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Top 10 OCR Software (Free and Paid)

What is OCR software used for? Using a list of the best paid and free OCR software for converting photos or scanned paper documents into editable documents.

Scanned documents in an image format can be transformed into editable documents using OCR software. Using a PDF or word processing application, you may edit scanned documents with this software.

The best free OCR software will be reviewed in this article. When it comes to OCR software, we've taken the time to compare and highlight the top features in order to help you choose the free OCR software for your needs.

Part 1. Top 5 OCR Software for Desktop

1. UPDF

UPDF provides a cost-free option for managing PDF processes, relieving users of the financial stress of paying for either a recurrent membership or even a one-time price. It is complete software for you to edit, annotate, read, convert, protect, organize, and print PDF files.

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It is worthwhile to make the effort to convert scanned documents into editable ones using UPDF since documents may be edited, categorized, and annotated using these features. It is an OCR software free download. The following is an outline of the current offerings made available by UPDF:

  • UPDF allows users to convert PDF to many other formats and it can convert a scanned document into editable formats using the OCR feature.
  • Using UPDF, you may exercise control over the components of any editable PDF file. It is possible to make changes to the text and even the graphics included inside a PDF file; all it takes to complete any task is a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Before being distributed to authorized people, financial papers are frequently annotated in a variety of ways for the goals of various reasons. UPDF provides its users with a comprehensive selection of annotation tools, including text markups (such as highlighting and underlining), shapes, freehand drawing, stamps, and a great deal more.
  • PDF files can be readily managed thanks to the ability to simply extract pages, reorganize them, split them, crop them, rotate them, add or remove them, and execute a variety of other activities on the pages.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface and easy-to-use experience
  • It provides a free version to use and you can save 1 file per day
  • All-in-one solution to offer many useful features
  • Frequent updates to improve user experience

Cons

  • OCR feature is only available on Mac currently, but the Windows version will add this feature soon

2. Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is the ideal OCR scanning and document management software for both Macs and Windows PCs, and it surely checks all the boxes.

Even while it may take some time to get the hang of it, you'll have access to an impressive array of tools once you do. For example, it has a Document Cloud function that allows you to edit your papers on any device.

Additionally, Adobe Acrobat allows you to digitally add comments, suggestions, markups, and signatures to your PDFs. It's possible that this sophisticated tool won't run smoothly on your computer if it isn't up to par.

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Pros

  • Convert files to PDF and edit them.
  • Do both signing and sending paperwork.
  • Password-protect PDF files to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Compare two PDFs.

Cons

  • Complex to use

3. Foxit PDF Editor

All the editing features you'd expect from a paid-for tool can be found in Foxit PDF Editor's Standard and Pro editions. Most competitors are only available for Windows and macOS. However, the Pro edition only works on Windows, and there is a cheaper cloud-based option if you don't mind not having desktop software.

There are many instructional videos and helpful resources available to get you up and running quickly using Foxit's user interface, which is highly influenced by Microsoft Office.

Advanced editing, shared review initiation, stronger security, more file compression, and other features are available in the Pro edition. You may test out the Standard edition (for example) for free before making a purchase (no credit card information is necessary).

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Pros

  • OCR feature for PDF files
  • A comprehensive set of tools
  • Wide platform support
  • Free basic version

Cons

  • Paid tool

4. Nitro Pro

Nitro Pro is an office PDF program that can be used by businesses of all sizes. All things PDF-related are its major emphasis. With Nitro PDF, it's easy to create, modify, and securely distribute PDF documents for your business.

In addition, the OCR is rather good. The ability to batch-convert, print, and run OCR on a large number of PDFs frees up your time by automating time-consuming activities.

In addition to text editing and text deletion, Nitro Pro also allows you to create fillable PDF forms with signature fields, as well as markup and comment on PDFs.

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Pros

  • Free to use PDF editor
  • Allows multiple OCR features
  • Allows you to share PDFs with others
  • Compatible with macOS and Windows

Cons

  • Paid OCR feature

5. Soda PDF

LULU Software's Soda PDF is a full PDF management solution. Using Soda PDF Anywhere, a new and improved version of the software which includes e-signature and optical character recognition software (OCR) capabilities, you can now view, edit, annotate, and generate PDFs on your desktop and the web simultaneously (Optical Character Recognition).

All operating systems, including Mac, are supported by the online version of the desktop software.

Use the free online OCR software from Soda PDF to convert images into text. In any application, at any moment, Optical Character Recognition may be used! You may use Soda PDF Online or Soda PDF Desktop to work online or offline.

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Pros

  • Scalable PDF editor
  • Online integration tool
  • Great user interface
  • Full range of OCR and other editing features

Cons

  • Only available on Windows.

Part 2. Top 5 Free OCR Software Online

No longer is Adobe Acrobat required for text extraction from pictures or PDFs. If you don't want to deal with the inconvenience of downloading an app on your computer, there are various OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software options available online.

In this section, we'll go through the positives and negatives of each web app in detail. There may be a security and privacy risk in uploading the file online, although most web programs promise to erase data after a certain amount of time.

6. Google Docs

Most users aren't aware of Google Docs' secret OCR capability. You may open it in Google Docs after you've uploaded the PDF to Google Drive. Google Docs may be opened by right-clicking on the file and selecting Open with.

When you open a PDF in Google Docs, it will instantly be converted to an editable format. Any text that you copy from the file may be edited and saved as a PDF.

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Pros

  • Editing Options
  • The ability to save the extracted text in numerous formats, including Microsoft Word.
  • Free to use and simple
  • No need to download it

Cons

  • Text from photos cannot be extracted.

7. Google Keep

As opposed to using Google's OCR to extract text from PDFs, Google Keep performs the same thing with photos. Open Google Keep, make a note, and then use the picture icon to add an image with text.

Click on the three-dot menu button and choose Grab text image once the picture has been added to the message. That's all there is to it. All of the text in a picture may be added to a Google Keep note, which you can then modify or copy.

When it comes to formatting, the only problem I have with Google Keep is that it sometimes adds a new line in the midst of a phrase or does not leave a space between paragraphs. The text is extracted accurately, however it does not function with PDF files.

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Pros

  • Free to use notepad
  • Also compatible with mobile devices
  • The application is simple to use and customize.
  • The ability to paste text from within Google Docs

Cons

  • Extracting text from PDFs is impossible

8. Workbench

Using Workbench, you can extract text from photos and documents using free online OCR software. You may quickly and simply copy the content once it has been submitted using the Copy text button. From major cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc. you may easily upload photographs and documents from your PC.

If you're looking for an easy-to-use UI, you won't be disappointed with this one. Accuracy was adequate but the ability to edit the text before copying it would have been helpful.

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Pros

  • Simple and easy-to-use tool
  • Allows to edit the text before conversion
  • Minimalistic user interface
  • Access to popular cloud storage providers and the ability to upload data from them

Conn

  • The retrieved text cannot be edited.

9. OnlineOCR

On the other hand, most free online OCR software only works with photos and documents. One of the few OCR tools that allow you to download the extracted text in a Microsoft Word document is the best OCR software which is free.

The layouts, formatting, tables, columns, and images of the source page will be preserved in the transformed document when using OnlineOCR. You may make changes to the text before copying it, which is not possible with Workbench.

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Pros

  • Completely free and online OCR
  • GIFs are among the several file types that this program is capable of opening.
  • The ability to save the text as a Word document.
  • No need to download any software

Cons

  • With so many adverts on the website, the UI isn't very great.

10. Convertio

Convertio allows you to upload up to ten photos at a time, whereas all other services only allow you to post one. For an additional $4.99 a month, you may upgrade to a plan that allows you to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos. Text files, word documents, CSV files, and epub files are all supported as are many more file types. You may upload a document you previously saved to a cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or the like.

However, the extension does not support file formats such as webp and GIFs.

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Pros

  • The ability to upload numerous files at once
  • In order to make use of cloud storage,
  • Microsoft Word may be used with it.
  • Supports popular file formats

Cons

  • Many file types, including Webp, are incompatible.

Conclusion: In 2022, these are the top OCR programs. When it comes to capturing and extracting text from your images and documents, most will perform an excellent job. But if you're looking for something that goes well beyond OCR, check out UPDF. It's going to be a blast!