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Convert PDF documents in JAWS

Frequently you will encounter PDF documents that is a scanned file and once the file is opened you hear JAWS saying, Alert: Empty Document. The Convenient OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature in JAWS 16 and later enables you to recognize all of the text in a PDF document. You can perform a keystroke that will recognize the entire document and place the resulting text into the Results Viewer for reading. You can then use standard reading commands to review the text or select and copy sections of content for pasting in other applications.

Find below the steps to convert PDF documents using the convenient OCR feature,

  1. After opening the pdf document, press INSERT+SPACEBAR and release, then press the letter O on its own and then press the letter D on its own
  2. As the OCR process is being performed, a window will open containing the information that has already been converted and JAWS starts reading the information automatically
  3. To verify that the process has been completed, press CTRL+END and if you hear information that the OCR process is still in progress, wait a little while and then try ctrl+end again. The time taken for the process to complete will depend on the size of the pdf document
  4. After the process has been completed, you can either press ESCAPE to close the window or you can choose to save the information
  5. To save the information, press CTRL+A to select all the text and then press CTRL+C to copy the information
  6. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu and your focus is placed in a Search Box edit field, start typing the word Notepad and when it autocompletes, press enter to open it. Press CTRL+V to paste the information
  7. While in Notepad, press CTRL+A and then press CTRL+X to remove the information from Notepad
  8. Open MS Word and then press CTRL+V to paste
  9. You can now save this document for future use

Note: By first putting the information into Notepad is to remove any formatting from the OCR results.