Here are 5 free OCR software. These OCR software can read text from images and scanned documents, and present that to you. These services are useful to convert scanned images, and faxes searchable text and Word format.
OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition. Here is how Wikipedia explains OCR:
Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping system in an office, or to publish the text on a website.
All these free OCR software are completely online, so you do not have to download anything to use. These free online OCR software let you just upload your scanned images, and then download the converted text. Some of these free OCR services also let you preserve your formatting.
Free Online OCR
As the name suggests, it is a free online OCR :) This is the best free OCR software that I have come across. It lets you upload documents in multiple formats: JPG, BMP, TIFF, and PNG. Also, this is one of the few OCR software that supports uploading PDF as well. Apart from multiple input formats, it also supports multiple output format. It can convert your scanned files to Word, PDF, RTF, and TXT format. Just upload your file, choose the format to convert to, and this free OCR software will immediately do the conversion. You can then download the converted file.
i2OCR is another one of my favorite OCR software. This is also completely online, and does not requires you to create any account, or download anything. You can upload any scanned image, and it will extract text from image. Here are some of the features that I like in this free online OCR:
- After conversion, it shows the extracted text online, and shows your uploaded image side-by-side. So, you can quickly see that the conversion was accurate. If you see any problems, you can try uploading a higher resolution image.
- This is a multi-language OCR software, and supports 33 languages. Apart from English, it can read French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Greek, Turkish, Norwegian, Polish, Slovakian, Czech, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Catalan, Tagalog, Serbian, Slovenian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese. That is quite impressive list of supported languages :)
- You can also provide URL of an image, and it will extract text from that image.
Also check out free online PDF to Word converter.
OnlineOCR is another free OCR software. It also works in the same manner as the OCR software mentioned earlier. The good part is that it can also convert scanned image to XLS format. So, if you received a scanned copy of a spreadsheet, you can convert them to XLS using this OCR software. You can also upload multiple page PDF files, and convert then to Word, TXT, or XLS format. The free version limits 15 images per hour.
BetterOCR is another free OCR software that is completely online. A great feature that it provides is that you can even upload zip files. It will extract your scanned image from that, and then convert it to text. Apart from zip, it also supports PNG, JPG, GIF, TIF, and PDF format. There is no limit on number of images that you can convert with this free online OCR software.
Free OCR is last free OCR software in our list. It supports all the common formats that we mentioned above, like, JPG, GIF, TIFF BMP or PDF. The reason it is last in our list is because:
- If you upload a PDF file, it converts only first page
- There is a size limit of 2MB per uploaded file
- Only 10 images can be converted per hour.
On the good side, it supports multiple languages, and does not requires and registration or email address.
Check out Free OCR here.