How do I extract text from a scanned document, now a PDF? I have Windows XP.
Download Foxit Reader or Foxit Reader Portable and use it to open your PDF file. Click the "View as a Text File" toolbar button (looks like a document with a pair of glasses over it), and select and copy whatever text you want. Note that if the scanner didn't OCR the document to make it searchable, there will be no text to copy.
If the document was scanned as an image and transformed into a pdf, you really need the OCR, like Tina recommended.
what you're looking for is software that supports optical character recognition, short OCR. MakeUseOf has covered several tools that will help you to extract text from images or PDF documents.
How To Extract Text From Images (OCR) – Windows Only
Top 5 Free OCR Software Tools To Convert Images Into Text
Saikat recently wrote an article on MakeUseOf about a great PDF-to-DOC converter tool so you can get the text from the PDF document (//www.makeuseof.com/tag/can-you-convert-a-pdf-file-to-a-word-doc/).
Alternatively, you can try these tools that will extract the text from images //www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-5-free-ocr-software-tools-to-convert-your-images-into-text-nb/
If you're looking for something that you can use online (and save yourself the hassle of downloading and uninstalling software), try this //www.makeuseof.com/tag/onlineocr-convert-scanned-document-to-editable-text/.