California Rule 8.74 requires all electronic documents be submitted to the court in text-searchable portable document format (PDF). The court may reject filings that include documents that are not text-searchable PDF’s. Recently many courts have become stricter in this rule, such as Los Angeles Superior Court, which on November 2, 2020 reiterated this requirement for all filings submitted within the county.

Essential Forms will attempt to convert documents to text-searchable format during transmission. However, depending on the format and content of the original document submitted, this conversion may not be 100% accurate. For example, files created from a scanned paper document or image are likely to have issues, and hand-written text may not convert properly. We strongly recommend submitting filings using forms created within the Essential Forms application and not submitting filings generated using third-party software.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the filer to ensure all documents are in text-searchable format before submitting through Essential Forms. You can determine if your document meets this requirement by the ability to highlight, copy, and paste text from the document or by clicking CTRL + F (Find) to find text within the document.

If you must use a third-party software, it is recommended to use Adobe Acrobat to generate a PDF and OCR beforehand. Acrobat offers the ability to convert scanned images to text-searchable format using optical character recognition (OCR), but please be aware this may affect the formatting and accuracy of the original document. Click here for more information. You may also use this free online tool to convert documents: https://www.pdf2go.com/create-searchable-pdf.

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