8 Best OCR Software for Windows & Mac

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Best OCR Software

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a special technology used to identify and recognize text in scanned documents, images, or photos. With it, data can be extracted from PDFs or scanned documents into machine-readable text data that is editable and can be stored way more conveniently awaiting further processing. The best OCR software lets you scan and archive paper documents into PDF file format and this article brings you the 8 top-of-the-top software you can get started with.

The Best OCR Software: What to consider?

Settling on the best OCR software can prove to be quite a hassle especially considering just how much the market is flooded with lots of OCR programs. To help you pick the best tool, here is a list of factors to consider;

  • has feature Supported OCR languages
  • has feature Support for batch processing
  • has feature Offer a range of editable output formats
  • has feature Levels of accuracy and format retention
  • has feature Online or offline tool
  • has feature Free trial period for a paid OCR program
  • has feature Affordability
  • has feature Beginner-friendliness

8 Great OCR Software in Windows & Mac – Free Download

Software NameSupported OSOffline VersionDownload Link
  • 1. TalkHelper PDF Converter OCR
  • WindowsFull VersionFree Download
  • 2. Nuance Omnipage Ultimate
  • WindowsFree DemoFree Download
  • 3. Readiris Pro
  • Windows/MacFree DemoFree Download
  • 4. ABBYY FineReader
  • Windows/MacFree TrialFree Download
  • 5. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
  • Windows/MacFree TrialFree Download
  • 6. SimpleOCR
  • WindowsFree VersionFree Download
  • 7. PrecisionOCR
  • Windows/MacFree TrialFree Download
  • 8. Free Online OCR
  • Windows/MacFree VersionFree Download


    1. TalkHelper PDF Converter OCR(Recommended)

    TalkHelper PDF Converter OCR

    TalkHelper PDF Converter OCR is a comprehensive PDF tool with a built-in OCR to convert scanned or image-based PDFs into editable Excel sheets or Word documents. Its comprehensiveness is evident enough when you take into account the 46 recognitions languages supported. You are also opened up to partial PDF conversion, split/merge option, and overall high-quality output. This is possible because or image-based strives to retain the original layout and formatting as much as possible. To save you both time and effort, you have the option to batch OCR multiple documents or images.

    Pros

    • Offers batch processing
    • Highly efficient
    • High-quality output with format retention
    • Supports lots of recognition languages
    • Offers a bookmark feature
    • Very user-friendly and affordable

    Cons

    • Large PDFs can take time to load

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF

    Output

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, Epub

    Recognition languages: English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, etc.

    Price: TalkHelper PDF Converter OCR delivers a free trial period and a paid plan license starting at $29.95 per user.

    Supported OS: Windows

    Best for: Both personal and commercial use as it is simple, easy-to-use, and overly comprehensive in extracting text data from scans.

    Download TalkHelper PDF Converter


    2. Nuance Omnipage Ultimate

     Nuance-OmniPage-Ultimate

    OmniPage Ultimate is a pretty powerful OCR software that boasts support for a whopping 120 recognition languages. The exceptionally accurate OCR ensures that the original document layout is maintained irrespective of the nature of the image-based or scanned PDF file. Also, it offers scanner integration which supports a pretty wide range of devices for that extra convenient OCR process.

    When you have multiple scan documents that need data extraction, you have the batch processing feature at your disposal to bring about convenience. Better yet, it features unattended automation for that real-time OCR process. Using the integrated eDiscovery Assistant, the output is completely searchable.

    Pros

    • High accuracy levels
    • Offers batch processing with fine-tuned automation
    • Powerful performance
    • Supports over 120 recognition languages
    • Features scanner integration
    • Integrates cloud sharing options like Dropbox

    Cons

    • Confusing and inconsistent interface

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF

    Output

    Word, Excel, RTF

    Recognition languages: OmniPage Ultimate can read over 120 languages including Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean.

    Price: Besides a free trial version, OmniPage Ultimate is available for purchase at $199.

    Supported OS: Windows

    Best for: Businesses looking to realize a seamless workflow by reducing time spent in the OCR process, lower costs of operation, manage, and share document files conveniently.

    Download Omnipage Ultimate


    3. Readiris Pro

    Readiris_Pro

    Readiris is a complete and intelligent OCR software that helps you to convert images, PDF files, or any scanned document into an editable format of choice. It creates very accurate text output with just a few clicks and in so doing, preserves the original format. With support for around 138 recognition languages, it is unlikely to miss your document language.

    To save you time and effort, you are opened up to batch processing and the watched folders feature. All the tables and columns will remain intact during the OCR process, ridding you of the need to proofread or edit to correct missed recognitions.

    Pros

    • Lightning-fast OCR
    • Original format retention
    • Supports a wide range of scanners
    • Allows you to perform batch OCR
    • Retains the original formatting
    • Built-in cloud sharing options
    • Lots of languages supported

    Cons

    • Less accurate on low-quality documents

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, BMP, GIF

    Output

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, indexed PDF

    Recognition languages: Readiris supports 138 recognition languages like Brazilian, Breton, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chamorro, Chinese Simplified/Traditional, Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Farsi, Fijian, Finnish, French, Frisian, Friulian, Galician, German, and more.

    Price: Besides a free trial period, Readiris Is available for purchase as Readiris PDF at $49, Readiris Pro at $99, Readiris Corporate at $199.

    Supported OS: Windows, Mac

    Best for: All scenario/tasks that call for an all-round OCR software.

    Download Readiris Pro


    4. ABBYY FineReader

    Abbyy_finereader

    Abbyy FineReader offers very robust features that bring the ultimate efficiency whenever you need OCR scanned PDFs. It offers unparalleled accuracy that is akin to no other program considering that AI-based Optical Character Recognition is used to simplify the process. Paper documents, scanned PDF files, and, scans can be turned into searchable and editable documents at the click of a button.

    You will get to enjoy top-tier levels of accuracy and still have the original layout and structure retained. Also, you can tweak the OCR via advanced options to deliver just the kind of output you are looking for in terms of accuracy and consistency.

    Pros

    • High accuracy levels
    • Supports batch processing
    • Powerful performance
    • Offers Hot Folder and watched folder options
    • Supports the PDF/A format
    • Offers compression options
    • Allows you to set custom automated OCR tasks
    • Keyboard-friendly OCR editor for manual corrections

    Cons

    • A bit pricey
    • Lacks full-text indexing for fast searches

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF/TIF, BMP, GIF, JBIG2, PCX

    Output

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, RTF, HTML, TXT, PDF

    Recognition languages: Abbyy FineReader supports over 200 languages including Latin, Greek, Croatian, Chinese, Japanese, Kikuyu, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English, Russian, German, Korean, and more.

    Price: Abbyy FineReader lets you experience a free trial version before you can grab a Standard license at $199, a Corporate license at $299, or the Mac-specific version at $129.99.

    Supported OS: Windows, Mac

    Best for: Both personal and commercial purposes as it excels in highly accurate OCR and contextualization for scanned and image-based documents.

    Download ABBYY FineReader


    5. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

    Adobe_acrobat_DC_pro

    Adobe Acrobat Pro DC delivers a remarkable OCR tool that converts any scanned, PDF, or image files into documents that are both editable and searchable. This program achieves this in two ways; one is whereby it extracts text data during the scanning process of a document and the other from pre-existing images or PDFs.

    Also, it boasts ground-breaking accuracy levels that go a long way to ensure that the original layout and formatting are retained. When the need arises, batch OCR options are available, not forgetting that through working from the cloud, collaboration is facilitated. Adobe has done a commendable job delivering one of the best OCR software.

    Pros

    • Offers a cloud-based experience
    • Supports batch processing
    • Powerful performance
    • High-quality output
    • Features text indexing capabilities

    Cons

    • A bit pricey with monthly subscriptions

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF

    Output

    Word, Excel, RTF

    Recognition languages: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC supports several languages including English, Chinese, Dansk, Deutsch, Espanol, French, Italian, Nederlands, Norsk, Portuguese, Suomi, Svenska.

    Price: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC lets you in on a free trial version after which you have to pick your preferred license; Acrobat Standard DC at $12.99/month or Acrobat Pro DC at $14.99/month.

    Supported OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

    Best for: Enterprises/Businesses looking for an all-digital document experience.

    Download Adobe Acrobat Pro DC


    6. SimpleOCR

    simpleocr

    SimpleOCR is a 100% OCR tool that offers 99% accurate scanned PDF conversion. It features a pretty huge dictionary, with over 120,000 words, which means that no word cannot be recognized. Also, you are provided with a despeckle or “noisy document” option that improves the overall accuracy.

    Better yet, you get to enjoy format-retention of font format like italic, underline, and bold. Amazingly. SimpleOCR is also capable of retaining images from a PDF into the editable Word or Excel sheet. If you just need the plain text data, you can extract just that with ease without minding the formatting.

    Pros

    • Highly accurate (up to 99%)
    • Highlights text errors in the recognized text
    • Lets you perform batch OCR
    • Retains the original formatting
    • Offers zone OCR
    • Free

    Cons

    • Does not recognize handwriting

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, BMP, GIF

    Output

    Word, Excel, RTF, TXT, HTML

    Recognition languages: SimpleOCR supports English and French languages

    Price: SimpleOCR is free for both commercial and non-commercial use.

    Supported OS: Windows

    Best for: Commercial and non-commercial use to convert any paper document/scan into an editable electronic text.

    Download SimpleOCR


    7. PrecisionOCR

    PrecisionOCR

    PrecisionOCR is a cloud-native solution that utilizes Optical Character Recognition coupled with AI algorithms to convert scanned/unstructured PDF files into searchable and structured documents. Amazingly, it can process even the most illegible and messiest documents, including handwriting, into a clean, editable format.

    PrecisionOCR also leverages machine learning, natural language processing, automatic denoising, and spell checking to improve the OCR. All forms and tables are extracted accurately with little to no need for any corrections. The good thing is that this OCR software works online and therefore helps you escape the hassle of setting up software on your computer.

    Pros

    • Offers metadata extraction
    • Allows for batch processing
    • Offers ID scan capabilities
    • Retains the original tables, columns, and graphics
    • Offers multiple output formats

    Cons

    • Limited free version

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPEG/JPG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PCX, GIF

    Output

    Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, RTF, Plain Text

    Recognition languages:

    Price: PrecisionOCR offers a free trial version and a premium plan starting at $1 per feature.

    Supported OS: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS

    Best for: Companies, especially in the medical field, that quest for streamlined data abstraction workflows, besides converting unstructured documents into structured and searchable resources.

    Download Tesseract OCR

    8. Free Online OCR

    free-onlineocr

    Just as the name suggests, this is an online tool that helps you to extract text data from scanned PDFs and images and saves in editable Word document, an Excel sheet, among other text formats. Free Online OCR supports over 46 languages making it one of the most sufficient PDF scanner tools.

    You will not only retain the original look but also enjoy the convenience of batch processing. To achieve the best quality of recognition, it is advisable to input images of 200-400 DPI. Better yet, the process involves mere 3 steps which are pretty accommodating too for a first-timer.

    Pros

    • High-quality and accurate output
    • Accepts ZIP files containing supported formats
    • Supports multi-page PDFs and TIFFs
    • Retains the original tables, columns, and graphics
    • Can output multiple pages in the form of a ZIP file
    • Offers partial conversion when necessary

    Cons

    • There may be instances of inaccurate output
    • Struggles with colored background/text

    Supported Formats

    Input

    PDF, JPEG/JPG, PNG, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PCX, GIF

    Output

    Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, RTF, Plain Text

    Recognition languages: Free Online OCR supports 46 recognition languages including English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Tagalog, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and more.

    Price: OnlineOCR.net provides a free OCR service with a limit of 15 file conversions per hour in guest mode. Registration lifts this limitation.

    Supported OS: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS

    Best for: Personal and business use considering it only requires a web browser and an internet connection to get started with.

    Download Free Online OCR


    Conclusion

    OCR is a very remarkable technology today and the best OCR software is a must-have tool to help digitize text content from scanned or image-based documents. And the good thing is that you need not hassle looking for the perfect tool as this review article has the top go-to solutions for you. Grab one that laces your shoes best and translate that scan into an editable document.

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