How to OCR a PDF in Onenote

By Aksana Nikolai

OCR stands for optical character recognition. It is a system that identifies alpha and numeric characters in document hard copies, digital pictures or PDF (Portable Document Format) files and converts them into data that computer users can edit and search. Microsoft's note-taking and information management application, OneNote, allows users to OCR content taken from a PDF. Doing so involves transferring the desired content from Adobe Reader, the software for reading PDF files, to OneNote.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF file

Step 1

Use Adobe Reader to open the PDF containing the content you wish to OCR in OneNote.

Step 2

Access the "Tools" menu located at the top of the Adobe window to copy text from the PDF. Choose the "Select Text" option from the "Basic" submenu. Use the pointer to highlight the desired text. If you wish to copy the entire document, access the "Edit" menu and click on "Select All." Return to the "Edit" menu and select the "Copy" option.

Step 3

Copy an image containing text from the PDF by clicking on "Select Image" from the "Basic" submenu. Right-click within the desired graphic and select "Copy Image to Clipboard".

Step 4

Open OneNote. Navigate to the tabbed section and page within that section into which you wish to transfer content from the PDF.

Step 5

Paste the content you copied from the PDF by selecting the "Paste" option from the "Edit" menu at the top of the OneNote toolbar. OneNote will automatically OCR any text or images that you transfer to the application.

Step 6

Right-click on the pasted content and select the "Copy Text from Picture" option if you wish to paste the text into another file.