7 Best Japanese OCR App for 2019-2020 (Mac, Windows, Online, etc.)

2019-11-29 05:02:45 / Posted by Connie Wisley to PDF Follow @ Connie

You are probably an anime fan, or need to translate Japanese image text to English for the purpose of business or study. Then, you need to do Japanese OCR.

The process of a Japanese OCR requires a OCR tool to recognize Japanese first, then export the file as editable document or copyable for translation. Here we include 7 outstanding programs on our list to do Japanese OCR, no matter you are working on a Mac, Windows, iOS or Android, even online free.

Criteria of Best Japanese OCR App

  • Easy to Use.
    An OCR tool well balancing between simplicity and functionality can greatly boost users’ efficiency on Japanese OCR. A good OCR program should be easy to use, it won’t require high on learning curve, but still allows advanced usage when users’ skills grow.
  • Accurate Japanese OCR Result.
    Japanese is quite different from English or other Indo-European languages. If you have never learnt Japanese, you won’t be able to manually adjust the OCR errors. Consequently, the OCR result should be accurate as highly as possible, saving users from manually revising.
  • Extended Features.
    If you want to modify the text in an image-based Japanese file (scanned or saved as images), you will need to export the file as other editable formats after an OCR processing, then edit or modify in your preferred text processors. In this case, your OCR program should support various output formats; If you want to translate a Japanese image to English or other languages, a real-time translation feature would be helpful;

Thus, depending on your ultimate purpose, your pick on the OCR program will vary.

A Glance of 7 Best Japanese OCR Apps

OCR Accuracy
Extended Features
Cisdem PDF Converter OCR
Advanced OCR setting; 
Create PDF (compress/protect PDF);
Readiris 17



Organize PDF pages;

Build in Dictionary
Support image and PDF OCR
Support image and PDF OCR
Recognize 60 languages

Best Mac Japanese OCR App

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is the most comprehensive PDF converter with OCR capability to perform conversion on PDF files. It not only builds in all the basic features that other PDF converters includes, but also offers advanced setting for accurate OCR or extended features to create/protect/compress PDFs.

Where Cisdem Japanese OCR Excels

  • Allow doing Japanese OCR on native PDF, scanned PDF, protected PDF and images;
  • Export Japanese file as Word, or other 15 formats after the OCR processing
  • Support recognizing other 26 languages (Arabic, Chinese, etc)
  • Offer advanced settings to get more accurate OCR results
  • Retain original file quality (format, layout, image quality, etc)
  • Batch OCR
  • Create PDF from Japanese or other files, also allows protection and compression

Where Cisdem Japanese OCR Falls Short

  • Only available on MacOS
  • Cannot edit file within the program

How to Do Japanese OCR on Mac?

#1 Steps to Do Japanese OCR PDF on Mac

Step 1Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on Mac

Free Download

Step 2Launch the program, drag and drop Japanese PDF file into the program

You can drag and drop single or multiple PDF for Japanese OCR.

japanese ocr mac01

Step 3Prepare for Japanese OCR PDF on Mac.

Choose page range and set file language as Japanese, then select output as Word or others. Don’t forget to turn OCR button ON.

japanese ocr 02

Step 4(Optional) For more accurate Japanese OCR results, click the “Advanced Setting” on the interface

You will find the Japanese file is marked in different colorful boxes. Check if the OCR applied zone is marked properly. For illustration, if you want to export a part of the Japanese file as Tables instead of Text, mark this part with the Table box by clicking on the icon “Mark Tables”. Once ready, close the interface.

Step 5Click “Convert” to start the Japanese OCR PDF, then save as preferred format


For user-password protected PDFs, you need to click the lock icon to unlock PDF first

japanese ocr protected pdf

#2 Steps to Do Japanese OCR Image on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter with OCR on mac;
    Free Download
  2. Add Japanese Image to the program;
    You can add single or multiple images to the program, you will notice that the OCR feature is ON by default;japanese ocr image mac
  3. Choose file language as Japanese and select output as PDF, Word or others as needed;
  4. Click “Convert” to process Japanese OCR on Image;


Best Windows Japanese OCR App on Windows PC

Readiris 17 for Windows, is an intelligent PDF tool to create, convert, OCR, annotate/comment and manage PDF files. Most of users speak highly of its OCR feature, it brings accurate OCR results, supports more than 130 languages. Even when you just have a paper Japanese document in hand, you can directly put the paper file in the scanner, then connect the scanner and your computer to import the Japanese file.

While, as for the “Edit” feature, though it says it is capable of editing PDF, it cannot. As I have tried, it just allows users to convert the native or scans to Word or other editable format, then open the file in the defaulted processor for editing. That’s to say, it doesn’t allow users to edit PDF text within the program directly.

How to Do Japanese OCR on Windows?

  • Step 1. Download and install Readiris 17 on Windows PC
  • Step 2. Launch the program, Go to Home>From File. Or choose Scan to import files from your scannerjapanese ocr
  • Step 3. Choose file language as Japanese
  • Step 4. Select output as Docx, or Txt or other supported formatsjapanese ocr windows 02
  • Step 5. Rename the output file and save it on your Windows PC


Best iOS Japanese OCR App

Scan&Translate from AISBERG LLC is a iOS app to recognize image text, then translate to your target language, this is extremely convenient for users who need real-time translate when travelling in Japan. All you need to do is, take a picture of the Japanese information, then scan and translate with this app, even it can read the text for a better communication.

It has an excellent support on OCR language and target translated languages:

  • Recognize 70+ languages, including Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish, etc
  • Translate recognized text into 90+ languages
  • Read texts in 40+ languages

How to Do Japanese OCR on iPhone?

  • Step 1. Download and install Scan&Translate on your iPhone
  • Step 2. Run the app, tap on the “Camera” to take a picture of the Japanese file
     japanese ocr ios 01
  • Step 3. Choose file language as Japanese, tap “OCR” to start OCR processing
  • Step 4. Once ready, choose target language and tap on the “Translate” button
  • Step 5. (Optional) You can tap on the “Share” or “Audio” to send the Japanese text as messages, or read the text out loud on iPhone


Best Android Japanese OCR App

Yomiwa, a Japanese OCR app with Dictionary, is really a great tool for users who want to study Japanese anytime and anywhere.

It can recognize text from uploaded images, from files captured under your camera, even handwritten text you input by drawing/radical search/keyboard. Once the OCR finishes, each Japanese word and Kanji will be provided with detailed information, such as pronunciation, conjugation or definition. Also, the Japanese contents can be translated into more than 10 languages.

However, Yomiwa can only translate single Japanese word or Kanji, it is not capable of translating a complete sentence. To translate the whole file, you will need to copy the text, then paste to a 3rd party translator.

  • Step 1. Download and install Yomiwa onto your Android
  • Step 2. Take a picture of Japanese file or import from your Android phone
  • Step 3. The dictionary will appear when OCR finishes
  • Step 4. Slide up on the screen to bring up a menu, and click “copy text” if needed
    yomiwa 02


Online Free Japanese OCR---Is It Worth a Try?

At the same time, many users are still looking for some online free services to do Japanese OCR, such as i2OCR, ocrconvert, ocrspace, as showed in Google top results. Here, we are going to test and verify if these online free Japanese OCR are worth a try.

#1 ocrconvert

+Support 40 languages

+Upload file from computer or URL

+Support upload image or PDF

-Slow OCR processing

-Only allow exporting as Txt

-OCR accuracy 80%

Steps to Do Japanese OCR

  1. Click on “Choose File” to upload image or PDF
  2. Choose language as Japanese
  3. Select output as Txt
  4. Click “Convert” to start Japanese OCRocrconvert


#2 ocr.space

+Support 25 languages

+Create searchable PDF from files

+Support uploading image or PDF

+Upload from computer or URL

-OCR accuracy 80%

Steps to Do Japanese OCR

  1. Click “Choose File” to upload image or PDF
  2. Choose OCR language as Japanese
  3. Choose output, text or searchable PDF
  4. Click “Start OCR!”ocr space


#3 i2OCR

+Support more than 60 languages

+Upload image from computer or URL

+Direct to translate in Google/Bing, or edit in Google Docs

-Only support uploading images

-Only allow extracting text from image, you need to copy the text, then paste to your preferred word processor

-OCR accuracy 75~80%

Steps to Do Japanese OCR

  1. Choose file language as Japanese
  2. Upload image from computer or URL
  3. Input reCAPTCHA code for free service
  4. Click Extract Texti2OCR


Summary of Online Free Japanese OCR

According to the test results above, we noticed that the OCR accuracy of online free OCR tools is quite mediocre, which well reflect the OCR performance of existing online OCR services. Yet, this is quite understandable, free service always comes with limited features or average performance. Does this mean online free Japanese OCR is a waste? No, they are still worth a try, if:

  • You are working on some simple Japanese or other files, the OCR accuracy will be satisfactory if the file itself is not complicate in layout, format or content elements
  • You are not working on highly private files. We should be aware of the possible risks caused by using online free services
  • You understand Japanese a little. In this case, if there is any OCR error, you can manually adjust


Final Words

Applications to do Japanese OCR on different devices serve for different purposes. Doing Japanese OCR on a computer, users often require high on OCR accuracy for professional work, while doing this on a mobile phone, users pursue real-time service and convenience. Therefore, choice on performing Japanese OCR differs, and the rule is, if you want high quality, you’d better try the desktop experts, they are designed to make Japanese OCR accurate and professional.

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