Processing Books: A Step-by-Step Guide to Acrobat Pro to Get the Best Results In the Shortest Possible Time [video]


Welcome to another episode in the series “Digitize Your Books, Digitize Your Library, Digitize Your Life.” In this episode, we will explore the detailed steps of processing a book after it has been scanned. The goal of processing a book is to create a PDF document that is easy to use, readable, and compact in size. Join us as we take you through the process of transforming a scanned book into a well-organized and optimized digital document.

The Importance of Processing a Book

Processing a book is a crucial step in the digitization process. It ensures that the resulting PDF document is user-friendly, visually appealing, and of a reasonable file size. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a digital version of your book that retains its original look and feel, while also being optimized for easy navigation and readability.

Building the Table of Contents

The first step in processing a book is to create an electronic table of contents. This table of contents will serve as a roadmap for readers to navigate through the book easily. To create the table of contents, you can use Adobe Acrobat Pro and follow these steps:

  1. Open the scanned book in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  2. Adjust the view settings to see the entire page at once.
  3. Create a bookmark for the cover page by pressing Ctrl + B.
  4. Scroll down to the table of contents page and create a bookmark for it as well.
  5. To make the table of contents stand out, you can make it bold by right-clicking on it and selecting “Properties.”
  6. Save a quick screenshot of the table of contents page for reference.
  7. Adjust the page labels to match the page numbers mentioned in the book.
  8. Organize the pages in order, starting from the cover page.
  9. Apply Roman numerals to the appropriate pages.
  10. Check for any additional chapters or sections and include them in the table of contents.
  11. Double-check the accuracy of the bookmarks and their destinations.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Once the table of contents is complete, the next step is to perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the scanned book. OCR converts the scanned images of text into editable and searchable text. This process improves the usability of the PDF document. Here’s how to perform OCR using Adobe Acrobat Pro:

  1. Open the “Enhance Scans” tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  2. Select the scanned book file.
  3. Choose the language settings and the desired output format.
  4. Start the OCR process and let it analyze each page of the book.
  5. After the first round of OCR, save the document as a searchable PDF file.
  6. Perform a second round of OCR, enabling editable text and images.
  7. Save the document with embedded indexing for efficient searching.

Benefits of OCR

OCR provides several benefits when processing a book:

  • Reduces the file size while maintaining readability.
  • Enables selecting and copying text from the document.
  • Improves searchability within the document.
  • Preserves the original formatting of the book.
  • Allows for scalability, ensuring sharp text even when zooming in.

Choosing the Final Version

Once the OCR process is complete, you will have two versions of the processed book: a searchable PDF and an editable text version. Typically, the smaller file size and improved readability of the editable text version make it the preferred choice. However, it is advisable to keep a backup of the searchable PDF version in case of any unforeseen issues with the editable version.


Processing a book after scanning is a crucial step in creating an optimized digital version. By carefully building a table of contents and performing OCR, you can transform a scanned book into a user-friendly, searchable, and compact PDF document. This process ensures that your digital library is organized and easy to navigate. Enjoy the benefits of digitizing your books and embracing the world of digital reading!