I have a scanned document with OCR. In Adobe Acrobat, I can select and copy words without a problem (first screenshot, 1). However, if I open the very same document in Preview and try to select the very same words, Preview instead selects the respective words at the very bottom of the respective page, while showing a selection/highlighting area (in light blue) that stretches over the whole height of the page (second screenshot, 2).

(Copying the selection captures the correct word in Adobe Acrobat, while it captures the respective bottom line instead of the selection in Preview.)

Is there some way to get Preview to have correctly? (I am running MacOS 11.6.2. and have not installed any Preview-related Add-Ons.)

Adobe Acrobat Preview

  • Try holding Alt/Option and selecting an area. PDFs don't always store text in a linear order.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 21 at 10:21
  • Thank you! I have tried this, but to no avail. I selected a whole paragraph and the only word that became selected was an italicized one: !screenshot
    – Bernd
    Jan 21 at 10:45
  • Can you supply a sample of the PDF?
    – benwiggy
    Jan 21 at 11:27


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