Last Reviewed:  April 13, 2023

What is a "Searchable" File?

FileCenter can search documents which contain actual text. For example, a Word document contains actual text. A scanned TIFF or JPEG image, on the other hand, doesn't. Even if you can see words in the scanned image, as far as your computer is concerned it is just a picture.

Is a PDF Searchable?

A PDF file may or may not be searchable. If the PDF is a scanned image, it will only be searchable if 1) Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has been performed on the scanned image and 2) the text which was found is embedded into the PDF.

When you scan using FileCenter, you can run OCR at the same time. Go to the Scan dialog, hit the OCR tab, and make sure that Make Searchable PDF is selected. If it isn't, select it, then hit the little Save button right above to make this the new default.

If you scan using a different scanning program and save to PDF, the PDF may or may not be searchable. If it is searchable, you'll be able to select text in it with your mouse.

If you print a document to the FileCenter PDF print driver, the document will NOT be searchable if it is a scan. The FileCenter PDF print driver does not perform Optical Character Recognition. It will be searchable if the source file that you're printing has text that you can edit or copy.

Note that even if a document is not full-text searchable, you can still do a filename search.

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