Wanting to know how to OCR PDFs as they are added to SharePoint automatically?
The Encodian connector provides an OCR action named ‘OCR a PDF Document‘ which checks a PDF document for the presence of a text layer and if one isn’t present it will perform OCR and add the text layer to the PDF document before returning the newly OCR’d PDF document.
The ‘OCR a PDF Document’ action can also perform a wide array of clean-up operations such as auto-rotate, deskew, despeckle, etc. Please review the documentation for further details.
This article details a simple Flow for automatically performing OCR on PDF documents added to a SharePoint library to ensure the contents of the files can be indexed by SharePoint and can be more easily found by users.
1. Create a new Flow using the ‘Automated — from blank‘ option
2. Enter a name for the Flow, select the ‘When a file is created in a folder‘ SharePoint trigger action, click ‘Create‘
3. Configure the ‘When a file is created in a folder‘ SharePoint trigger action
3.a. Site Address: Enter the location of the SharePoint site where the target library / folder is held
3.b. Folder Id: Select the SharePoint folder which will be monitored for new PDF documents
4. Add a ‘Condition‘ action
4.a. Configure the condition action as per the image below, which will ensure that the Flow only attempts to apply the OCR action to PDF documents
5. Add a ‘Terminate‘ action within the ‘No‘ branch of the condition added in step #4
5.a. Status: Select ‘Succeeded’
6. Add an ‘OCR a PDF Document‘ action within the ‘Yes‘ branch of the condition added in step #4
6.a. Filename: Select the ‘Filename‘ property from the ‘ When a file is created in a folder‘ SharePoint trigger action
6.b. File Content: Select the ‘File Content‘ property from the ‘ When a file is created in a folder‘ SharePoint trigger action
Please review and change the following advanced options as required:
Language: Select the preferred language, the default is set to ‘English‘
Clean Operations: When setting to ‘Default‘ the OCR action will perform a default collection of clean-up operations including auto-rotate, auto deskew and auto despeckle. To select a specific set of clean-up operations, select ‘Specific‘ and then enable required clean-up operations.
Guide – Continued
7. Add a SharePoint ‘Create file‘ action
7.a. Site Address: Set to the value of the SharePoint site set in step #3.a
7.b Folder Path: Set to the same value of the ‘Folder Id‘ property set in step #3.b
7.c. File Name: Select the ‘Filename‘ property from the ‘OCR a PDF Document‘ Encodian action
7.d. File Content: Select the ‘File Content‘ property from the ‘OCR a PDF Document‘ Encodian action
8. The completed flow should follow this construct:
9. Now let’s test the flow!
10. Select ‘I’ll perform the trigger action‘ and click ‘Save & Test‘
NOTE: You can ignore the recursive event warning as the Flow is configured to overwrite and existing document which will not re-fire the event. If you rename the file, thus creating a brand new file, the Flow will re-run. To avoid recursive event triggers review our post of the Power Automate Community Blog: SharePoint – Managing Recursive Events in Flow
11. Add a PDF document to the SharePoint folder set in step #3.b
12. Validate a text layer has been added to the PDF document
13. Repeat the test with a non-PDF document
Hopefully this post provides a good guide for ensuring PDF documents in your SharePoint libraries have been correctly OCR’d.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful, and as ever, please share any feedback or comments – all are welcome!