How to Extract Text from a PDF Using OCR on Mac

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If a region of your PDF is not searchable (does not contain a text layer), Highlights can extract the text using machine learning.

1. Make an image selection over the text you want extracted:

Image selection over text of interest in the PDF

2. Click on the image selection to bring up the annotation popover:

Annotation popover for image selection

3. Click the Text Recognition button:

Annotation popover with text recognition button highlighted

Wait for the text to be recognized:

Annotation popover processing text recognition

Once the recognition is complete your text will appear in the comment:

Annotation popover with recognized text in comment

And the image in your notes will be converted to text:

4. Click the Smart Copy button to copy the extracted text

The default language for text recognition is English (US), but you can change the text recognition language in Menu > Tools > Recognized Language: