Best Way to Translate a Scanned Document PDF (2023)
Translating scanned documents is notoriously challenging. So if you’re looking for the best way to translate scanned PDF files for your company in 2023, we’re not surprised you can’t find an effective online scanned document translator. There are multiple problems people commonly encounter when attempting scanned document translation online.
Want to translate a scanned document ASAP? Check out the scanned PDF translator Pairaphrase.
Firstly, there aren’t many scanned document translation software programs that will translate a scanned PDF for you (a document that was scanned into a computer). They exist, but there aren’t many. Secondly, many scanned PDF translator tools online won’t translate large PDF files. Thankfully, we’ll point you in the right direction later in this post.
Believe us, this will save you so much time and headache.
Before you purchase a top-notch translation system, you must figure out how to make your PDF text readable by the platform. And once you do figure that out, it’s about trying to get the most accurate translation.
These are only two factors in figuring out the best way to translate a scanned document PDF.
You’ll also want to preserve the formatting (as much as possible) so that you don’t need to reformat an entire document. This includes retaining font properties, image placement, spacing, line breaks, paragraph breaks and more. Read below to learn the best approach to translating a scanned PDF to solve these issues as best as possible.
We’ll also recommend the best scanned PDF translator online.
How to Translate Scanned Document PDF for Quality & Time-Savings
1. Determine the Type of Scanned Document You’re Translating
The first step toward finding the best method for translating a scanned document PDF accurately (and while retaining formatting) is to determine the type of PDF you’re translating.
Yes, there are two types. And yes, it does matter!
The two types of PDF’s that exist are image PDF’s and text PDF’s. The type of PDF you have will affect your translation quality. Knowing the type of PDF you have will help you ensure that you take steps before translation to ensure the most accurate and well-formatted translation possible.
This saves you time and money in the long run.
How to Check Your PDF Type
A quick way to check if your PDF is image-based or text-based is by clicking and holding your mouse or trackpad while dragging it over the text.
If you see a text cursor appear and you’re able to highlight the text, this indicates that your document is a text PDF. In this case, there are no more preparation steps to take before running it through translation software (skip to #3 at the bottom of this post).
If you drag your mouse or trackpad and it shows a cross, it is an image PDF. In this case, continue reading from here to learn the best way to translate a scanned document PDF.
2. Apply OCR to the Scanned Document
Similar to how machine translation is never going to give you as accurate of a translation as human translation (or a combination of both), scanned documents in image format are never going to translate as accurately as other types of documents will.
This is because when you scan a document to turn it into a PDF, it’s usually going to scan in as an image. In this case, the text is unreadable as is.
The best way to translate a scanned document PDF accurately and to retain formatting is by using optical character recognition (OCR). OCR will recognize characters in your document and convert them to digital text.
The most convenient tool is a scanned document translator with OCR built-in.
The video below explains how scanned document translation software Pairaphrase will actually OCR your files for you. Watch the video to get important pointers for receiving the highest quality scanned document translation results possible. Pay close attention, as this video will save you a lot of time and head scratching.
It’s important to understand that retaining the formatting of a scanned PDF is very difficult in comparison to retaining the formatting of an original digital PDF (the one that ended up getting printed).
Another benefit of using Pairaphrase for scanned PDF translation is that Pairaphrase outputs the translated text in a Microsoft Word document so that users have an editable file to work with.
3. Best Way to Translate Scanned PDF Document with Translation Software
To achieve the best scanned document translation, use Pairaphrase.
Why Use Pairaphrase?
- Easy-to-use online scanned document translation software
- Built specifically for organizations & enterprises
- Helps your team manage translations and collaborate with colleagues across the world
- Learns your words and phrases so that you never need to translate the same text segment twice
- Saves you a significant amount of time and money in the long run
- Encodes your files to retain as much of the formatting as possible
- Reduces the instances of displaced images, lost font properties or erroneous spacing
- Keeps as much of your formatting as possible–more than other software systems do
- Secures your data so you don’t need to worry about sending your data through an unsecured tool
With Pairaphrase plans, your files and data are encrypted. Not only that, but we never share, index or publish your data. It remains 100% confidential.
When you use Pairaphrase as your scanned PDF translator, always follow the steps outlined in the video above before you upload your document. This will help you to retain the most formatting possible and achieve the most accurate translations.
For ultimate accuracy, we strongly recommend using a human translator to edit your translations once you run it through Pairaphrase or any other computer-assisted translation tool, for that matter. Also, take advantage of terminology management.
Note: Machine translation can never be as accurate on its own as translations that are machine translated and then edited by a human translator. This will also enable you to benefit from our translation memory technology, which requires editing your translated text in order to store your words and phrases for future use.
Try Our Scanned PDF Translator Online
Now that you’ve learned the best way to translate a scanned document PDF for enterprises, why not get started with Pairaphrase? It’s the overall best scanned document translator online. Pairaphrase’s translation management system supports more than 100+ languages.
This way, you can translate a scanned PDF to English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Swedish, Dutch, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and more. What’s more, Pairaphrase is compatible with 22+ file types.
Schedule a demo or share this article with a colleague.
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