As a holistic PDF solution for students, professionals, and businesses, PDFelement Pro is a highly evolved ecosystem of PDF tools to edit, create, convert, annotate, sign, organize, protect, and do practically any operation with your document workflows. Although it is promoted as a PDF editor, PDFelement is a lot more, offering users advanced capabilities like OCR and form data extraction as well as the simplest of functions like opening and reading a PDF in a convenient manner. Let’s look at two of its specific features in this article, and how you can unlock the secrets of PDFelement at its best. But first, let’s answer the question: why PDFelement and not other PDF editors?
Advantages of Using PDFelement Over Other PDF Editors
There are certainly other products out there that are as capable as PDFelement. However, most of them have serious drawbacks, which makes PDFelement stand out as a unique solution. Here are some of the reasons why:
- It is more affordable than comparable PDF editors like Adobe Acrobat, Nitro, and Foxit.
- It is cloud-integrated (PDFelement Pro DC for Windows), allowing you to access documents in cloud storage services like Drive, Dropbox, and Wondershare’s own Document Cloud, which is a highly collaborative cloud storage and electronic signature service.
- The UI is more intuitive because it is based on the familiar layout of MS Word and other Office applications.
- It offers one of the richest feature sets you’ll find in the world of PDF editors.
- Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and as a cloud service – Wondershare Document Cloud
Now let’s look at a couple of advanced features of PDFelement – Optical Character Recognition and Data Extraction.
Performing OCR with PDFelement
The OCR module is a plugin that you can download and activate when you need to use the feature. PDFelement OCR supports more than 20 languages as well as multilingual text recognition. You can either specify the languages or use auto language detection if you’re not sure. There are essentially two ways to convert a scanned or image-based PDF into a document you can work with:
- Convert to searchable format – Perfect for archiving scanned files so you can search them using specific keywords and phrases.
- Convert to editable format – Allows you to edit a scanned file like a normal, electronically-generated PDF file.
- Open a scanned PDF file in PDFelement by dragging it to the software interface and dropping it there. The file will open and you will be prompted to perform OCR once PDFelement detects non-machine content. If prompted, click the Download button to install the OCR module.
- Next, confirm the OCR prompt and use the Settings pop-up to specify the language, page range, and so on.
- In the same pop-up page, choose between converting into an editable or searchable format.
- Perform the conversion by clicking Apply, and save the converted file. You can now perform whichever action you chose – search or edit.
You will notice that the OCR quality and accuracy are very high compared to most of the other conversion products on the market. Once you activate the plugin, you can use the OCR button in the Tool tab to access the feature for any image-based or scanned PDF file.
Additionally, you can also use the Batch Process feature to perform OCR on multiple documents at a time. The same parameters will be available in the Settings pop-up before you proceed to convert the files.
Where Can Students Use OCR?
Students regularly work with PDF files, but not all of them are electronically generated, which means they are not machine-readable or editable – no searching and no modifying content. OCR helps you cross that hurdle with its powerful OCR conversion engine. Here are some scenarios where such a function will be useful:
- When a document has been scanned or photographed and available only as a human-readable PDF file.
- When you need to copy or edit content in a scanned textbook or handwritten notes (PDFelement OCR works well with clear handwriting as well.)
- When you want to be able to search a scanned document for specific text parts using keywords and phrases.
Data Extraction with PDFelement
The data extraction feature allows you to pull specific information from a PDF file, whether it’s a form or a marked-up document. The process is simple; all you need to do is either mark the PDF before extracting data or choose the form field extraction option. As with the OCR function, you can do this for a single file at a time or as a Batch Process if you have multiple documents. The information from each document will be saved in a new file. Here’s the process outline:
- Open the form in PDFelement. If the form is fillable, you’ll see an option to ‘Highlight Fields’. This makes it easy to see the data before it is extracted.
- Next, click the More button to expand the menu options and click the Data Extraction option. You’ll be prompted to choose an extraction mode – extracting from form fields or extracting specific selections in the file. Pick one by clicking on the corresponding radio button. If you click the ‘Extract data based on selection’ option, you will now be asked to select the portions from which you want to extract data. You can select multiple areas. Do that now.
- Finally, choose the output folder and click the Apply button, and your data extraction process will be initiated. The processed files will be found in the location you specified.
- If you use the Batch Process → Extract Data option to process multiple files, you’ll see the same options in the Batch Process window. You can follow the same steps as described in the second half of step 2 above.
PDFelement Discount for Students and Educators
Students (and teachers, too!) usually have a limited budget for extra software, and the PDFelement team is well aware of this issue. For that reason, there are perpetual and periodic discounts that students and teachers can take advantage of. Whether you need PDFelement for Windows, Mac, or iOS, or you need cloud storage with e-signing or even a bundle combination of any kind, you’ll find the best prices on the PDFelement Offer Page. Click now to see what an affordable PDF solution PDFelement can be for you.