16 Best OCR Software for Mac 2023: High Quality OCR

Jose Henline
December 12, 2023 Preview 58.8K Preview 3
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We are in the times when paperless office is penetrating through our work. Regardless of what you need to digitize, say - screenshots, receipts, scanned PDFs, etc. We need software that can help us further edit these non-editable or non-searchable files for different intentions. And OCR is applied to make these scanned or image files to be editable.

For a Mac user, using the best OCR software for Mac is often considered as the easiest way to do the OCR job. A professional solution for optical character recognition can save you a long time typing and copying.

There are a large number of OCR software for Mac on the market. Choosing the best one is not that easy. You can't tell the pros and cons of a piece of software just by looking at the product information. In this article we will put together a list of recommended OCR software for Mac, including the latest AI-OCR software. We compare and list all the main features of each app, so please use this information to find the OCR software that suits your needs and can be used in a variety of situations.

What Is OCR Software – From Image to Text File

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a widely used technology for recognizing text in images. OCR technology appeared in the early 1990s. Since then, the technology has continued to develop and now AI OCR Software also developed.

If a text is scanned or photographed, it is just an image file which can not be edited, searched or copied. OCR identifies texts in image files and converts them into machine readable text. In this way, text data can be managed and edited on a computer, leading to more efficient work.

A good piece of OCR software eliminates the need for manual typing of text and prevents inaccuracies and typos.


Mac OCR Software Costs and Limits

The main advantages of OCR technology are time saving, error reducing and effort reduction. OCR software is usually sold together with a PDF editor or converter and costs between 30 and 150 dollars per year.


2 Top Picks---The Most Affordable & Accurate OCR Software for Mac

You may have noticed that almost all OCR software comes with a relatively high price tag. Yes, OCR is never easy and cheap. But there are two programs just combine all the things you need, affordability, OCR accuracy and simplicity---Cisdem PDF Converter OCR and Cisdem OCRWizard, both developed by Cisdem Inc.

The built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine has a good reputation for high accuracy and is used by many users, mainly in companies. It is strong in recognizing low-quality characters such as faxes, copied documents, and handwritten characters, and can also read English, Japanese, German, Chinese, Korean, etc. documents.


No.1 Cisdem PDF Converter OCR - OCR Software Keep The Same Layout

PDF Converter OCR is an enhanced PDF OCR software designed to convert any PDF and images into searchable and editable files. It supports 21 output formats and 17+ languages. The batch conversion feature will save users a lot of time and efforts to deal with multiple scanned documents. With its easy-to-use interface and high quality OCR recognition, no more documents retyping and reformatting will be required.

What's more, this PDF OCR converter enables users to create PDF from abundant file formats without errors, like Microsoft Office, iWork, Images and more. Even, you can merge all input files into one well-formatted PDF file within the program.

Input formats: PDF (native and scanned PDF; protected PDF), Image, Scans 

Output formats: PDF, RTF, DOCX, DOC, XLSX, PPTX, HTML, TXT, EPUB, PDF/A, XOD, XPS, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF and SVG

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: Easy to use, Fast OCR, Advanced OCR to export specific PDF parts to wanted format (image, text, table), support OCR 15+ languages, affordable price

Cons: Cannot edit PDFs

Price: $69.99/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

How to Use the Best Mac OCR Software for High-Quality OCR?

  1. Download and install the program of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on you Mac from here.
    Free Download macOS 10.13 or later
  2. Drag and drop your scanned or image files into Converter interface. Here numerous files can be processed at once.best ocr software mac cisdem01
  3. Download the OCR module for the first use, then this app will auto apply OCR next time.best ocr software mac cisdem02
  4. Choose the page range you want to perform OCR and select a favored file format from output menu list.best ocr software mac cisdem03
  5. To ensure a more accurate result, hit the Gear icon to tweak the conversion settings. The setting window will vary depending on the output format you choose.best ocr software mac cisdem04
  6. Choose a directory to save the converted file and go ahead with Convert. The green check marks on the right suggest success and navigate you to the target files.best ocr software mac cisdem05


No.2 Cisdem OCRWizard - 99% Recognition Accuracy with AI Technology

Another top recommendation is OCRWizard, which is meant for extracting texts, tables, data, etc. from images and scanned files efficiently. Differing from PDF Converter OCR, this software actually pays more attention to image data extraction, though it also allows the input of PDF files. There are 7 different recognition modes for images: convert single or high-volume images, extract text from a certain area in images, recognize texts in screenshots or handwritten documents and so on. Furthermore, it supports most popular image formats (such as JPG, BMP, PNG) and 25 OCR languages.

For a better character recognition, you can enhance the quality of your scanned files. Besides, OCRWizard will empower you to adjust some advanced settings, to decide which selection in the imported file to be recognized or ignored and preview the document properties.

Input formats: PDF, Image, Scans

Output formats: TXT, DOCX, RTF, EXCEL

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: All functions accessible easily; Quick OCR with 99% accuracy; Support almost all images and PDF documents; Recognize texts in 25 languages; Extract texts from handwritten documents; low cost.

Cons: fewer output formats like PDF Converter OCR

Price: $59.99/lifetime

How to Use Cisdem OCRWizard for Accurate Image Data Extraction 

  1. Download and install Cisdem OCRWizard on your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.13 or later
  2. Start the program, all the features can be conveniently reached on the home window.best ocr software mac cisdem06
  3. Suppose you want an advanced recognition, click it. Drag the image (PDF is also allowed) into the working interface. Then you can choose the file language, and hold on your mouse to select the recognition areas and ignore areas.best ocr software mac cisdem07
  4. When it’s ready, click Recognize on the top. A progress bar will show the status of OCR process. The recognized texts will be presented on the right without errors.best ocr software mac cisdem08


An Extensive List of 14 OCR Software for Mac 2023-2024

High OCR accuracy is just what those free Mac OCR tools cannot guarantee for users. OCR accuracy refers to how much can the OCR software recognize from the files and how much can it maintain in term of formatting, layout, etc. The more it is capable of making the OCR output look the same as the original file, the higher accuracy it can bring, and the better it is.

And basing on this, we finally collect the following list of 14 other best OCR software for mac in the year of 2023 and for the following 2024, with high OCR accuracy.

Best OCR App OCR Format OCR Accuracy Batch OCR Price
No.3 Adobe Acrobat DC PDF, Scans Highly Accurate ×


No.4 ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac PDF, Image, Scans Highly Accurate × $69/year
No.5 Able2Extract PDF, Scans Highly Accurate $199.95/lifetime
No.6 Readiris PDF, Image, Scans Highly Accurate × $99/lifetime
No.7 Foxit PhantomPDF PDF, Image, Scans Highly Accurate × $149/year
No. 8 Kofax Power PDF Standard PDF, Image Accurate $129/year
No.9 Prizmo PDF and Image Accurate $74.99/year
No.10 PDFPen PDF and Image Accurate × $106.08/lifetime
No.11 PDF Element PDF and Image Accurate × $79.99/year
No.12 OCR KIT Pro PDF and Image Medium × €69.99/lifetime
No.13 PDF OCR X PDF and Image Medium $29.99/lifetime
No. 14 Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate PDF Medium $49.95/lifetime
No.15 Lighten PDF Converter OCR PDF Medium $34.99/lifetime
No. 16 Easy Screen OCR Screenshot Medium × $49/year


  • No.3 Adobe Acrobat DC - High-End OCR Software for Mac

We all know the power of Adobe products, a great PDF tool to edit, create, and make interactive PDFs. You can even fill forms, sign, comment, and share, virtually everything you want to do on a PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC.

There is an automatic OCR engine in Adobe Acrobat DC. Acrobat automatically applies optical character recognition (OCR) to your document (you also gain access to documents from cloud services) and converts it to a fully editable copy of your PDF. It also helps to turn scanned documents into searchable PDFs, export PDFs to Office and image formats.

Input format: PDF, Scans

Output format: PDF, Docx, XLSX, PPTX, HTML, Image(JPEG, TIFF, PNG), RTF, Postscript, Text, XML 1.0

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: Best PDF solutions to support all PDF editing tasks, create/convert/OCR PDFs with high quality

Cons: High price tag, Handwriting cannot currently be recognized.

Price: $14.99/month

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.4 ABBYY FineReader PDF for Mac - AI-based OCR Technology

ABBYY FineReader Pro is the OCR software combines exceptional OCR and document conversion quality with an intuitive interface. With an accuracy of over 98% it can precisely recognize text and retain layout with a support of more than 180 languages. Now, this software is also AI-based, You can easily convert PDF to Word on Mac, also output the files into various formats like TXT, XSLX, EPBU, HTML, PDF, etc. It also supports batch processing and Text-to-Speech, quite time saving and convenient for every user.

When processing images, the image editor will enable you to improving the quality by correcting brightness and contrast, straightening curved text lines, correcting trapezium distortions, reducing ISO noise and removing motion blur, splitting dual pages, cropping images, and so on.

Input format: PDF, Image(TIFF,  JPEG, JPEG 2000, JBIG, JBIG2, GIF, PNG, BMP)


Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: Highly preserve original file formatting, easy to use, support various output formats, support OCR 200+ languages

Cons: Mac version doesn’t support Compare files

Price: $69/year

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.5 Able2Extract Professional - OCR Software with Customizable Settings

Able2Extract Professional is as powerful as Adobe Acrobat, building in all necessary features you will need to handle your PDF files: convert, create, edit, OCR, batch process, fill forms, compare, view, annotate, protect, sign, etc. It outperforms other OCR software in accuracy, even poor quality scanned files can be recognized accurately, because it offers a set of tools to correct skewed content, iron out grainy, turn broken text into smooth fonts…

Also, it does a great job on PDF to Excel conversion, by not only keeping original layout and style, but also customizing the column and row structure of the Excel output. The most impressive is, Able2Extract Pro is well trained to present the tables within a smart template, which makes your Excel output looks the same professional as the original.

While it is pitiful that Able2Extract understands 4 languages only: English, Spanish, French and German. For sure, most of us just need an English OCR, but if you need OCR files in minority languages, Able2Extract seems to be feature limited.

Input format: PDF and Scans

Output format: Docx, XLSX, PPTX, ePub, HTML, AutoCAD, Text, Searchable PDF, Image

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: Preview conversion result before converting, AI-assisted conversions, convert any file to Excel

Cons: Support OCR 4 languages only

Price: $199.95/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.6 Readiris Pro 17 Mac - Simple OCR Software for Foreign Languages

Readiris Pro 17 Mac is an OCR software for Mac OS built to convert photos and scanned Images into editable formats including:DOCX/RTF/TXT/HTML/IMAGE. It will preserve the original formatting and easily back up your files in Drive/Box/iCloud/Evernote, etc. Particularly for PDF files, Readiris Pro 17 Mac allows users to create, add, merge, delete, edit, sign, and compress pages.

Input formats: JPG, GIF, PSD, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PDF, Scanned images (Image Capture) (TWAIN)

Output formats: PDF, DOCX, XLSX, ODT, ePub, RTF, HTML, TXT, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, MP3, WAV, etc

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: Manage PDF files efficiently and easily, support OCR 130+ languages

Cons: Take time to load large files, cannot unlock and open protected PDFs

Price: $99/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.7 Foxit PhantomPDF - OCR Software with Editing Functionalities

Foxit PhantomPDF is a PDF tool with vast editing functionalities, you can edit texts and images in your PDF, also add, delete, extract, rotate PDF pages easily. Of course you can manage the PDFs by freely splitting or merging, create PDF, fill out PDF form, sign, protect and annotate PDFs. Foxit PhantomPDF for Mac also comes with a fast OCR technology to convert scanned PDF image, even scans to multiple formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML and TXT.

Input format: PDF, Image, Scans

Output format: PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML and TXT

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Highly Accurate

Pros: A great alternative to Adobe Acrobat but with a simple interface similar to MS office

Cons: Speed and quality is scarified when dealing with large or complex PDFs

Price: $149/year

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.8 Kofax Power PDF Standard for Mac - OCR Solution Integrate with Different Applications

For the reason that Kofax acquired Document Imaging division of Nuance in 2019, Kofax Power PDF Standard for Mac has replaced Nuance Power PDF for some time, they share most of the same features but Kofax has a new look and feel.

Kofax has a high compatibility with other office programs and offers virtually all features that Adobe Acrobat gives to user: create PDF, protect PDF, sign PDF, convert and OCR PDF to all MS Office formats, edit and markup PDF easily, review and collaborate on PDF efficiently, fill PDF, etc. However, the Mac version has less features than the Windows version. It can proofread and correct text after OCR conversion, also support batch OCR to save your time.

Input format: PDF, Image

Output format: Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, XPS, TIFF, MP3

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Highly accurate

Pros: Easy to use, support various input and output format, especially all MS Office document types

Cons: Lose formatting a little after OCR, slow to process files, less editing tools than other PDF editors

Price: $129/year

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.9 Prizmo - Good OCR Software to Get Started

Prizmo 5 is a scanning application with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in 23 languages. Prizmo can be used by everyone, thanks to its support of VoiceOver. Prizmo includes a specific processing depending on the type of document (text, business card, image) you want to process, you are also allowed to manually update or edit recognized information if you want to make some corrections. Even you can share files after OCR processing via iCloud, Evernote, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, WebDAV.

Input format: JPEG, RAW, TIFF,PDF

Output format: Prizmo Documents (.pzdoc), JPEG, TIFF, PNG, vCards, PDF, RTF, TXT

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Accurate

Pros: Support cloud-based OCR, recognize business card, batch edit files

Cons: Support OCR 20+ languages only, limited output formats

Price: $74.99/year

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.10 PDFPen - PDF Editor with OCR Function

PDFPen is a versatile PDF tool to add signatures, text, and images, to make changes and correct typos, to fill out forms, also to perform OCR mac. As you can see, OCR is just one impressive feature among its versatilities. It can perform OCR on scanned documents, users are allowed to adjust resolution, color depth and contrast, skew and size of an image or scanned document, and also you can have quick edits with the context-sensitive popup-menus.

Input format: PDF and Image

Output format: Word, PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Accurate

Pros: Context-sensitive for quick edits

Cons: Buggy and slow, support limited output formats

Price: $106.08/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.11 PDF Element - Batch OCR Converter for Mac

PDFelement allows you to easily create, edit, annotate or convert your PDF files to other popular formats. PDFelement can detect whether a PDF file is scanned or just native, then make corresponding suggestions to initiate OCR. After OCR, it will open the new created PDF file in PDFelement automatically, then users can click "EDIT" >"Edit Text" button to modify the text of the PDF file. The software allows you to convert batches of files which is ideal for saving time when you have many files to be converted.

Input format: PDF

Output format: PDF, Excel, Docx, Powerpoint, Pages, Epub, RTF, TXT, HTML, Image

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Accurate

Pros: Easy to use, competitive price, support various input and output formats

Cons: Crash sometimes, cannot recognize special characters

Price: $79.99/year

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.12 OCR KIT Pro - OCR Software with Medium Accuracy

OCR KIT Pro utilizes OCR technology to recognize the text in the graphic, it can convert any PDF or graphic file into searchable PDF,RTF,HTML and TXT by simple drag and drop the file into its interface. It supports 25 languages and automatic rotation of the file. Also, it builds in a setting interface to adjust the preferences for better OCR.

Input Format: PDF, TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, PNM, BMP, PCX, GIF as well as OpenEXR.

Output Format: PDF, HTML, RTFand TXT.

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Medium

Pros: Offer both free and pro versions, simply drag and drop to use

Cons: need to revise OCR errors, limited output formats

Price: €69.99/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.13 PDF OCR X - OCR Software for Scan-to-PDF Function

PDF OCR X is a simple drag-and-drop utility that convert scanned PDF to text or searchable PDF files. This is particularly useful for dealing with PDFs that were created via a Scan-to-PDF function in a scanner or photo copier. It also supports 60 languages and batch conversion.

Input format: GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, and PICT,PDF

Output format: Text and Searchable PDF.

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Medium

Pros: Easy to use

Cons: Need to revise OCR errors, limited output formats

Price: $29.99/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial

  • No.14 Aiseesoft PDF Converter Ultimate - PDF Converter with OCR Capability

This tool is mainly used to convert PDF documents. It can turn PDFs to about 10 formats including word and excel. Though it is not that competent to deal with complex PDFs, it works on simple PDFs fast and well. Users can configure the preferences and apply to all conversions, which speeds up the process. Also, it allows users to preview, rename files.

Input format: PDF

Output format: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ePub, HTML, RTF, Text, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TGA, TIFF

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Medium

Pros: Support various input and output format, 3 OCR modes (accuracy, balanced, speed)

Cons: Need to revise OCR errors, support only 20+ languages, slow OCR processing

Price: $49.95/lifetime

YouTube Video Tutorial:

  • No.15 Lighten PDF Converter OCR - OCR Software Support Keynote, Pages and Numbers

Lighten PDF Converter OCR is a compact PDF tool to export PDF as Microsoft Office, iWork, images and more. Before conversion, it allows enabling OCR on scanned PDF files and supports batch OCR. Comparing with other OCR software, though it hasn’t been updated for some time, it has an excellent support on output format, not so many Mac OCR apps help directly convert PDF to Apple OS document formats: Keynote, Pages and Numbers, it does.

However, it can only recognize 10 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

Input format: PDF

Output format: Docx, Doc, XLSX, PPTX, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, ePub, RTF, CSV, Text, Image;

Batch OCR: Yes

OCR Accuracy: Medium

Pros: Easy to use, Support batch OCR, support many output formats

Cons: The program hasn’t been updated for 2 years

Price: $34.99/lifetime

lighten pdf converter ocr

  • No.16 Easy Screen OCR - OCR Software for Recognizing Screenshots

If your OCR mainly focus on recognizing screenshots, then Easy Screen OCR is good for you.

It’s a simple tool to capture and recognize texts from screenshots on your Mac, you can either copy the text to other document processor or translate it to a lot of languages. It lets users to configure the preferences, such as shortcut, screenshot format, OCR language and target language for translation, however, users cannot do much to customize or enhance the OCR.

Input format: screenshot

Output format: text

Batch OCR: No

OCR Accuracy: Medium

Pros: Easy to use, copy image text to clipboard or translate

Cons: OCR screenshot only and to text only

Price: $49/year


Buying Guide for Mac OCR Software - Recognition Accuracy, Languages, etc.

The choice of which is the best OCR software for Mac depends mostly on your field of activity, the state of your documents and the volume of processing required. Criteria such as OCR accuracy, user-friendliness, language support and price-performance ratio determine whether a particular application is a good option. Here are some tips to help you choose the best one.

  • Accuracy In Character Recognition
    Of course, a good Mac OCR software must be able to recognize text quickly and accurately. Even though the accuracy of OCR Software has greatly improved in recent years, even the best OCR programs still do not achieve a 100% recognition rate. To reduce the effort required to make corrections, we recommend you to choose one with high reading accuracy. Reading accuracy varies depending on the software, but paid versions are generally more accurate than free versions.
  • File Format Support (PDF, JPEG, TIFF, etc.)
    Does the desired solution support the input and output formats you need? Some software only supports PDF files, and some only supports image file in a certain format. So please pay attention to choose the software that support the file format you have.
  • Is It Compatible With Language You Want To Use?
    When applies OCR, the program will first check the language in which the text was written. With language supported it will greatly improve recognition accuracy. Most OCR software may only be able to recognize English as a language, therefore only edit and digitize texts written in English. So, make sure that the Mac OCR software you choose support the language you need, and do choose the software that can at least support English, French, German, Spanish, cause as sooner or later you will most likely come across texts in these languages.
  • Customer Support
    Basically, using OCR software is not particularly difficult. However, it is inevitable to have questions that only an expert can answer. For this reason, a reputable manufacturer should be reachable in multiple ways: either by email, phone or live chat.
  • Usability
    Although OCR software is always easy to use. Most of the programs work on the same principle. However, Clear and user-friendly menus are desirable.


Time is Money: The Conclusion

You now know more about OCR technology, it is a fascinating software genre that quickly proves itself in everyday life. However, OCR software with elegant performance on the market is still small in quantity. We suggest that you don't waste time and staff on tedious tasks and get the good Mac OCR Software with high text recognition. Among these 16 OCR software, I highly recommend Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, Cisdem OCRWizard or ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac, all of which come with a highly accurate OCR result and reasonable price.

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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  • Paul Cohen

    Some of the listed tools are PDF editors, right? I am considering about an OCR converter, will try on each one and thanks.

    4 years ago commonReply

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  • Jadon

    Yes, nothing can outperform Adobe on managing PDFs, but in view of OCR ability, professional ocr tools do better, I will try ABBYY and OCRWIZARD, these 2 got a huge fame among users.

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Elisa

    A good list to share, gonna try the top 3 tools to edit my scanned PDFs.

    7 years ago commonReply

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