How can I convert a book into a searchable PDF?

Apr 11, 2017

Converting books into searchable PDF makes archiving easy along with making any text in books searchable. If you have a large collection of books, they will sooner or later succumb to wear and tear. However, converting them into PDFs stores them for life. Digitizing books also aids in accessing important records, historical texts, lab notebooks, etc. with just a touch of a button.

Now, how do you convert a book into a searchable PDF?

1. Using a Mobile Device to digitalize books

If you want to convert a book or two into PDF, the simplest way to do it is by using a mobile camera to scan it and then convert it into digital files. There are ton of free apps to scan books page by page and then convert them into desired digital format. This method is easy but it has its own limitations. For one thing, imagine scanning books to PDF when you have to go flip hundreds of pages. It will take a lot of your time and can become boring and tiring to do.

2. Using a Scanner to Scan De-bound Books

A scanner can be used to scan your books, one thing you will need to do is to unbind the books and lay the pages flat on the scanning screen of the printer. Once the book is de-bound, you can simply use your scanner as you would when scanning a document. Obviously, this process will take a lot of time since everything is done manually. Though, it is a better method than scanning books with your smartphone.

The table here gives details on different parameters to be considered while scanning a book with a different scanner:

 Camera on a phone or tabletDocument scanner with auto feederBook scanner
Image resolutionHigh (1)
★★★★★
300 dpi or up is recommended (2)
★★★★
Less superior than a phone camera
★★★★
Speed and convenienceOne page at one time
★★
Fast with batch scanning
★★★★★
One page at one time
★★★
Cost-effectivenessHigh
★★★★★
Depending on whether you can access one
★★★★
You probably need to buy one. (3)
★★
Image distortionDistortion, skew
★★★
Best quality
★★★★★
The text near the binding could be distorted.
★★★★
Damage to the bookN/A
★★★★★
You need to remove the binding from the book.
★★
N/A
★★★★★

3. Using Professional Scanning Software

If you have a large-scale requirement of converting books into PDFs, hands-down the best method is using a document scanning software. Dynamic Web Twain is a document scanning SDK specifically designed for web applications and works exceptionally well with hardware scanners. With its enterprise-grade speed and accuracy, you can easily scan tons of pages within no time. Along with the built-in basic image editing interfaces such as Rotate, Crop, Mirror, Flip, Erase, etc, it has other features like image de-skewing, text annotation- to name a few. Also, besides PDF, scanned pages can be saved in other digital formats like BMP, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.

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Related product:

You can also try our image to pdf converter to convert an image into a searchable pdf. Free Online Image to PDF Converter

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