12 Best Free OCR for Mac in The Year of 2023

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Jose Henline
June 13, 2023 Preview 87.1K Preview 6
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When converting scanned invoices, reports or images into editable formats, OCR is required. If you are looking for the best free OCR solutions for Mac, we collect a list for you: a list of 12 powerful Mac free ocr software or online free OCR services, which have been proved to be excellent in the last year 2022 and will continue their good reputation in this year 2023.

6 Best Free OCR Software for Mac 2023

There are 2 types of free OCR solutions for Mac users, either online or offline. First we will list 6 best free OCR software for Mac, for the reason that standalone OCR software generally has better OCR results than those online ones, and they have less limitations. 

1. PDF OCR X Community

PDF OCR X Community is a simple drag-and-drop utility that converts single-page PDFs and images into text documents or searchable PDF files, it supports for more than 60 languages. For multi-page PDFs and batch conversion features, you need to pay its enterprise version.

Download Address: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-ocr-x-community-edition/id571442933?mt=12

use PDF OCR X as free ocr tool

Advantages:

  1. Extremely easy to use
  2. Support both PDF and image
  3. Recognize 60 languages

Disadvantages:

  1. Free edition only OCR single-page PDF
  2. Formatting is messed up when working on complicate files
  3. Relatively slow OCR process

2. Evernote

Evernote is a popular note-syncing service, enables users to collect, nuture and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms. One of its easily overlooked features is automatic OCR service. Users will be allowed to add images into Evernote server for automatic OCR, you may have to wait, but 10 minutes will be quite enough to finish the OCR.

Download Address: https://evernote.com/download

use evernote as ocr tool

Advantages:

  1. Available for all platforms (MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android)
  2. Support both PDF and image
  3. Recognize 28 languages

Disadvantages:

  1. Limited OCR feature when dealing with PDF (file size, pages, resolution, etc.)
  2. Relatively slow OCR processing

3. OneNote OCR

Microsoft OneNote is a program to take and manage notes anytime and anywhere. It greatly facilitates the collaborations between team members. Not only limited to manually input texts to create notes, Microsoft OneNote also embeds the OCR feature, OneNote OCR allowing users to recognize texts from images, so the image texts can be copied and paste as editable or searchable note. 

Download Address: https://www.onenote.com/download

onenote ocr

Advantages:

  1. Available for all platforms
  2. Support both PDF and image

Disadvantages:

  1. Can only copy text from PDF or image, no formatting is retained
  2. OCR fails or crashes sometimes

4. OCR App by LEADTOOLS

OCR App by LEADTOOLS is a MacOS application designed to recognize and extract texts from images. Also it offers a set of tools to improve the OCR accuracy, such as tweak OCR Engine Settings, flip, reverse, adjust binarization or brightness of the image. It can also perform OCR on scanned PDFs, but only export files as text. If you want o convert uploaded files to other format with LEADTOOLS, you will need to copy and paste to the text processor accordingly.

Download Address: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leadtools-ocr/id604393629?mt=12

ocr app by leadtools

Advantages:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Advanced settings to improve OCR accuracy
  3. Support both image and PDF
  4. Fast OCR

Disadvantages:

  1. Recognize only 5 languages
  2. No formatting is retained, only text

5. Easy Screen OCR for Mac

It is a light and simple Mac free OCR software to recognize texts from images. All you need to do is, capturing the screenshots of your file first, then performing OCR on the file to make the image text copyable. Also, it allows users to save the screenshot as PNG or PDF format. However, this free OCR software for mac only allows users to OCR 20 images for free.

Download Address: https://easyscreenocr.com/

easyscreen

Advantages:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Small in size
  3. Support to take screenshots from any files

Disadvantages:

  1. Only 20 images can be processed with OCR
  2. No formatting is retained
  3. Unstable OCR accuracy

6. DigitEyeOCR

Though DigitEyeOCR has discontinued to update for many years, for users who are using MacOS 10.10 and earlier, it is still worth a try. It is a free OCR software for mac to recognize texts from BMP and GIF images. If you want to do OCR on other image formats, you will need to convert the file to DigitEye OCR supported formats.

Download Address:  https://digiteyeocr.en.softonic.com/mac

digiteye

Advantages:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Small in size

Disadvantages:

  1. Only support BMP and GIF
  2. Unstable OCR accuracy
  3. Relatively slow OCR process
  4. No update for years

6 Best Free OCR Online for Mac 2023

Also, there are quite a lot of online free OCR services for mac users, but not all of them can actually perform OCR or bring satisfactory OCR results. And here we pick 6 best free OCR tools online according to our OCR testing.

7. Google Docs

Google Docs is a service offered by Google to manage web-based documents, like creating, editing Word, Spreadsheets, presentations, even store them online for easy access on different devices. Users can perform Google OCR on images, scanned PDFs, it is fast with basically satisfactory results.

use google docs as free OCR tool

Advantages:

  1. Support images and PDF
  2. Excellent support on output format (searchable PDF, Word, ODT, RTF, TXT, HTML, ePub)
  3. Edit files after OCR processing within Google Docs

Disadvantages:

  1. Require several steps to finish the OCR
  2. Unstable OCR accuracy
  3. Take time to process OCR

8. Online OCR

Online OCR is an online OCR service that can recognize the texts and characters from scanned files and images. It requires no software installation, what you need to do is upload the file (not exceeding size of 15MB) as guided, choose the language and output format(Word, Excel or Text), then "Convert" to start the OCR process. Once finish, a download link will be offered to download the converted file.

online ocr as free ocr tool

Advantages:

  1. Support both image and PDF
  2. Easy to use
  3. Export files as Word, Excel and Text
  4. Recognize 46 languages

Disadvantages:

  1. Unstable OCR accuracy
  2. Need to manually adjust formatting in the output file
  3. Max file size limit 15 MB

9. Online2PDF

Online2PDF is another online platform to manage PDF files, such as editing, compressing ,unlocking ,converting, merging, protecting and so on. Comparing with other online free OCR tools, Online2pdf offers extended features to customize the output and support more output formats.

online2pdf

Advantages:

  1. Batch OCR
  2. Support both image and PDF
  3. Excellent support for output format
  4. Allow customizing output files
  5. Recognize 30+ languages

Disadvantages:

  1. File quantity (max 20files) and size limit (max 100MB per file, max 150MB all together)
  2. Unstable OCR accuracy

10. ConvertioOCR

Convertio is an online free tool to OCR image and scanned documents, then save them as various editable formats. You can upload files from local or via url, even icloud storage accounts. It allows users to perform OCR on a multiple-language file.

convertio

Advantages:

  1. Upload files from local, URl or icloud storage services
  2. Recognize multiple-language file
  3. Excellent support for output formats (11 formats)
  4. Convert all or specific pages
  5. Save converted files to Dropbox or Google Drive 

Disadvantages:

  1. Unstable OCR accuracy
  2. Relatively slow OCR processs
  3. Need to manually adjust the formatting
  4. Only 10 pages can be done with OCR for free

11. New OCR

New OCR can convert JPG, PNG, GIF, MBP, TIFF, PDF and DJVU files into Doc, TXT or PDF format. To improve the OCR accuracy, New OCR allows users to rotate images and analyze page layout before the OCR processing. If you want to export the files as other formats, you need to click the “Download” button at the bottom of its page to export.

newocr

Advantages:

  1. Support image, PDF and DjVu files
  2. Export files as Word, Text and searchable PDF format
  3. Allow to rotate or analyze page layout for more accurate OCR results

Disadvantages:

  1. Unstable OCR accuracy
  2. Fail to do OCR sometimes

12. Free Online OCR

Free Online OCR is a free service enabling users to convert images, scanned PDFs into editable and searchable text, such as DOC, RTF,TXT or PDF. It will rotate the pages automatically for accurate OCR, you can get editable files with nice formatting.

free online as free ocr tools

Advantages:

  1. Support both image and PDF
  2. Export files as Word, PDF, Text and RTF

Disadvantages:

  1. Unstable OCR accuracy
  2. Need to manually adjust formatting in the output file

Comparison of 12 Best Free Mac OCR

  Input Output Chief drawbacks
1. PDF OCR X Community PDF and Image PDF, Text OCR single-page PDF, formatting is messed up when working on complicate files

2. Evernote

PDF and Image Text, Image Limited OCR feature
3. OneNote OCR PDF and Image Text Only copy text from picture without format
4. OCR App by LEAD Tools PDF and Image Text No formatting is retained, only text
5. Easy Screen OCR for Mac Screenshot Text No formatting is retained
6. DigitEyeOCR BMP and GIF Text Workable on macOS 10.10 and earlier
7. Google Docs PDF and Image PDF, Word, ODT, RTF, Text, HTML, ePub Unstable OCR accuracy

8. Online OCR

PDF and Image Word, Excel, Text Max file size limit 15 MB, medium OCR accuracy

9. Online2PDF

PDF and Image Word, Excel, PPT, Text, ePub, HTML, etc. File quantity and size limit, medium OCR accuracy

10. ConvertioOCR

PDF and Image Word, Excel, Text, ePub, PPT, DjVu, etc. Only 10 pages can be done with OCR for free

11. New OCR

PDF, Image and DjVu PDF, Word, Text OCR failure, medium OCR accuracy

12. Free Online OCR

PDF and Image PDF, Word, Text, RTF Medium OCR accuracy

What If Mac Free OCR Tools Not Working/Accurate in Your Case?

“Free OCR” means you cannot get everything you desire from the service, there are limitations: poor OCR accuracy, limited file size and quantity, risk of privacy leak, output text file only, don’t support your languages, etc. They may not work in your case, then you’d better find a professional and accurate Mac OCR tool.

Choices on paid professional OCR software for Mac users are large in quantity. But if you are looking for the one combining simplicity, versatility and affordability, Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is absolutely the best choice.

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is a dedicated Mac OCR software to convert and create PDF, also perform OCR on scanned documents or images to make them editable & searchable. One thing makes Cisdem outperform its competitors is its high quality OCR performance:

Main Features of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR

  • Convert PDF to 20+ formats
  • Create PDF from virtually all documents (40+ formats)
  • OCR scanned documents and images into Word, Excel, PPT, Keynote, Pages, PDF, etc
  • Convert multiple PDFs at once
  • Convert any particular pages to boost your efficiency
  • Highly accurate OCR and conversion results

Steps to Perform Best OCR on Mac with Cisdem

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR on your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.13 or later
  2. Add scanned PDF or image to Converter interface. Drag and drop, or click "+" to add files.cisdem ocr 01
  3. Download the OCR module when exporting a scan as searchable PDF format.cisdem ocr 02
  4. Type the page range or select "All Pages" , select output format.cisdem ocr 03
  5. Click “Convert” to perform the best OCR on your Mac.

Does Mac Have A Built-in Free OCR?

Yes, Mac has a free OCR capability now.

Since iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple has built in the Live Text feature to look up, translate, copy and share texts in an image-based file that saved in JPG, PNG, BMP, PDF and so on. It applies OCR on the image, turning the scanned texts to Mac-readable texts. It is easy to use, but you can copy the texts only, you won’t be able to keep the original formatting when pasting the recognized texts to your documents.

Here is how to perform free OCR with Mac Live Text:

  1. Open the image or scanned PDF with Mac Preview.preview ocr01
  2. Place the mouse pointer over the text, drag to select the texts.preview ocr02
  3. Right click on the selection, click Copy, then paste the texts to your document as needed.preview ocr03

Conclusion

In most cases, we will start with free OCR on Mac, which can perform OCR on simple files and get us copies of searchable texts, but no free OCR tool is accurate enough to recognize contents from scans or images. A dedicated OCR program is more helpful and reliable to OCR simple and complicate files, moreover, they let users OCR and convert files to a collection of file formats.

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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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Comments (6) Leave a Reply

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  • jndesign

    I do need Tibetan Ocr, but u don't have. newocr has tibetan but only do 1 page. really need ur help, please add tibetan language! thank u so so much!

    4 years ago commonReply

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  • Johnny Damon

    I personnaly try Microsoft One Note OCR, It's very good and it provide all featues that are availave in paid verson. Nice List you share. it will helpful. Thanks.

    5 years ago commonReply

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  • mali

    Really useful list, the pros&cons help me decide which one is better for me.

    5 years ago commonReply

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  • Jones

    Free but feature-limited,I understand. But still useful.

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Jenny

    Google Docs is really great, i didn't notice that it has the OCR feature. Though the recognition is not that accurate as the paid ones, it is convenient.

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • marcus

    I am looking for free tools to do the OCR. If they are not doing good, I think i will be convinced to try the OCR Wizard, it can export to more than 12 editable formats, that's really a great bonus.

    7 years ago commonReply

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