my adobe acrobat pro 2017 will not allow me to check the "recognize text" box or even recognize text under the enhance scan tool either. i had no problem with this until just recently. the same list that i have printed to pdf, made editable and searchable by name for the last 2 years is no longer searchable? is this a bug due to some new update? whatever it is causing me major headaches.
You are stating that you have a list that you print to PDF. At that point it should already be searchable. When one can select text in a document, you cannot run OCR on it because it's already searchable.
BTW, if you are using "Save as PDF, than Acrobat is NOT the product that's generating the PDF, it's your operating system (Mac or PC). If you want Acrobat to generate the PDF, go down a bit more in the options (here it is on a Mac system, I can't show you the PC version since I'm not on a PC)
The OCR process is for when you have a picture/scan of a page with text and you cannot select the text on that page. Then you'll need OCR to convert the image of text into selectable/searchable text.
Either that or I'm completely not understanding your workflow and I apologize.