20 Best Free & Paid OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Software

11 May 2023
Reading: 1 min

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can convert text images to digital text for paper document management. OCR software is available in offline, semi-offline, and online forms and allows text editing with common programs. OCR software can be used in legal, law enforcement, and medical record industries. Small businesses may use free OCR software tools to save costs while established businesses prefer paid software for productivity. Start-ups with lower workload requirements can also use free OCR software tools.

How to choose OCR software? 

If you require OCR software, it is advisable to take into account offline, semi-offline, or online options, as well as your budget and requirements. Additionally, if you need specific features, consider looking for the following:

  • accurate conversions
  • OCR software templates
  • text recognition
  • search interpretation
  • layout analysis 
  • segmentation
  • format support
  • digital signature
  • barcode detection 

Adobe Acrobat Pro Dc

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC converts PDFs to other formats with OCR software and is useful for large paper file management, collaboration, and security measures. However, its drawbacks include clunky text editing, subscription model, and exclusive desktop use. The pro version costs $14.99/month and the standard version costs $12.99/month.


Nanonets automates data extraction from documents 

and images, exportable in customized files. This software digitizes and processes various types of documents in any language or template, and offers a free trial. The software integrates with ERPs & Databases, supports offline use, and is GDPR-compliant. The pricing starts at $499/month after the trial.

PDF Reader

PDF Reader app manages and organizes documents, supports various formats, and includes built-in OCR software for accurate text conversion. Its cloud storage integration allows for access across platforms and devices, and it includes security features for protecting sensitive information. This feature-rich app is a reliable solution for managing, converting, and securing text documents on the go.

OMniPage Ultimate 

OmniPage Ultimate is a powerful OCR software program that can accurately recognize text in scanned documents. It also offers PDF editing features and comes with three licenses for Windows and Mac. The software supports over 100 languages and comes with a 14-day free trial for working with your texts. The interface can be confusing and inconsistent, and the one-time fee of $499.00 is expensive.


Readiris is a versatile OCR software ideal for businesses and individuals dealing with multilingual documents. It can recognize scanned documents in multiple languages and offers batch processing, which efficiently converts large numbers of documents at once. The software supports various output formats, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and searchable PDFs. With its comprehensive features and ease of use, Readiris is a reliable OCR software for various document conversion tasks.


SimpleOCR is a free online tool that converts scanned images and PDF files into editable text. It supports various formats including handwriting and colors. The converted text can be saved as a CSV, DOCX, DOC, PDF, PNG, or TXT file with formatting in place. SimpleOCR is a convenient tool for converting text documents into word-processor formats, and it’s available for free on the web.


Tesseract is a free and open-source OCR software engine with API and GUI interfaces available to developers. Developed by HP between 1985 and 1995, it was released under a non-commercial use restriction. Today, there are no restrictions on use and it supports over 100 languages. While this software may be less user-friendly than other options, Tesseract is one of the best OCR engines on the market and is available on Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Amazon Textract

Textract is an AI-powered cloud service that converts scanned images and PDFs into editable text in formats such as DOCX, ODT, and TXT. It’s ideal for users who need to convert text without editing, although it doesn’t offer advanced features. With a free account that allows up to 1,000 pages per month and a cost of $0.01 per page for the first million text pages, Textract is a cost-effective solution for businesses and individuals. It’s also capable of identifying handwritten text documents and creating an intelligent search index.


Rossum offers free OCR software for converting scanned images and documents to editable text. It supports PDFs and color imaging formats and the interface is user-friendly. But as open-source software, quality is not assured. This software has third-party integrations, workflow management, and advanced data extraction. It’s available on web and mobile for your work with PDFs files.


Klippa is OCR software that extracts data from various unstructured documents, including scanned and faxed paper forms, PDF files, or TIFF images, and can automatically parse it as tables. While Klippa is a powerful OCR software with good customer service, the downside is that it requires payment per extraction. Klippa Basic is free, and the Pro plan costs $4.68/month or $41.05/year for your work with PDF files and TIFF images. It’s available on the web, iPhone, and Android platforms.


Docparser is a free OCR tool that extracts text from scanned documents, PDFs, and faxes. It offers customer support for all languages and can handle large volumes of documents for efficient document management. Users can create custom templates for different document types for accurate data extraction. Docparser also offers advanced features like custom scripting and data export, making it valuable for businesses and organizations.


Veryfi uses OCR technology to convert documents to PDF format, making it helpful for document management. It offers automatic formatting tools, redaction services, and machine translation abilities. Batch processing is available, and it can be accessed through web and mobile platforms. Pricing starts at $15.00/month, with a free trial available. However, the interface may be difficult to navigate.

Google Document AI

Document AI uses machine learning to extract information from various types of documents, such as invoices, receipts, and contracts. It offers advanced features like language detection, entity recognition, and key-value extraction for organizing and analyzing large sets of documents. Businesses can streamline their document processing and improve productivity with Document AI. The documents can also be securely stored and shared through Google Drive for easy access.

ABBYY FlexiCapture 

ABBYY FlexiCapture is a user-friendly OCR software suitable for any document type, offering tools that aid management. This OCR can scan DOCX, PDF, and image formats, extract text and export as TXT, JPG, PNG, or BMP. However, this software has limitations such as the inability to import document formats other than TXT and the lack of batch processing. A free version is available, with pricing starting from $169. Supported platforms include Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.

IBM Datacap 

IBM Datacap is an OCR software with many features for text document processing. It has a basic package without registration time and an annual fee for the premium package. The enterprise version includes registration time. Pros include easy-to-use interface, manual or automatic segmentation, text recognition in any orientation, size, and font type, searching for text from scanned images with wildcards, multi-language support, and customizable rules. It’s available on Windows


FineReader software scans and improves the quality of documents with an ADF, creates searchable PDF files, and converts documents into editable electronic formats. It offers collaboration and security tools, a free trial, and fillable form creation for your documents. Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone, it has a standard plan starting at $199 and a Corporate plan at $299, both on a one-time payment basis. This software cannot scan web images.

Softwork OCR 

Softworks OCR is an efficient software that converts scanned documents into editable formats like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, as well as scanned slideshows into a shareable PDF format. While this tool offers a 30-day free trial, it lacks the ability to scan large documents or books. Additionally, it is one of the pricier options on the market, which may dissuade some buyers. Softworks is available for Windows and Mac systems. 

Microsoft OneNote 

OneNote is a robust app with a user-friendly interface that allows for easy organization of notes from various sources. This software also uses OCR software. It’s perfect for students who need their class documents in one place and offers advanced features for free. However, some features require an Office 365 subscription. OneNote is supported on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, and the web.

Soda PDF

Soda PDF is an online tool for PDF conversion with features like Microsoft Office file conversion, no mandatory account required, and conversion to JPEG or PNG. However, these branded logos are added to converted documents and there are conversion restraints for the free subscription. Advantages include speed, customizable forms, and e-signing. The tool offers three pricing packages — costless, Standard ($4.15/mo), and Pro ($7.50/mo). This is only available online and cannot be downloaded.


OCR is a useful tool that can save time and resources by converting physical documents into digital formats. It enables businesses to streamline their document processing and management workflows and extract data more accurately and efficiently. OCR software options are plentiful, and the choice depends on the specific needs and goals of the user. Overall, OCR technology can greatly benefit organizations looking to improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase data accuracy.

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