OCR PDFs Using Power Automate

In this guide, you’ll learn how to automatically OCR PDFs into searchable PDFs using PDF Converter for Power Automate. Using Muhimbi’s OCR technology, text from scanned PDFs is automatically recognized and overlaid into your PDF document. Once completed, you’ll be able to search and copy text in your PDF document.

Steps to OCR your PDF using Power Automate:

  1. Create a flow in Power Automate.
  2. Define your action (Convert to OCRed PDF).
  3. Create a file (define where your file will be created).
  4. Publish your workflow.

It’s also important to note that this example uses Power Automate to automatically OCR a PDF in SharePoint. However, you can easily OCR PDF files and save them to another destination like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any platform supported by Power Automate. You can also extend your flow by adding additional automation, like sending the searchable PDF in an email.

Using Power Automate to Convert to PDF

This example takes you through converting an image (.png) file to PDF and updating it to the MS SharePoint library. The flow is shown from a high-level perspective in the following image.

ocr pdf using power automate

To create the flow:

  1. Create a new flow and use the When a file is created (properties only) SharePoint Online trigger. Fill out the URL for the site collection and select the relevant SharePoint Site Address, Library Name, and Folder from the dropdown menu.

    create a new flow

  2. Insert MS SharePoint’s Get file content action and fill it out as shown in the screenshot below. Substitute the Site Address with a suitable value and File Identifier with the output value of the When a file is created (properties only) action.

    insert sharepoint action

  3. Insert Muhimbi’s Convert to OCRed PDF action and fill it out like so:

    • Source file name — Name of the source file, including the extension.

    • Source file content — Content of the file to OCR.

    • Language — Language of the OCR file.

      convert to ocred pdf

  4. Insert an MS SharePoint Create file action and fill it out as per the screenshot displayed below. This will write the OCRed PDF back to the document library.

    • Site Address — Select the site address in the MS SharePoint library to which the OCRed PDF will be written.

    • Folder Path — Select the MS SharePoint library to which the OCRed PDF will be written.

    • File Name — This is the name to be given to the new PDF. Select the original file name, Base file name, which is the output of the Convert to OCRed PDF action. Ensure you add a .pdf extension.

    • File Content — Select Processed file content, which is the output of the Convert to OCRed PDF action.

      create pdf file action

  5. Publish the workflow and upload a .png file in the specified document library. After a few seconds, the flow will trigger and the OCRed PDF will be created in the MS SharePoint library.

    publish the workflow

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