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5 Open Source OCR Software (Features with Comparison)

An OCR software is vital for converting images and scanned documents into editable text. People often search for open source OCR software since it is a cost-effective option with customization possibilities. Moreover, such software offers transparency and has good community support. Meanwhile, going with open-source software can create several issues regarding compatibility, inconsistent quality, setup and usage complexity, and limited features.

So, if you are also looking for open-source software that meets your OCR requirements, this article shares and compares 5 different options to choose from; although UPDF is not an open-source OCR tool, it does come with strong OCR capabilities along with PDF editing features and do not have any problems that open source OCR software has. So, you may download and try how UPDF performs as OCR software if you just want a better OCR software than open source ones.

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Part 1. 5 Best Open Source OCR Software

Let's get started with our top 5 picks for open source OCR software. Here, we will explore these tools based on their basic overview and key features to find out how each one brings a different experience.

1. TessStudio

TessStudio is a GUI-based OCR software that is based on the neural networking-based optical character recognition engine. This tool gives you the functions to convert images into editable format, and you can also make corrections in the OCR text on the go. Although TessStudio focuses on performing OCR on one PDF document at a time, it works flawlessly for multi-page files.

It comes with a smart built-in spelling checker tool that automatically tags words that are not found while performing OCR. While you are performing OCR, you can delete, split, or merge words. While you edit the OCR results, TessStudio allows you to use the undo or redo operation an unlimited number of times to ensure text accuracy.

open source ocr tessstudio

Key Features:

  • Supports multiple image formats and PDF files
  • Convert to editable text and edit mistakes in the OCR
  • Built-in spelling checking

2. Abbyy OCR

ABBY OCR is the SDK provided by Abbyy FineReader Engine that can be used by individuals working on software applications to include OCR functionality. This software performs excellent text recognition on the documents. It recognizes text in images and scanned documents, and after converting them to editable text, users can convert them to searchable PDF, Excel, or Word documents for further processing.

It provides the sample code library for the implementation of the OCR features into your software. Moreover, since it is powered by AI and ML algorithms, it efficiently classifies different types of documents for high OCR accuracy. Abbyy OCR can be integrated into on-site and cloud-based virtual environments.

open source ocr abby ocr

Key Features:

  • Advanced image pre-processing capabilities ensure high accuracy for OCR
  • Parallel processing with multi-core CPUs to perform OCR quicker
  • AI and ML-based document classification for higher accuracy

3. GImageReader

GImageReader is a GUI produced for the Tesseract OCR engine, which is known for its powerful character recolonization capabilities. So, you can perform OCR in over 100 languages with this tool, and it not only supports scanned PDF documents but also supports multiple image formats. Along with text extraction through recognition, it provides spell-checking features to ensure the OCR engine does not make any mistakes.

The HOCR document editing allows users to edit contents, including the layout of their document, and they can even annotate the text after performing OCR. GImageReader is among those few OCR tools that provide batch processing and allow saving extracted text in different formats.

open source ocr gimagereader

Key Features:

  • Supports multiple image formats, including TIFF, JPG, PNG, and BMP, along with PDF.
  • Tesseract Engine supports over 100 languages.
  • HOCR document editor, annotations, and spell checking.

4. OCR Space

OCR Space is an online OCR tool that can be used as it is, or you can integrate it within other applications with API support. It is known for preserving the format of original scanned documents or images in the recognized text file for easier usage. Moreover, it supports batch processing when performing OCR with the help of a single API call, unlike other tools.

OCR Space supports automatic scaling and rotation to correct the orientation of documents for performing OCR so you can upload documents in any orientation. It also supports detecting QR and barcodes in the PDF. Since it works online, every OCR transaction is encrypted with SSL encryption. No matter which of the 3 engines you use, it will be secure. OCR Space also supports tweaking its options for custom OCR engine capabilities.

open source ocr ocrspace

Key Features:

  • Supports multiple file input and output formats
  • 3 OCR engines to deal with different languages
  • Format preservation after performing OCR on your documents.


GOCR open-source OCR engine is also developed under GNU General Public License, and it is designed to work on multiple operating systems and to recognize multiple languages. This software comes with a straightforward approach and simplicity; however, the interface seems a little outdated when performing OCR.

The tool supports working on one file at a moment, and you can use the Show, Spell, or Scan buttons on top to get in-depth control over your OCR conversion. It has a simple interface, but it can be easily integrated with other front ends for a better user experience. It is because GOCR is very easy to port to other architectures and operating systems.

open source ocr gocr

Key Features:

  • Provides Verbose options for output mode
  • Text-based GUI interface offers better hardware optimization
  • Provides slider controls and other mode options to customize OCR processing.

Part 2. Which Tool is The Best Open Source OCR Software

With the overview and key features of all the different tools in the previous section, you may have a good understanding of how these tools offer you value and what features you need to look for. However, the important thing here is to know which one to choose depending on the best value being offered. So, this comparison table shows you how these tools compare against one another.

ItemsTessStudioAbby OCRGImageReaderOCRSpaceGO
Language Supported100+190100+30248
API Supported
Open Source
Code Languages Supported
System SupportedWindowsWindowsWindowsLinuxWindowsLinuxMacWindowsLinuxMac
OCR Accuracy
Easy to Use

The comparison table makes it clear that the Abby tool is the better pick among all options. Whether it is about accuracy in performing OCR or wide language support, you always get the best experience. The best part is that it is easy to use, which keeps things productive and efficient for you.

Part 3. Bonus Tip: The Best PDF Editor With OCR

2 types of users want OCR software. One is those that have to implement the OCR technology in an application software they are developing, or they have to customize it with different features for use within their company. For this group, it is good to pick open-source software. However, the second group of users only requires OCR tools for converting their scanned files and images into editable text, and that's not where you must go for complex software.

So, the best choice for the second group is using an OCR tool that simplifies the process for them, and that's where UPDF comes in. Although it is a PDF editor, it does come with an OCR feature built in, and that performs extremely well for converting images and scanned files to editable text in PDF documents. It supports over 38 languages and provides over 99% accuracy in every conversion.

Moreover, you can use UPDF to first convert the image or scanned PDF document with text into editable format. Once it becomes editable, you can export that in any format, including Txt, PPT, Word, etc., for easier editing. So, try the OCR features available in UPDF by downloading it and purchasing the Pro version to unlock OCR and other premium features.

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open source ocr updf

Apart from assisting you with your OCR requirements, UPDF packs many other features, including:

  • Annotating PDFs
  • Editing PDF
  • Organizing PDF
  • PDF forms
  • Cropping PDF
  • PDF Page tools
  • Exporting PDF to other formats
  • Creating PDFs from other formats
  • Sharing conveniently with others
  • UPDF Cloud
  • View PDF as a slideshow
  • Read PDF aloud, etc.

With all these features, it offers you a complete PDF experience.

Final Words

An open source OCR software might be a good pick when you are looking for integration or customizability features along with the OCR functionality. However, if you are a user with basic OCR needs, then you need to try a simpler tool like UPDF. UPDF brings the OCR features with its PDF editing suite that makes converting scanned files or images to editable PDF documents effortless for you. Download UPDF to try its OCR and all other features.

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