12 Best Free OCR for Mac in The Year of 2022

Rosa Reyes
time March 07, 2022 Preview 70.7K
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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 2021 and will continue their good reputation in this year 2022.

Does Apple Mac Have Free OCR?

Scanned PDFs and several types of images can be opened in Mac Preview, the free app preinstalled on macOS. If you use Preview very often or have been working on Apple for long, you may have noticed that Apple doesn’t have a free OCR feature built in its system or native apps. But there is free online or offline OCR for Mac users and we draw up the best list as following.

12 Best Free OCR for Mac 2022

There are 2 types of free OCR solutions for Mac users, either online or offline. Here in this post we list 12 best free OCR for MacOS basing on text recognition accuracy and overall features.

Full List of Mac Free OCR

  Platform Input Output
1. PDF OCR X Community Offline PDF and Image PDF, Text

2. Evernote

Offline PDF and Image Text, Image
3. OneNote OCR Offline PDF and Image Text
4. OCR App by LEAD Tools Offline PDF and Image Text
5. Easy Screen OCR for Mac Offline Screenshot Text
6. DigitEyeOCR Offline BMP and GIF Text
7. Google Docs Online PDF and Image PDF, Word, ODT, RTF, Text, HTML, ePub

8. Online OCR

Online PDF and Image Word, Excel, Text

9. Online2PDF

Online PDF and Image Word, Excel, PPT, Text, ePub, HTML, etc.

10. ConvertioOCR

Online PDF and Image Word, Excel, Text, ePub, PPT, DjVu, etc.

11. New OCR

Online PDF, Image and DjVu PDF, Word, Text

12. Free Online OCR

Online PDF and Image PDF, Word, Text, RTF

Part 1. Best Free OCR Software for Mac 2022

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

Part 2. Best Online Free OCR for Mac

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 5MB) 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

Disadvantages:

  1. File quantity and size limit
  2. Recognize only 6 languages
  3. 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

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

However, these online/free mac OCR tools are not suitable for all mac users, you may feel not satisfied in one way or another:

  1. There is a size limit of the files.
  2. It doesn’t support various input or output format.
  3. Risk of privacy leakages.
  4. The tool doesn’t support your expected language.
  5. The OCR result is not satisfied.
  6. It is feature limited.

......

As we all know, “free” means you cannot get everything you desire from the service, if you require higher than those free services can offer, you will need to pay. This is also true to OCR services.

Best Solution If Mac Free OCR Software/Service Not Working

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:accurate OCR results and maintained original formatting.

Steps to Perform OCR on Files with Cisdem

  1. Add scanned PDF or image to Converter interface.
    Drag and drop, or click "+" to add files.mac ocr software cisdem 01
  2. Turn the OCR button ON, choose page range, file language and output format.mac ocr software cisdem 02
  3. Optional. Tweak the advanced OCR settings for more accurate results.
    Click the "Settings" icon, a new interface will appear. You will find all the contents are marked as Texts, Images or Tables in different colorful boxes. If you want to output a part as table, remove the current mark box, click on "Mark Tables" in the OCR applied zone, then drag a mark box to select the part you want to mark as Tables.mac ocr software cisdem
  4. Click “Convert” to start OCR.

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 to OCR and convert files to a collection of file formats.

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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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Comments (4) Leave a Reply

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  • mali

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

    2 years ago Reply

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  • Jones

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

    5 years ago Reply

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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.

    5 years ago Reply

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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.

    5 years ago Reply

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