OCR software makes it possible to digitize valuable information stored in paper documents and images. That way, they can be edited, shared and stored electronically.

You can even convert a scanned image into an editable document that you can use as a template for future documents. But before you start scanning your files, you’ll need to ensure that the OCR software you choose is right for your needs.

In this article, we’ll offer 11 recommendations for the best OCR software on the market today, which will help you make the right choice. 

 

Best OCR Software

What Are OCR Software

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a technology that converts images into text. You can use it to convert your scanned documents into editable text files on your computer.
OCR software can be used for various purposes such as creating digital signatures, registering copyright, scanning into PDF or XPS files etc.

OCR is an expensive process and requires special tools and software to accomplish its task properly. There are many different types of OCR software available in the market today but they all have similar features.
However, some offer more features than others and hence they may be better suited for you depending on your requirements and budget.

Here we will discuss some of the best OCR software available today:

 

 

OCR Software – Introduction

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. OCR software is a program that allows you to convert scanned images of text into plain text.

The most common use for OCR software is to digitize books, magazines, and other printed material, so that the information can be indexed and searched or repurposed for things like data mining. If you have ever used a search engine that lets you search for text inside a PDF file, then you have already used OCR software.

OCR software is also commonly used by law enforcement agencies to digitize raw CCTV footage so that it can be analyzed by their software systems. OCR software works by breaking down a scanned image into pixels.

Each pixel has some brightness and color value associated with it. The software then tries to determine what character the pixels represent based on these values, and reconstructs the text from the image.

This is particularly challenging when dealing with handwritten documents as opposed to printed documents as there are no defined edges to the characters in a handwritten document. The second challenge is when dealing with noise – uneven lighting and background noise in the image can make it difficult for the OCR software to recognize characters correctly.

What is the Best OCR Software?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software allows you to scan documents and convert text into a word processing document.

OCR is a common way to digitize printed texts so that they can be electronically searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line, and used in machine processes such as machine translation, text-to-speech, key data, and text mining.

To make sure you get the most useful and productive OCR Software for your business, you need to compare products available on the market.

For example, here it is possible to match Free Image OCR’s overall score of 7.5 against ABBYY Screenshot Reader’s score of 9.7. You can also match their overall user satisfaction rating: 100% (Free Image OCR) against 100% (ABBYY Screenshot Reader).

Don’t forget to go for the application that best answers your most crucial issues, not the software with the higher number of features.

Our team put a lot of effort to review all popular OCR Software products that you can find out there, but among them these three deserved our special attention: Readiris Pro, Free OCR to Word, ABBYY Screenshot Reader.

1. Nanonets

Nanonets is a deep learning platform that enables you to build and deploy computer vision models. It helps businesses automate their processes by helping them identify information from images and videos.

One of the most common applications of Nanonets is to help identify people in images, especially in ecommerce, where it can help identify customers and staff in security camera footage. The retail industry is also using Nanonets to automate inventory tracking.

If you are a retailer with a medium-sized store or shop, Nanonets can help you keep track of the number of people who enter your store during business hours. You can set up your own custom computer vision model that will watch your surveillance feeds and keep count of how many people are in your store at all times.

Features

1.Train your ML models on the cloud, eliminating the need for processing power, data storage and other hassles of running a deep learning pipeline on-premise.

2.Gain insights into how your model is performing using confusion matrix, ROC curves and class-wise performance metrics like Precision and Recall.

3.Manage your model deployment configurations from one single place, including:

  • Dataset version
  • .Model version
  • Deployment version

4.Deploy your ML models to the cloud in either of the two modes:

a. Synchronous mode: where prediction requests are processed in realtime and a response is provided within milliseconds for low-latency applications (like categorizing images as they are being uploaded).

b. Asynchronous mode: where batches of prediction requests can be uploaded on the cloud and predictions can be downloaded later.

Pros

Nanonets is the only tool that allows you to train your model without writing a single line of code.

Nanonets provides easy to use APIs for shipping and object detection. It takes care of the burden of creating bounding boxes for you. All you need to do is upload labeled images.

You can retrain your models as often as you want to with our APIs. There is no limit whatsoever. We provide a free plan so you can try out our product.

2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – a complete solution for working with PDF documents, which can be used to create, convert, edit and protect PDF files. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an important tool for working with PDFs from official Adobe software.

The application includes tools for converting Web pages into PDF files in one click. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also allows you to fill out forms, add comments, add stamps and signatures to documents.

A new feature has been added – “Document Cloud Services.”  It allows you to work with PDF documents anywhere – on your desktop computer or mobile device.

Features

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has an efficient new interface and some major improvements in OCR and text-editing, and Adobe’s Document Cloud service also includes built-in PDF signing and routing. Plus, you know it will look right on any screen.

The application is widely regarded as the standard in its field – and for good reason. It allows you to edit documents virtually, convert them into other formats, share them with collaborators, and keep track of comments from multiple reviewers.

Pros

 1.Create PDFs from any file.

2. Edit scanned documents.

3. Export PDFs to Word or Excel.

4. Convert web pages to interactive PDFs.

5. Add multimedia to your PDF files.

   

3. OmniPage Ultimate by Kofax

OmniPage Ultimate by Kofax, is a standalone application for Windows that enables you to process scanned pages and image files and convert them into editable formats. This tool is able to convert documents from over 120 different languages.

With OmniPage Ultimate by Kofax, you can also transform your scanned pages into key-editable PDFs and into Word files with one click.

 This application enables you to perform various operations on your image files and scanned pages, including converting them into editable formats.

You can use OmniPage Ultimate by Kofax to create searchable PDFs in just one click. These PDFs can be edited, copied, or shared.

You are provided with the possibility to convert speech recordings into text. You can also use this utility to transform paper documents into digital ones that are accessible and shareable everywhere.

You can use this tool to convert documents from over 120 languages. The application enables you to recognize text that is printed within pictures captured with your mobile device or digital camera.

The picture will be converted into an editable document file in one of the available output formats.

Features

OmniPage Ultimate 18 by Kofax is an all-in-one OCR and PDF software application. This ultimate version of OmniPage is easy to use, which makes it easy to transform paper, image files and PDF files into documents you can edit in your favourite PC applications.

Reliably recognize text and convert documents in more than 130 languages. Create PDF files that can be searched, shared, navigated and archived.

Process files from a scanned image, existing PDF or camera photo. Control the security of your output file for private information.

Pros

  • Save time with automatic document conversion and layout retention.
  • Work more productively with PDF documents.
  • Benefit from the most accurate document conversions available.
  • Recreate the format and layout of your original document without retyping.
  • Enjoy support for a wide range of languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

4. FineReader PDF 15

FineReader PDF 15 is a complete PDF solution that lets you work with PDFs more efficiently than ever. It offers powerful OCR technology, which recognizes and converts text from images and paper documents into editable formats.

FineReader PDF 15 is an all-in-one tool for editing, converting and creating PDFs. You can use it to modify a document’s layout or format, convert it to another file type, or create a new PDF from scratch.

FineReader PDF 15 also lets you extract data from tables in scanned or digital documents. You can copy data automatically within the program or export it to Excel, CSV or XML files. Its batch processing feature lets you convert large volumes of files at once.

Features

  • Advanced image pre-processing. Get crisp, clear scans – every time.
  • Unparalleled recognition accuracy and conversion capabilities.
  • Automate your workflows and save even more time.
  • PDF editing made easy.
  • Make quick edits to PDFs, including text and graphics, right in the program.
  • One-click document comparison. Compare documents, analyze changes and redact sensitive information in a single click

Pros

  1. It’s extremely accurate. As the original pioneer of AI-based OCR technology, ABBYY has been innovating for over 25 years and has won multiple awards for its text recognition engines. Every new release is tested against the previous one to ensure the accuracy is at least 95%.

 

  1. It’s fast. Using multi-core CPUs, FineReader can read up to 400 pages per minute and convert scans in literally seconds. If you’re just converting a few pages, it will be done in a blink of an eye.

 

  1. It has a very simple user interface. You can edit your PDFs right inside the program, even if you’ve never edited a PDF before. It supports over 200 languages. FineReader supports all major European languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian (including Cyrillic).

 

  1. FineReader doesn’t require any additional software to get started, so you can use it straight out of the box and install any updates, as they become available through automatic update checks or from the ABBYY website.

5. Readiris

Readiris 16 for Windows is an optical character recognition (OCR) software package that converts an image, a PDF file, or a scanned document into a fully editable text document. The program retains the original document’s format and layout, including columns, tables, bullets, italics, and graphics.

Readiris 16 can recognize text in more than 130 languages. Readiris 16’s interface is simple to use.

The program guides you through the process of scanning a document or opening one that is already on your computer.

After scanning and recognizing what’s on the page, you can choose from several output options:

  • Export it as a PDF file with or without editable text; convert it to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other popular formats; or export it as an HTML file for posting on the Web.
  • You can also save the image as JPG or PNG files.

Pros

Readiris Pro is a powerful OCR solution designed for private users and small to large office users. It converts all your paper documents, your PDFs and images files into fully editable smart documents (Word, Excel, PDF, among many other formats).

With the new 15 version of Readiris, you benefit from an even more accurate recognition technology that will let you convert all your documents in just a few clicks. At the origin of Readiris™ technology lies a passion for innovation and the will to provide you with the most advanced OCR software on the market.

6. SimpleOCR

SimpleOCR is a popular freeware OCR program. The simple interface makes it easy to get started, and once you’re ready to get your hands dirty, the powerful tools will help you make quick work of the most complicated documents.

SimpleOCR claims to have a 100% accuracy rate on text when using the default settings. While that may not always be true for documents you convert, the software does typically do an excellent job of recognizing text in scanned documents and PDF files.

If you need to convert a lot of scanned documents into editable text, SimpleOCR can save you countless hours of retyping and reformatting. There are two versions available: one that’s free for personal use, and a paid version with additional features like saving in Word formats and spellchecking.

Features

There are some OCR features that you can use. This is a list of them:

  1. Scans images and saves them in text format.
  2. Recognizes fax images.
  3. Recognizes multipage TIFF images.
  4. Recognizes multi column text in newspapers, magazines, and other documents.
  5. Import image formats such as JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP
  6. Export as plain text or UNICODE text files.
  7. Supports English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese languages (and more).

Pros

  •  Recognizes English and French text. supports most scanners and cameras.
  • Designed for easy recognition of hand-printed material.
  • Supports multi-page documents.
  • Supports page layout analysis, which is useful for processing faxes and scanned documents.

7. Tesseract

Features

  • Highly accurate Supports ASCII/UTF-8 and Unicode
  • Tesseract has the ability to extract text from images that are rotated at an angle
  • It can work with multi-column documents

8. Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a powerful note-taking application that gives you the ability to capture, store and share notes across all of your devices. Microsoft Office users will find that it integrates well with other Office applications.

OneNote supports drag-and-drop functionality, so you can easily move images, text boxes and other objects around your notes. The beauty of OneNote is that it doesn’t limit you to one way of taking notes.

You can type them out or handwrite them using a stylus or even record audio notes. The app is available on all major platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. OneNote notebooks are stored in the cloud with Microsoft OneDrive, which means you can access them from any device linked to your Microsoft account.

This also makes it easy for teams to collaborate on projects by sharing a notebook and working together in real time. OneNote has a lot of features that make it useful for both home and business users:

  • Create collaborative notebooks for teams or groups
  • Record audio notes
  • Embed files into notes.

Features

Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook that’s great for capturing notes, ideas, pictures, screen clippings and just about anything else. The content you capture in OneNote can be shared with others and is stored in the cloud so it’s available to you from anywhere on any device.

OneNote can also be used to organize your life and keep track of important deadlines. For example, you can create custom notebooks and pages to serve as a digital recipe box, project planner or school notebook.

OneNote lets you clip all or part of a webpage into a page with one click. You can then add comments, expand the information with new text and images, or share it with others.

Pros

Microsoft OneNote is free, and you can use it on Macs and PCs. It works with just about any operating system. You can even access it from your phone. OneNote is backed by Microsoft’s cloud service, Office 365.

It’s a great solution for collaborating with other people or working on projects remotely. OneNote has a powerful search feature that works like Google search. You don’t have to remember which notebook a note is in to find it.

OneNote has the ability to embed files, videos, and audio files inside your notes. You can even embed entire web pages inside a note. If you use Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can embed an Office document inside OneNote and make changes to it from within your note rather than opening the document in its own window every time you want to make changes.

9. Amazon Textract

Amazon Textract is a service that automatically extracts text and data from scanned documents. It  goes beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR) to also identify the contents of fields in forms and information stored in tables.

Amazon Textract detects and analyzes text in multiple languages. It also returns the coordinates of each word and table, bounding boxes, lines, form data, key-value pairs, selection elements, and relationships between detected items.

All this information allows you to build applications that can search through documents and extract key pieces of information. You can use Amazon Textract to automate tedious data entry for credit card applications, tax documents, medical forms, business invoices, insurance claims forms, and many other document types.

Features

Document Text Detection

Analyze an input document for text and structured data. The API returns information about the detected document text, including the words that make up the document, their locations, and relationships between them.

Form Data Extraction

Identify and extract fields from documents such as invoices and forms through Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The API returns information about each field, including its type, location, and value.

Handwritten Text Detection

Detect text in handwritten documents through Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The API returns information about each word in the document, including its location on the page.

Pros

Amazon Textract doesn’t require any machine learning experience. The Textract API works entirely automatically, so all you need to do is send it files and get back the processed content.

There’s no need to train the software or fine-tune the results. Amazon Textract can be used with a variety of document types. While it’s particularly good at extracting data from tables, you can use it on forms, labels, receipts, and more.

You’ll get precise results no matter what type of document you use. Amazon Textract works with multiple languages and scripts.

Most OCR tools work only with Latin characters and English words, but Amazon Textract supports over 100 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic to name just a few examples.

10. Google Docs

Google Docs is a free online application that allows users to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Google Docs is available as a web application supported on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari web browsers. It is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS.

You can create and edit documents with collaborators in real time using the Google Docs website or mobile app. Changes are automatically saved as you type.

You can use Google Docs to create and edit text documents, tables, images and drawings in your web browser. You can also import existing files from your computer into Google Docs.

You can share your documents with others so they can view, edit or leave comments on your documents from their own computers. You can also see who else is viewing or editing a document in real time and chat with other viewers or editors while you work.

Pros

 – Easy to create and edit documents on the go

– Collaborative

– Allows multiple users to edit the same document from anywhere in the world real time.

– Provides hundreds of free templates for use

– Has various add ons that can be used to automate certain tasks and to add features

11. Rossum

Rossum is an artificial intelligence (AI) service provider for data entry automation and intelligent document processing. It allows businesses to automate data extraction from invoices, receipts, purchase orders and other documents by simply uploading them as PDF or image files, or by integrating with popular cloud services such as Box, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

Rossum’s AI technology can be used to extract data from any kind of document. It has been successfully trained and deployed on invoices, receipts, contracts, delivery notes and other business documents in various industries including finance, insurance and retail.

Automating document processing with artificial intelligence enables companies to lower operational costs and speed time-to-value of documents received from customers or partners.

Features

  • Effortless setup
  • Connect to your existing systems and start processing documents in minutes.
  • Increase productivity
  • Smart data extraction technology makes it easy for anyone to extract data.
  • Easy collaboration
  • Verified data is automatically shared with other systems.

Pros

1. Accuracy –  Rossum’s AI engine can process a variety of documents with complicated layouts and extract data from them with over 99% accuracy. You can even use multiple formats for the same type of document (such as invoices) to get even better results.

2. Processing speed –  The Rossum API can process up to 10,000 invoices in under an hour, which means you don’t need to worry about long processing times slowing down your workflow.

3. Dynamic fields – Rossum’s ability to dynamically recognize different field types provides you with a full range of data that is accurate and complete. This also ensures that it will work with any invoice layout, no matter how complex or unique it may be.

4. Support –  Our dedicated technical support team is always here to help if you have any questions or problems while using our service. We also have a knowledge base on our website where you can find more information about Rossum and its features.

What is OCR Software?

OCR software is used to convert scanned documents and images into editable and searchable data. The OCR software can read text from bmp, pdf, tiff, jpeg, gif, png and all major image formats.

OCR (optical character recognition) is the technology that enables a computer to read text that appears in an image or document. It turns printed documents into digital data that can be edited, searched and stored more easily.

In addition to scanning old hard copies of documents, OCR software can also be used with digital files to make their contents easier to work with.

The technology is widely used in business and at home because it makes printed information more useful by increasing its accessibility, utility and security. OCR software can be used to convert many types of documents — including contracts, invoices, bank statements or research papers — into searchable electronic files to make them easier to store, organize and share.

OCR software (optical character recognition) is used to convert scanned images of text into plain text files. When the document you need is not available in a digital format, OCR software can help you extract text from the scanned copy.

What Features Do You Need in OCR Software?

Finding the right OCR software for your needs can be a daunting task because there are so many options on the market. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

OCR software is designed to save time and money by eliminating manual data entry and document management tasks. Within every organization, there are dozens of ways that OCR software can help you manage documents more efficiently.

The key is knowing which features to look for. Here’s an overview of the most useful capabilities in OCR software:

Automatic Document Separation

Document separation is the first step in accurate OCR processing.

It’s important that your OCR software has this capability, so you can separate out different types of documents like invoices, checks and remittance documents without having to perform manual sorting.

Accuracy and Formatting Preservation

Look for an OCR program that preserves the formatting of your original document after it has been digitized, including tables, columns or other special formatting.

Also look for a program with an accuracy rate of 99 percent or higher so you don’t have to spend time correcting mistakes made by the OCR program. If you’re planning to use your digitized files for archiving purposes, high accuracy is a must because you don’t want to have to

OCR Software – Frequently Asked Questions

What is OCR software?

OCR software stands for Optical Character Recognition Software. It converts images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. This allows you to search, edit and share the file.

Which file formats does OCR software support?

OCR software can convert scanned images of a variety of formats including: jpg, png, gif, bmp and tiff into text files such as docx, odt and pdf. A good OCR program will also allow you to convert documents in other formats such as .xlsx and .txt.

What are the benefits of OCR software?

OCR software has many benefits but these are some of the most important: It makes it easy to search through and edit large amounts of information. It makes it possible to create searchable PDFs that have selectable text.

You don’t have to type out all this information manually in order to use it; it’s already been converted by the software into a text document that is searchable and easily shared through email or Dropbox.

Can I use OCR software to scan books?

Yes! OCR software can convert an image of a book page into an editable Word Document or PDF file.

Best OCR Software – Wrapping Up

We’ve now reached the end of our list of the best OCR software. So which one makes the most sense for you?

Here’s a quick recap of each option and its key strengths.

ABBYY FineReader: Best Overall OCR Software FineReader is perfect if you need to scan a batch of documents and convert them to editable text files or PDFs. It also has some of the best built-in editing tools, letting you tweak your files before saving them.

Readiris 17: Best for Optical Character Recognition Without Limits Readiris 17 lets you convert as many pages as you want for free, which isn’t something every OCR application can claim. However, it does have a few limitations compared to other options like ABBYY FineReader.

Google Drive: Best Free OCR Software Google Drive is free, but that’s not why we’re recommending it. The fact that it’s cloud-based means that it’s accessible from any device with an internet connection, and all your uploaded documents will be stored online, as well as on your computer.

Tesseract: Best Open Source OCR Software Tesseract is our favorite open source OCR software because it’s faster than any other we tried.