17 Best OCR Softwares in 2021 – Convert Images into Text

A lot of times you’ll need a tool that can convert images or your handwriting into a Text file. This can be achieved using a Free OCR Software. But, finding the right OCR tool can be a tough task as there are many options available. Most of the available options either don’t work up to the expectations or require you to spend money.

While there are some OCR software available that offer the best services for absolutely free. I’ve handpicked all such tools and will present them to you in this post. Here, you will find the 17 Best Free OCR Software or Online OCR Tools that you can use to convert pictures into text.

Best OCR Softwares - Convert Images into Text

Best Free OCR Softwares (Optical Character Recognition Software)

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. Some people also call it as Optical Character Reader. It is a technology that lets you convert images to printed text electronically. OCR software is a tool that is able to analyze an image or document, compare it with fonts stored on their database, and note features typical to characters. In this way, the image file is converted to a printable text. Some softwares even use spell checkers and other advanced tools to guess words that can’t be recognized normally.

There are many  OCR software available on the web. But, most of them are not much accurate. And, the ones that are accurate demand to much money for their services. However, some of them are hidden gems. They provide the best services with demanding little to no money. I’ll introduce to them here. Let’s take a look at the 12 best free OCR software of the present time.

1. LightPDF

LightPDF is an online tool that lets you convert scanned PDF files into editable text formats. You can also save and manage them accordingly. It allows you to add files in a single click and you can select multiple languages for text recognition. Additionally, this tool also provides encryption to the texts so you won’t feel vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The limit to scan files is up to 30 MB. You can convert the images and PDFs into PPT, TXT, RTF, and other similar formats.

2. Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI)

MODI or Microsoft Office Document Imaging is the official OCR from Microsoft that you can use to convert images into editable text. It even allows you to convert handwritten text into the printed one but the accuracy may not be near 100%.

Still, it is able to reach the nearest to the actual script. Using this tool is also very simple. Just open an image using MODI and choose the Recognize Text Using OCR option present with the little eye icon. To export your converted files, click on the Send Text to Word. That’s it.

3. Symphony

Symphony is the next free OCR software on our list. It provides a back-end OCR  engine that makes sure that the text you can is searchable. You can use it to extract text from PDF, TIFF, emails, etc and save them as printed text. The converted file is also editable.

You can also integrate the tool with SharePoint and ShareFile to manage the results better and effectively.

4. Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote has a built-in OCR tool with it to convert scanned images and PDF files into editable text. It is one of the best options while finding free OCR software on Windows.

The only limitation with this tool is that it doesn’t support tables and columns. Other than that, you won’t face any problem with OneNote. To use it, just insert an image in OneNote, right-click on the image and choose ‘Copy Text from Picture’ and wait for the results. That’s it.

5. Nanonets

NanoNets is an online free OCR software that allows you to convert the images and PDF files into editable text. You can use this tool to convert over 100 scanned documents at the same time into formats like XML, PDF, and many more.

You can also specify the category of text to get very accurate results. This tool is even able to detect your handwritten texts very accurately. If you are looking to extract information from images, this is the best one to use.

6. VueScan

VueScan is the next OCR software on our list. This tool is available to use on both Mac and Windows computers. You can use it to convert the images, PDF files, and other documents into printable and editable text files.

It offers support for more than 32 languages. You can even find language-specific files on their official website.

7. OCR.space

OCR.space is one more Free online OCR tool that allows you to convert images having text into an editable text file using their engine. You can also extract and edit text from PDF files.

This tool lets you select a specific language for the document so you get the most accurate conversion. The best part is that they don’t even store any of your private data on their server.

8. PDFelement

PDFelement is another free OCR software that you can use to scan and convert PDF or JPEG files into TXT or other text file formats. It is able to accurately recognize the text available in your documents.

You can even use it to scan files from Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint directly. It has an amazing set of tools to help you achieve the purpose.

9. Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is one of the most popular reading and OCR software for Windows and Mac systems. You can use it to scan images, PDF, and other documents to recognize and convert them into text files.

It even provides custom fonts that look very similar to the printouts. You can directly export the file to Microsoft Office and work on it from there. It has all the required tools that you’ll ever need.

10. i2OCR

i2OCR is one more online free OCR software that lets you upload images or PDF files and convert them into editable texts. You can even use image URL with this tool and you’ll get a very accurate recognition. It also supports PDF files with multi-column text and is able to recognize more than 33 languages.

11. Soda PDF

Soda PDF is the next name on our list. It is a great OCR software that lets you convert paper documents and scanned images into PDF or TXT files. You can also edit and manage the recognized and converted files.

It is even able to recognize text from multiple documents simultaneously. This tool is able to work with the internet and without the internet as well.

12. Cvisiontech

Cvisiontech is a well-known OCR tool that allows you to convert images and PDF files into editable or printable text. It supports uploading multiple images and supports most of the mainstream file formats like JPEG, PNG, PDF, etc. The only limitation is that you can only upload files less than 100 MB. However, I won’t consider this a limitation as you wouldn’t ever need to scan and convert encyclopedias.

Bonus: More Free OCR Software to Convert Images into Text

Here are 5 More Free OCR Tools that you can check out;

  1. Amazon Textract
  2. SimpleOCR
  3. Evernote Scannable
  4. Photo Scan
  5. OCR Text Scanner

Final Words

These are the best free OCR software that you can use going forward. If you know about some more good options, let me know using the comment box. Or, if you need help with operating any of the tools mentioned in this post, you can ask me to guide you. I’ll be glad to help you more.