Table of Contents

OCR Software

What is OCR Software?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is a computer application that converts scanned images or handwritten documents into editable and searchable text files. The software works by analyzing the patterns and shapes of the characters in the image and translating them into electronic text characters that can be used in word processing or other applications.

Books, periodicals, and newspapers can be converted into digital files using OCR software, making them simpler to distribute, save, and access. Moreover, it can be used to extract text from images, like scanned receipts or business cards, so that it can be entered into databases or stored for later use.

Types of OCR Software

There are various types of OCR software available in the market today, each designed to serve different purposes. Here are some common types of OCR software:

Desktop OCR Software

This type of OCR software is installed on a computer and is used to convert scanned documents into editable text files. Examples include ABBYY FineReader, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and Readiris.

Cloud OCR software

Because it is web-based and housed on a remote server, this kind of OCR software is accessible from any location with an internet connection. Examples include Microsoft Azure OCR, Amazon Textract, and Google Cloud Vision OCR.

Mobile OCR software

This type of OCR software is designed for use on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and can be used to capture text from images taken with the device’s camera. Examples include Google Lens, Microsoft Office Lens, and Abbyy FineScanner.

Handwriting Recognition Software

This particular OCR software is created with the express purpose of reading and digitizing handwritten text. MyScript Nebo and Google Handwriting Input are two great examples.

PDF OCR Software

This type of OCR software is designed to convert scanned PDF files into editable text files. Examples include ABBYY FineReader, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and Nuance OmniPage

Language-specific OCR Software

Some OCR software is designed to recognize and translate text in specific languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. Examples include ABBYY FineReader and Readiris.

Benefits of OCR Software

Increased Productivity

OCR software saves a considerable amount of time by eliminating the need for manual data entry or transcription. By automating the process of converting scanned images or printed documents into editable text files, users can focus on other important tasks, resulting in increased productivity. OCR software can process large volumes of documents in a fraction of the time it would take to transcribe the same information manually.

Improved Accuracy

OCR software use cutting-edge algorithms to accurately identify and translate text from photos. This reduces the likelihood of errors that could affect the correctness of the data and can save time by resulting in fewer errors in the final output.

Cost Savings

By automating the process of converting scanned images into text files, OCR software can help reduce labor costs associated with manual data entry or transcription. This can help organizations save money and increase profitability in the long run.


OCR software enables users to produce searchable digital documents, simplifying information access and finding. For businesses that need to search through a lot of papers for certain terms or phrases, this is especially helpful.


OCR software can make printed materials accessible to individuals with visual impairments who rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies. By converting printed materials into digital format, OCR software can help make information more accessible and inclusive.


In order to preserve historical documents and archives for future generations, OCR software can be used to transform them into digital format. For researchers, historians, and other interested parties, digital archives are a significant resource since they are simpler to preserve, access, and distribute.

OCR Software Features

Feature Description
Input Formats OCR software can recognize and convert a variety of input formats, including scanned images, PDFs, and digital photos.
Output Formats OCR software can output text files in various formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF, and plain text. Some OCR software can also output HTML or XML files.
Language Support OCR software can recognize and translate text in multiple languages. Some OCR software may support only a few languages, while others support dozens.
Accuracy OCR software can vary in terms of accuracy. Some software uses advanced algorithms that can recognize text with a high degree of accuracy, while others may struggle with certain types of text, such as handwritten notes or low-quality scans.
Speed OCR software can vary in terms of speed. Some software can process large volumes of documents quickly, while others may take longer to process the same amount of information.
Editing Tools Some OCR software includes built-in editing tools that allow users to make changes to the recognized text. These tools may include spell check, formatting, and layout tools.
Batch Processing Many OCR software programs include batch processing capabilities, allowing users to convert multiple documents simultaneously.
Integration OCR software can integrate with other applications, such as document management systems, scanning software, or content management systems.

Cost of OCR Software

The cost of OCR software varies depending on the specific software and the vendor providing it. Examples are following:

  • Free OCR software: As the name suggests, these are OCR software that are available for free. They are basic OCR software and may have limited features, but they can still convert scanned documents and images into editable text. Examples of free OCR software include SimpleOCR and FreeOCR.
  • Low-cost OCR software: These OCR software typically range from $50 to $200. They offer more features than free OCR software, such as the ability to recognize more languages, better accuracy and faster processing. Examples of low-cost OCR software include ABBYY FineReader and Readiris.
  • Mid-range OCR software: These OCR software typically cost between $200 to $500. They offer more advanced features such as batch processing, more language recognition capabilities, and higher accuracy rates. Examples of mid-range OCR software include OmniPage and FineReader Corporate.
  • High-end OCR software: These OCR software are designed for large enterprises or organizations and can cost upwards of $1,000. They offer the highest accuracy rates, advanced document management capabilities, and integration with other enterprise software. Examples of high-end OCR software include Kofax Capture and ABBYY FlexiCapture.

Please keep in mind that the prices mentioned are approximate and may be altered by the software vendor at any given time. To select the OCR software that best suits your requirements and price range, it is always a good idea to do some research and comparison.

Popular OCR Software

Numerous OCR software options exist, each with its unique features and capabilities. The following are among the most widely used OCR software solutions:

Tesseract OCR

This open-source OCR program is a popular choice for basic OCR tasks. It can recognize text in over 100 languages and can be integrated with other software programs.

ABBYY FineReader

This is a popular OCR software, it has advanced text recognition features, including the ability to read text in various languages and complicated layouts.


This OCR software can convert scanned images, PDFs, and other document formats into editable text documents. It supports multiple languages and includes features such as batch processing and text editing tools.


OmniPage is designed for high-volume document processing and includes advanced text recognition capabilities. It can recognize tables and other structured data and supports more than 120 languages.

Microsoft OneNote

This is a note-taking software that incorporates OCR functionality, allowing users to capture an image of a document using their mobile device or scanner. OneNote will then recognize the text and convert it into editable text.

Google Lens

Available on both Android and iOS devices, Google’s OCR app can recognize text from images taken with the device’s camera and can be used to extract contact information from business cards or scan QR codes.

Important OCR Software Integrations

Integrations of OCR software are important for businesses and people who use digital document management a lot. Here are some important OCR software integrations:


OCR software can be integrated with Dropbox to automatically extract text from uploaded documents, making them searchable and easier to manage.

Google Drive

OCR software can be integrated with Google Drive to convert scanned documents into searchable PDFs or editable text files.

Microsoft Office

To extract text from scanned photos and turn it into editable text in Word or other Office programs, OCR software can be integrated with Microsoft Office.


Salesforce can be linked with OCR software to automatically input data that has been extracted from scanned business cards or other documents.


OCR software can be integrated with Zapier, a workflow automation platform, to automate tasks such as extracting data from receipts and inputting it into accounting software.

Potential Issues with OCR Software

While OCR software has come a long way in recent years and can be incredibly helpful for converting printed or handwritten text into digital format, there are still potential issues with the technology. Here are some common issues with OCR software:


OCR software is not always 100% accurate and may misinterpret characters, resulting in errors in the converted text. This is especially true for handwritten text or documents with poor image quality.


OCR software may not accurately maintain the formatting of the original document, resulting in poorly structured or formatted converted text.

Language and Character Recognition

Some OCR software may struggle to recognize characters or languages that are not commonly used or are highly stylized, resulting in errors in the converted text.

Document Quality

OCR software relies heavily on image quality, so if the original document is poorly scanned or has low resolution, the OCR software may struggle to recognize characters, resulting in errors in the converted text.


Some OCR software can be costly, especially if you require advanced features or higher accuracy.

Relevant OCR Software Trends

OCR software has been evolving rapidly in recent years, driven by advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Here are some of the relevant OCR software trends to watch:

Cloud-based OCR

As it provides consumers with a more adaptable and accessible solution, cloud-based OCR software is growing in popularity. Users can quickly integrate cloud-based OCR into their current workflows and access the program from any location with it.

Mobile OCR

Mobile OCR software is becoming more sophisticated, allowing users to capture images of documents using their mobile devices and convert them into searchable and editable text. This is particularly useful for remote workers or those who need to work on the go.

Multilingual OCR

OCR software is becoming more adept at recognizing and converting text in multiple languages, including languages with complex character sets. This is particularly important for businesses operating in multilingual environments.

Integration with Other Technologies

In order to offer a more complete solution for document management and automation, OCR software is being merged with other technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and natural language processing (NLP).

Software and Services Related to OCR Software

Data Entry Software

Computer programs known as “data entry software” enable users to enter data into a database or other digital repository. This kind of software has options like user-defined fields, automated data validation, and the capacity to import data from other sources.

Data Extraction Software

Software for extracting data from multiple sources, including databases, webpages, and papers, is known as data extraction software. Often, this kind of software use algorithms or other methods to recognize and extract particular categories of data, including names, addresses, or product details.

Text Mining Software

Unstructured data sources, such as text documents or social media feeds, can be analyzed and information can be extracted using text mining tools. This type of software typically uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and relationships within the data.

Frequently Asked Questions on OCR Software

  • How Does OCR Software Work?
    OCR software uses complex algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify characters within an image, analyze their shapes and patterns, and convert them into digital text that can be edited and searched.
  • What Types of Documents Can Be Processed With OCR Software?
    OCR software can process a wide range of documents, including scanned paper documents, PDF files, digital photos, and screenshots.
  • What Are the Benefits of Using OCR Software?
    OCR software can save time and improve accuracy by automating the process of data entry and reducing the risk of errors that can occur when manually entering data. It can also improve document accessibility for users with visual impairments and make it easier to search for specific information within a document.
  • Can OCR Software Be Used for Data Extraction?
    Indeed, precise information from papers, such as names, dates, and addresses, can be extracted using OCR software. This might be helpful for automating processes like data entry and invoice processing.