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Issue 68 | March 2021


This newsletter includes information to help lawyers reduce the likelihood of being sued for malpractice. The material presented is not intended to establish, report, or create the standard of care for lawyers. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented, and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.
HOW TO: Convert PDFs Into Text-Searchable and Copy/Paste Ready Documents

Adobe PDF software can access and modify text that would otherwise be locked in paper-based and PDF documents. Using its OCR (Optical character recognition) feature, you can easily convert typed, printed, even some clearly hand printed text into editable and searchable data. This saves an incredible amount of human-powered reading, searching for keyword(s), and unnecessary retyping.

Here are steps you can take to digitally transform a document into one that you can search for keywords/phrases, or easily copy/paste a quotable passage into a new document. Note: If you need to preserve a copy of the original, unmodified document, you may want to save a new copy and OCR the new version.

  • If it is a paper document, you must first electronically scan the pages and save as a PDF document.
  • Once a PDF version is created using Adobe software, open the document and access the ‘Tools’ menu (typically in the top right corner), and select ‘Text Recognition’.
  • Select ‘In This File’, then ‘All Pages’, and click OK.
  • You may now use your cursor to highlight and select passages of text to copy and paste into a new document.  
  • To search the document for a keyword or phrase, type “Ctrl F” on your keyboard (or "Command F" on a Mac), and enter the desired text into the ‘Find’ field’ 
  • Be sure to save the OCR'd version as a new file in order to revisit the document and continue to search/copy-paste