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OCR Tools

Not every document that has been typed out or written has been neatly uploaded to the Internet. Things such as handouts from your teacher or professor may be hard to read physically, or you may be worried about misplacing them despite their importance. Documents from a co-worker or your boss that were given to you physically but also need to be emailed or otherwise handled electronically can also be a huge inconvenience if they cannot simply be scanned, as the text may need to be cited, copied, or pasted. This is where optical character recognition technology comes in.

OCR enables documents that exist physically to be converted into a PDF readable by software such as Adobe Reader or your web browser of choice. Not only that, but you can select text as if you typed out the document then and there yourself! Outside of dedicated software like ABBYY FineReader, OCR is a feature that exists in software such as Evernote and Microsoft Office OneNote.

  1. Microsoft OneNote, part of the Microsoft Office Suite, is a digital notebook application that gives people one place to gather notes and information.
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Blackberry
    • Windows S
    • Android Tablet
    • Windows Phone
    • iPad
    • Apple Watch
    • Android Wear
    • Kindle Fire
    • Pebble
    Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving.

  2. NAPS2 is a document scanning application with a focus on simplicity and ease of use.


    No release since 2019-07-27, see

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    gImageReader is a simple Gtk/Qt front-end to the Tesseract OCR Engine.
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    Tesseract.js is a javascript library that gets words in almost any language out of images.
  3. Xodo is the ultimate cross-platform PDF viewer and annotator. Powerful, fast, and optimized for all phones and tablets, Xodo makes it easy to access, edit, mark up, sort, share, sync, manage, sign, and more with even the most complex PDF documents.
  4. PDF-XChange Viewer is an alternative viewer for PDF files that enables you to view and annotate PDF files. You can add text, sticky notes, and other annotations and save them to the file, which will be compatible with the standard Adobe Acrobat Reader.


    Since November 2013 the Tracker Software company states that "PDF-XChange Viewer has been discontinued and replaced by PDF-XChange Editor " , but the software has been and is still being updated from time to time as of 2020

  5. A productivity and task management tool appropriate for both individuals and businesses. With Nimbus Note users can create notes and to-do lists, share them with others, and archive important data. Save anything. Access it anywhere. Share with anyone.
  6. ABBYY FineReader PDF is an OCR software that provides unmatched text recognition accuracy and conversion capabilities, virtually eliminating retyping and reformatting of documents. Up to 190 languages are supported for text recognition.
  7. Paperwork is a personal document manager for scanned documents (and PDFs).
  8. Nitro Pro gives you everything you need to create, convert, edit, sign, and share 100% industry-standard PDF files. It's simple, straightforward, and intuitive to use — so you can work more productively, your way.
  9. Scan Tailor is an interactive post-processing tool for scanned pages. It performs operations such as page splitting, deskewing, adding/removing borders, and others. You give it raw scans, and you get pages ready to be printed or assembled into a PDF or DJVU file.
  10. Create, Convert, Review and Edit PDF Documents on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  11. Screenshot Reader is a smart OCR-screenshot application for capturing text and images from any area on your PC screen and extracting text from them or just saving as an image. Prize: 9.99 USD.