Opening a PDF containing a scanned document should reveal an excellent copy that replicates the appearance of a printed page. When that isn’t the case, it can be a confusing and frustrating experience. A scanned page that appears blurry and illegible not only isn’t useful, but it could also be a difficult problem to solve. Are there any ways to easily sharpen blurry text in a PDF? Let’s look at some of the steps you can explore to uncover the problem and attempt a solution.
Revisit the Original Source File
The best and easiest way to sharpen a PDF image is to simply scan the original document again. Often, blurry pages result from scanning errors, such as a bump to the machine or a dirty scanning plate. No amount of image editing and noise reduction will ever make such an image resolve more clearly. If you have access to the original document or you can communicate with its author, try to have the document re-scanned to a fresh PDF.
Check Font Smoothing Options
Sometimes, errors in how a PDF editor displays documents may result from settings intended to make documents more responsive and easier to view. Checking the display settings in your editing software should be your next step. In Kofax Power PDF, the process takes only a few steps to try.
- Click File, then choose the Options dialogue. Select “General” to display general settings.
- Locate the “Page Display” section.
- Under “Smooth,” select “none” if it is not already selected.
Try each setting to explore whether the outcome makes your PDF more or less blurry. If the image quality resolves, you’ve found your solution.
Related Post: How to Compress PDFs in 3 Steps
Update Your PDF Software
If some time has passed since the last time you downloaded the latest updates to your software, now is the time to do so. You may encounter display errors and blurriness because of out-of-date tools. Download and install the latest version before opening the file to recheck its quality.
Try Converting the File
You may be able to rely on document conversion tools or even built-in optical character recognition to extract useful text from a blurry document. Try swapping the document into a format, such as Microsoft Word, to see if the output is readable. Converting the document into a full-text PDF is also an option, though OCR may not function well if the text is especially blurry. If this process does not work, you may not be able to sharpen the image further without first re-scanning the original document.
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