Canvas Resource CenterADD-ONS FOR CANVASBlackboard Ally in Canvas Creating accessible contentHow do I use Ally to convert a scanned PDF into readable text?

How do I use Ally to convert a scanned PDF into readable text?

You will learn how to use Blackboard Ally to convert a scanned (image) PDF of a book chapter, for example, into a readable text PDF.

As part of the effort to make our courses as inclusive as possible, we should not have any files or documents which are not viewable/readable by all of our students.

Follow these steps to convert your image PDF into a text PDF:

How do I know if my PDF is an image?

If you cannot select the text in a PDF, then it is an image.

scanned pdf

If the text is selectable, then it is readable by a screen reader.

ocred pdf

1. Upload your PDF file to your course.

Read this guide on how to upload a file.

Course with one pdf uploaded.

2. Click on the file name.

Download icon selected.

3. Select Alternative formats.

Alternative formats link is selected.

4. Select OCRed PDF.

This will convert the downloaded file, so that the writing within the scanned image is seen as characters, not as a single image.

OCRed PDF is selected.

5. Click on Download.

Download button is selected.

6. Upload the new version to your course.

Although the new file does not have a perfect score with Ally (as there are no headings, no title and no language set), it is at least readable by a screen reader. So, the next step would be to add headings, a title and a language within Adobe Acrobat to the PDF.

The new pdf file has been uploaded.

Article Summary

You have now learned how to convert an image/scanned PDF into a text PDF which will be readable by JAWS or some other screen reader software.