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Convert outlined text to live text. No re-typing required.

Let’s say you have this multi-column Adobe Illustrator file, and you need to get some text from it. So, you open the file, only to realize… IT’S ALL OUTLINED.

OK… Don’t freak out! You won’t have to re-type all that text. I can show you how to re-text outlined text. It’s quite simple actually.

1) First, you need to make sure you have Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat (the full version).

2) Open the file in illustrator, and if you feel compelled, clean up all the backgrounds. Try to get the text by itself, on a white background with the text in all black, if possible. You don’t really have to do that, but it’s more likely that there won’t be any artifacts, or incorrect letters when using Acrobat.

3) Save the file as a PDF. Don’t worry about the settings, we just need to make a file Acrobat can open.

4) Open the file in Adobe Acrobat. Go to Document > OCR Text Recognition > Recognize text using OCR.

5) I just click OK, but you can adjust your settings.

6) Voila! Text done. No Typing. Awesome!

Just note that some fonts my be difficult for Acrobat to recognize, and you still have to proof read the results, in case it got buggy. But it beats re-typing. This can also work on scanned documents, with some pretty acceptable results.

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