You don’t remember which PDF file contains the Really Important Information you need to finish your write-up. You type a known phrase into Spotlight, but Spotlight shows no results.


You need to make your PDFs searchable to Spotlight. The way to do that is through a conversion process known as OCR. By far the easiest way to do this is to use PDFpen. When you open a PDF that is not searchable, PDFpen immediately prompts you to convert the PDF.

Additional Information

There are many ways and points in time to make a PDF searchable. What’s important is what settings you use and when you decide to do it. That determines the success of your workflow.

For instance, you can make a PDF searchable when you snap a picture on your phone, use the scanner at the office, export to PDF from Word, capture notes in Evernote or use PDFpen after you’ve received a PDF via email. Some third-party storage solutions, like Google Drive or OneDrive, can also automatically make a PDF searchable.

For all of my Clio users: Clio does not automatically convert PDFs, but does integrate with Google Drive.

The good news is that conversion can be automated so that you or your team never have worry about it. Using automation, you can be confident that all of your documents are searchable 100% of the time.

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.