This tutorial explains how to edit a scanned PDF file in LibreOffice Draw. Editing PDF documents in LibreOffice Draw is a simple and straightforward process. It comes with all the standard features needed to edit, modify, or manipulate a PDF file.
According to the official page, LibreOffice Draw is capable of producing anything from a quick sketch to a complex technical plan with graphics and diagrams. However, before you can edit a scanned PDF file directly in LibreOffice, you must first make the PDF file editable by using a third-party ORC software (such as GImageReader).
It’s because LibreOffice doesn’t have its own text recognition and extraction feature like Adobe Acrobat. To workaround this issue, we need to take the help of another free and open-source software called GImageReader to generate an editable PDF file from our scanned document.
Quick Notes: A scanned document is simply an image file that is warped by the PDF container. Thus, when you directly try to edit or change the text on a scanned document through LibreOffice Draw, it fails to recognize the text and treats the entire document as an image file.
Create an Editable PDF Using GimageReader
GImageReader is a free and open-source OCR (optical character recognition) tool available for all major operating system. To generate an editable PDF using the software, follow these steps:
Download and install GImageReader from the website. Open the software and browse for the desired scanned document (PDF or image file) that you want to process. You can find the upload button under the File tab.
Change the output option from Plain Text to hOCR, PDF in the top menu bar. This option will determine the format in which the OCR results are saved. Select the language of the scanned document, then click Recognize.
The OCR recognition process will begin and the text from the scanned document will be extracted and saved according to your chosen output format. Wait until the text recognition process is finished.
Tips: The process may take some time, depending on the clarity of the text on the scanned document.
You can edit the processed result if it need some corrections. To edit some words that it didn’t recognize correctly, follow the steps below.
- Right click on the generated result > Expand All
- Click Show Confidence Values.
- Filter the words that have a low confidence value.
- Scroll through the list to find the words shown in red.
- Edit the word if it needs correction.
Export the result as a PDF file.
When the export dialog window opens, you can alter some settings if you need to. For our requirements, we need to change some basic options before saving the PDF file.
- Check the override font size and adjust the font size.
- Click OK and save the PDF file on the computer.
Edit The Scanned PDF In LibreOffice Draw
To open a recently saved PDF file using LibreOffice Draw, follow these steps:
- Launch LibreOffice Draw.
- From the top menu bar, select File > Open. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + O.
- Navigate to the location where you saved the PDF file, select it, and click Open.
The PDF file should now be loaded into LibreOffice Draw and you can view or edit it as needed. I’ve already written a tutorial on how to edit a PDF in LibreOffice Draw. If you need more assistance, you can read the tutorial here.
Once the PDF file is open, select the text you want to edit. The selected text will be surrounded by a rectangular box, indicating that you can make the necessary edits. When you’re done editing, export the work by clicking File > Export > Export as PDF from the top menu bar.
Now if followed the tutorials correctly, you should have a modified PDF file that you can use. If you have any difficulty understanding the instructions or encounter any issues, please let me know in the comments below.