Software required: Adobe Illustrator & Acrobat Professional

In Illustrator:

  1. Select all text.
  2. Effect > Document Rasterize Effect Settings:
    • Color Model: Bitmap
    • Resolution: High (300dpi)
  3. Effect > Rasterize…:
    • Color Model: Bitmap
    • Resolution: High (300dpi)
  4. Save as PDF.

In Acrobat Professional:

  1. Documents > OCR Text Recognition:
    • Recognize Text Using OCR…
    • Edit…
    • PDF Output Style
    • Choose: Formatted Text & Graphics
  2. Save as PDF.
  3. Then, copy-&-paste sections of text from the newly-saved PDF file back to Illustrator or MS Word.
  4. It won’t be perfect. Some editing will be necessary.

(Ref: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/318095 #3. Dec 4, 2008 9:28 AM in response to: (dré_as_in_Andrea) Re: Is there a way to convert outlined text back into live text?)