10 Best Free OCR Software for 2020 (100% Free and Offline)

2020-04-15 22:47:49 / Posted by Connie Wisley to PDF Follow @ Connie

OCR is now widely applied to turn scans and images into computer-readable text, so you can make further use of these texts by copy & paste, search or edit. However, an OCR tool is never cheap, is there any free OCR software that can work offline on Mac, Windows, Android or iPhone?

The answer is YES. Today, we are going to introduce 10 best free OCR software for 2020, all of them are 100% free and offline. I mean, those online free OCR service or offline tools only offering free trial are not on my list.

How We Pick The Best Free OCR Software?

There are so many online and offline free OCR tools, it is not easy to pick the best ones. But most of us have uniform requirements on a OCR job, just as following:

  • 100% Offline---Online free OCR tools take time to upload and process OCR on files, offline free OCR software offers faster and easier conversion, which greatly save your time;
  • 100% Free---Lots of OCR software developers claim their products are free, but only a free trial is provided with limited features, like limits on pages, file size, output format, etc. Here we talk about 100% real free offline ocr software only, they are full-featured.
  • Good OCR Results---There is no perfect OCR result, even from Adobe OCR. But 90% accuracy is acceptable, and it is OK to manually adjust the formatting if a free OCR tool can export as Text only. 
  • Safe to Use---The software must be clean and safe to use, there won’t be malware included in the installation to do harm to our devices.

 

10 Best Free OCR Software for 2020

#1 Capture2Text

capture2text

OS Platform: Windows

Our Rating: 4.0/5.0

Free Download Capture2Text Software:https://sourceforge.net/projects/capture2text/

Capture2Text is a powerful OCR program to recognize texts from screen captures. Though only allows users to turn captures to plain text, it offers extended features, like text replacement, translation, text to speech conversion. In addition, it allows users to configure different settings to customize the OCR according to needs. However, it seems Capture needs further work to fix the bugs regarding translation and OCR.

What We Like

  • Support OCR 98 languages;
  • Save recognized text to clipboard, or show in popup window, or keep line breaks;
  • Perform text replacements;
  • Translate to other languages;
  • Convert text to speech;

What We Don’t Like

  • Export as Text only, no formatting;
  • No batch OCR support;
  • Program crashes sometimes;

 

#2 PDF OCR X Community Edition

pdf ocr x community

OS Platform: Windows and macOS

Our Rating: 4.0/5.0

Free Download PDF OCR X Community Software: https://solutions.weblite.ca/pdfocrx/download

PDF OCR X Community is an extremely simple program to perform OCR on both PDF and various images. You just need to drag and drop the file, then choose output format and file language to start the OCR progress. It supports exporting files as Text or searchable PDF, but can convert single-page PDF only. To convert multiple-page PDF, you need to update to its Enterprise version or split the PDF to several single-page PDF for free OCR. Same as FreeOCR, it hasn’t been updated for years. You may have crash issues on latest operating systems.

What We Like

  • OCR PDF and images;
  • Export as Text and searchable PDF;
  • Easy to use, just drag and drop;
  • Recognize 60 languages;

What We Don’t Like

  • No batch OCR support;
  • Convert single-page PDF only;
  • Process OCR slowly;

 

#3 SimpleOCR

simpleocr

OS Platform: Windows

Our Rating: 4.0/5.0

Free Download SimpleOCR Software: https://www.simpleocr.com/download/

SimpleOCR from SimpleSoftware, is a freeware to do OCR on PDF, image, even paper files from a connected scanner. SimpleSoftware offers various brands of OCR tools, its SimpleOCR gives users a free experience to know how efficient and convenient an OCR tool can be. If your file is reversed, you can rotate to have a more accurate OCR. Also, it supports spell check, you can replace those suspected errors with words from the dictionary. Yet, it may take you some time to manually adjust the errors.

What We Like

  • OCR files in batch;
  • OCR files from scanner, PDF and image;
  • Spell check is allowed;
  • Save file as Word or TXT;
  • Allow rotating files;

What We Don’t Like

  • Take time to finish an OCR job;
  • Crash frequently;

 

#4 FreeOCR

freeocr

OS Platform: Windows

Our Rating: 3.8/5.0

Free Download FreeOCR Software: http://www.paperfile.net/download2.html

FreeOCR from PaperFile is based on Tesseract OCR to turn scans, PDF and image to 3 formats: Text, Word and RTF. It offers batch OCR and allows users to export files as JPG. Though it is designed to convert files to editable Word, the formatting cannot keep in the Word file. In addition, the last update for this program was released in 2015, there may be some technical errors on different, especially latest Windows. Anyway, it offers high accuracy and deserves a try.

What We Like

  • Support OCR on scans, PDF and image;
  • Export files as Text, Word and RTF;
  • Recognize 11 languages;
  • Export file as JPG

What We Don’t Like

  • Time consuming to process OCR;
  • No formatting is preserved even when exported as Word format;
  • No batch OCR support;
  • Outdated interface;
  • Respond slow when importing files;

 

#5 Free OCR to Word

free ocr to word

OS Platform: Windows and macOS

Our Rating: 3.8/5.0

Free Download Free OCR to Word Software: https://www.ocrtoword.com/

Free OCR to Word offers an easy way to turn files from scanner and images to editable Word or Text format. Other than other free OCR tools, it has an excellent support on image input, besides common image, it also does OCR on ICO, PCX, PSD, CUR, DCM, WMF, EMF, TGA, PXM, WBMP, CRW, WPD, IEV, JP2, J2K, DCX and LYR All. In addition, it offers a set of image and document tools, to view and manage the file easily, which gives a better user experience.

What We Like

  • OCR scans and image;
  • Offer a set of image tools for better view;
  • Offer a set of document tools to copy, paste, remove and output text;
  • Export as Word and Text;
  • Fast OCR;

What We Don’t Like

  • Cannot highly maintain the original formatting;
  • Need manually adjust the OCR errors;

 

#6 SuperGeek Free OCR

supergeek free ocr

OS Platform: Windows

Our Rating: 3.8/5.0

Free Download SuperGeek Free OCR Software: https://www.ocrfree.net/download.php

Does this program look familiar to you? Let’s say Free OCR to Word. Yes, I finally figure out that SuperGeek Free OCR and Free OCR to Word are exactly the same program, having the same functions but using a different color of interface and available on different website. I have been hesitate if I should put this SuperGeek program on this list, anyway, it is an option to do OCR for free and offline, for users who have problems accessing to Free OCR to Word, this program may help.

What We Like

  • OCR scans and image;
  • Offer a set of image and document tools for better user experience;
  • Export as Word and Text;
  • Fast OCR;

What We Don’t Like

  • Cannot highly maintain the original format and layout;
  • Need manually adjust the OCR errors;

 

#7 OneNote

oennote ocr

OS Platform: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Our Rating:3.8 /5.0

Free Download OneNote OCR Software: https://products.office.com/en/onenote/digital-note-taking-app

OneNote from Microsoft is a note-taking program to create and organize notes across different platforms, including macOS, Windows, Android and iOS, also it offers online free portal to manage your notes anytime anywhere. It is free and mainly focusing on processing notes, to process notes source from PDF or images, it builds in OCR feature to copy text from these files, then embed to a note for other use.

What We Like

  • Highly compatible on different operating system;
  • High OCR accuracy to recognize text;
  • Support OCR on PDF and image;
  • Easy to use;

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t support batch OCR;
  • Export as Text only;
  • No formatting is preserved;
  • Program crash sometimes;

 

#8 Adobe Scan Mobile App

adobe scan app

OS Platform: Android and iOS

Our Rating: 3.6/5.0

Free Download Adobe Scan OCR Software: https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/mobile/scanner-app.html

Speaking of PDF editing or OCR files, Adobe is definitely the most professional solution. But its price tag is always the obstacle to install this program. So, it’s really a good news that its mobile version is free to users. Adobe Scan mobile app is available on both Android and iOS, helping turn scans under their mobile phone camera to copyable text. To yield high quality Adobe OCR result, it provides basic editing feature to optimize the photo scans.

What We Like

  • Accurate OCR result;
  • Automatically detect and capture scans;
  • Turn scans to PDF;
  • Auto recognize text;
  • Edit photo scans;
  • Connect with other apps to edit, convert, fill and sign PDFs;

What We Don’t Like

  • In-app purchase is required when export as Word or for advanced options;
  • No batch OCR;

 

#9 LEADTOOLS OCR Application

leadtools

OS Platform: macOS

Our Rating: 3.5/5.0

Free Download LEADTOOLS OCR Software: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/leadtools-ocr/id604393629?mt=12

LEADTOOLS is a company offering fast OCR SDK technology for developers across all platforms, rather than providing end-user applications, but its LEADTOOLS OCR Application in Mac AppStore gives a chance for users to try its OCR technology. It supports OCR PDF and image to 10 formats, but according to my tests, it does the best on OCR files to text, while there are improvements needs to be done on OCR accuracy. Anyway, it is quite convenient to extract texts from files in the result window, instead of saving in a txt file.

What We Like

  • Offer a basic setting of viewing tools;
  • OCR PDF and image;
  • Export files as Word, TXT, LTD, PDF, RTF, SVG, XML, HTM, MOB and ePub;
  • Select OCR zone;
  • Extract text directly from result window;

What We Don’t Like

  • Program crashes sometimes;
  • Need improvements on OCR accuracy;
  • No batch OCR support;
  • Support only 5 languages;

 

#10 Google Keep

google keep

OS Platform: Android, iOS, Web and Chrome

Our Rating: 3.5/5.0

Free Download Google Keep OCR Software: https://www.google.com/keep/

OneNote alike, Google Keep is an application to take and manage notes online or on your mobile phone. Its built-in OCR feature can grab text directly from the image, then share to your Google contacts, or copy to Google Docs for further editing. It is not a piece of software exclusively designed to do OCR, you will benefit a lot when using it to create and manage your notes.

What We Like

  • Accurate OCR;
  • Allow taking notes;
  • Grab text directly from image;
  • Share to other contacts;
  • Copy text to Google Docs;

What We Don’t Like

  • Export as plain text only, no formatting;
  • No batch OCR

 

Best Free OCR Software Comparison

  Platform Rating Input Format Output Format
SimpleOCR Windows 4.0/5.0 Scan, PDF, Image Word, Text
Capture2Text Windows 4.0/5.0 Image Text, Speech
PDF OCR X Community Edition Windows and macOS 4.0/5.0 PDF, Image Text, PDF
FreeOCR Windows 3.8/5.0 Scan, PDF, Image Word, Text, RTF;
Free OCR to Word Windows 3.8/5.0 Scan, Image Word, Text
SuperGeek Free OCR Windows 3.8/5.0 Scan, Image Word, Text
OneNote macOS, Windows, iOS, Android 3.8/5.0 PDF, Image Text
Adobe Scan Mobile App Android and iOS 3.6/5.0 Scan, Image PDF, Text
LEADTOOLS OCR Application

macOS

3.5/5.0 PDF, Image Word, TXT, LTD, PDF, RTF, SVG, XML, HTM, MOB and ePub
Google Keep Android, iOS, Web and Chrome 3.5/5.0 Image Text

Conclusion

As I believe, all the best free OCR software that worth a try is now on our top list, they are 100% free and safe to use offline. One thing for sure, all these free OCR software has their individual disadvantages, and that’s the reason why there are still a lot of users finally pick a paid OCR software to recognize their file, they want better user experience and more accurate OCR result. 

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