Convert Paper Documents to Acrobat PDF Files - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Once you have Adobe Creative Suites 5, the only other thing you need to convert paper documents into PDF is a scanner. If you expect to scan a large number of pages into PDF, consider purchasing a scanner with an automatic document feeder.

Some scanners can scan both the front and backside of a document at the same time. Scanners, such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap, now fit easily on your desktop and let you convert a large number of paper documents to PDF in a short period of time. Some scanners, such as the ScanSnap, automatically launch Acrobat and convert scanned documents to PDF; others require you to scan the file.

If a scanner is already hooked to the computer on which you use Acrobat and doesn’t automatically start Acrobat, follow these steps to scan in a paper document and then convert it to PDF format:

  1. From the Acrobat main menu, choose File→Create PDF→From Scanner.

    Then choose the type of PDF document you wish to create. For pages with text, choose one of the Document options: Black and White for line art or text that contains no shades of gray; Grayscale for documents that contain varying shades of gray; or Color for documents that contain color. For photographs, choose the Image option.

  2. Make sure that your scanner is turned on, put the document to be scanned into the scanner, and then click the Scan button.

    If necessary, continue to scan multiple pages into a single document. When you’re done scanning, the scanned page appears in Acrobat.

    If you have a PDF open and choose Create PDF from Scanner, a window appears, giving you the opportunity to append the file (add to the existing file) or create a new PDF file.

    The scanned document opens in Acrobat.

    If the pages need to be rotated, choose Document→Rotate Pages.

  3. Choose File→Save to save the finished document as a PDF.

Scanned text is fully searchable if you use one of the Document preset choices because Acrobat uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert the image to text. If you open a previously scanned file, you can use Acrobat’s OCR capability by choosing Document→OCR Text Recognition→Recognize Text using OCR. This command makes previously scanned text searchable.