDF document depend on the program in which it was created. Some PDF documents are searchable and have text you can copy, while in other documents this only becomes possible when you open them in special applications like ABBYY FineReader. There are three types of PDF documents.
Image-only PDF documents
Image-only PDF documents are created from scans of hard-copy documents. They only contain the images of pages and don't have a text layer. Image-only PDFs are not searchable, and the text they contain cannot be modified or marked up in PDF viewing applications.
ABBYY FineReader 14 uses a special background OCR process that creates a temporary text layer in image-only documents, making it possible to search and copy their text and even edit page images. Moreover, ABBYY FineReader 14 lets you save this text layer in the document so that the text in the document can be searched and copied into other applications. See also: PDF settings.
Searchable PDF documents
Searchable PDF documents consist of the images of pages with an invisible text layer placed underneath. Documents of this type are usually created by scanning a paper document, recognizing it, and saving the recognized text into a text layer.
When you open a PDF document in ABBYY FineReader, it will analyze the document to determine if it contains a usable text layer. See also: OCR options. If a text layer is present, the text in the document can be searched and copied in any PDF application. Unlike many other PDF applications, ABBYY FineReader also lets you edit the text in searchable PDF documents.
In ABBYY FineReader, searchable PDF documents can be created by:
- Adding a text layer to an image-only PDF document.
- Converting PDF documents and image files to the searchable PDF format. To do this, enable the Text under the page image option in the Searchable PDF settings group of options in the PDF format settings. See also: PDF settings.
PDF documents that were created in other applications
Searchable PDF documents can be created from documents in various editable formats (such as DOCX). Documents of this type contain a text layer and pictures, but do not contain page images. These documents are searchable and their text and pictures can be copied and edited, provided that such actions do not require entering a password or that the user knows the password.
PDF documents if this type can be created by:
- Opening an editable document in the program where it was created and saving it in PDF.
- Converting another type of PDF document or a document in another format into this type of PDF using ABBYY FineReader (in the PDF format settings, enable the Text and pictures only option in the Searchable PDF settings group of options). See also: PDF settings.
The resulting document will be easier to edit than other types of PDF documents but may be visually different from the original.