7 best OCR software for Windows 10 [2021 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies -- AI and DNA computing in... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • With the best OCR software, you can convert scanned, printed, or handwritten image files into fully editable files.
  • In the article below we will show you the best free OCR software for Windows 10 that you can use.
  • A great OCR application for Windows 10 is Adobe Acrobat DC that supports a lot of file types.
  • Readiris and ABBYY FineReader are also great OCR software products that you can use.
OCR software
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You may have noticed that paper hasn’t gone away, but the digitalization is slowly taking over.

This is where Optical Character Recognition (OCR) comes in. OCR software makes it possible to digitize the printed or handwritten documents by making it editable by word processing programs.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a program that can convert scanned, printed or handwritten image files into a machine-readable text format.

Maybe you have a book or receipt that you typed or printed years ago and you want it put in a digital format but you don’t want to retype it. OCR can be very useful in such a case.

We can also use this wonderful technology to accurately extract text from images, convert a printed table into an excel spreadsheet or an old book into a PDF with searchable texts underneath the page images.

In this article, we will introduce you to the best free and paid optical character recognition software on the market.


How can I choose which OCR software to download?

This is the main question that you might have before downloading an OCR. We will help you choose by answering more specific questions:

  • Does it support multiple file formats?
  • Does the OCR software have language recognition?
  • Can you use an OCR tool online?
  • Does it recognize the text from image files?
  Rating (1 to 5) Free/Paid Multi-language recognition Desktop/Online Support 24/7
Soda PDF 5 Paid Yes Desktop Yes
Adobe Acrobat DC 5 Paid (has trial) Yes Desktop Yes (phone)
Readiris 4.5 Paid (has trial) Yes Desktop No
ABBYY Fine Reader 14 4 Paid Yes Desktop Yes (phone)
Microsoft One Note 3.5 Free Yes Desktop Yes
Simple OCR 3 Free Yes Desktop No
Free OCR 3 Free No Online No
Boxoft Free OCR 3.5 Free No Desktop No
Top OCR 3 Paid No Desktop No


What are the best OCR software tools for Windows 10?

Soda PDF

Soda PDF offers a wide range of solutions for your office suite, along with a powerful OCR tool to help you digitize your documents.

Converting documents into digital text without re-typing is fairly easy. Simply take pictures of your physical documents using your mobile phone, upload them to Soda PDF, and convert them into an editable PDF within seconds.

Highly flexible, this tool allows you to customize its OCR tool depending on your needs. With both automatic and manual scanning, you are in full control of your text transmission.

Need to scan multiple images or documents at the same time? The OCR batch scanning feature helps you recognize text from multiple images or documents, cutting down on the conversion time.

The OCR tool is included in the PRO version of Soda PDF, which offers the best value for all your PDF editing needs.

Soda PDF features a range of other tools that will help you edit PDFs easier and faster:

  • Fully featured editing capabilities
  • Easy PDF creation and conversion
  • File merging and compression
  • Form filling, surveys, and electronic signatures

If you are uncertain if Soda PDF is right for you, a free trial is available that lets you explore all of its features. The flexible pricing system allows you to choose the plan that best suits you.

Soda PDF

Soda PDF

Transform any image into text in seconds with Soda PDF!

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Adobe Acrobat DC (recommended)

Adobe Acrobat DC is designed for users who want to enjoy the powerful features of optical character recognition software.

The version of Adobe Acrobat DC supports many input files like .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .ps, .eps, .prn, etc., so it will be easier for you to extract the desired part from the text in order to reformat and retype the sequence. 

It is outstanding when you can convert the scanned document into an editable format, where you can add text and customize fonts, in order to make your file look more like the original version. 

It is easy and very intuitive to use Adobe Acrobat, as it does the work for you by converting automatically the text section from the scanned document into a text that can be modified in a PDF.

You won’t bother yourself with creating or matching the new font with the old one, as Adobe Acrobat recognizes the format of the text from the scanned file, so your last printout will match the original document.

Moreover, you can archive your document and add restrictions in order to limit the capabilities of editing and copying.

You can obtain a scanned editable document in Mac or Windows by opening the scanned PDF file and clicking on the “Edit PDF” panel.

The OCR is automatically applied to your document, so you will be able to edit it by typing the text sequences that you desire.

Afterward, you can save the new file, that has the aspect of the original one.

Adobe Acrobat DC is one of the most powerful tools in optical character recognition, so you can benefit from a free trial, in order to convince you of its features.

Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC

Extract and convert all your scanned files into editable formats, archive and password protect them.

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Readiris

Readiris is the latest version of this high-performance OCR software. It comes with a new interface, new recognition engine, and faster document management.

You can easily convert to many different formats, including audio files thank its verbal recognition.

Readiris is one of those extremely powerful OCR software that requires less effort to get started. Though it’s a paid program, you get what you pay for.

Readiris supports most file formats and comes with other attractive features that simplify the conversion process.

For instance, images can be sourced from connected devices like scanners and the application also allows you to adjust processing parameters such as DPI adjustments.

Once processing is complete, Readiris determines the text sections or zones and lets you extract texts from either a specific zone or from the entire file.

Readiris has a rare cloud saving feature that allows users to save the extracted text to different cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and others.

It also has numerous text editing and processing features, allowing users to even scan barcodes.

Readiris

Readiris

Convert audio formats and create editable files from your scanned documents. Get the best deal now!

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader is the most powerful OCR software on the market and is the best tool for anyone who needs fast and accurate text recognition.

This OCR handles high volume work perfectly well and comes with advanced correction tools for difficult tasks.

The superb verification tool easily corrects doubtful readings by making a neat comparison between the OCR texts and original.

ABBYY Finereader does more than you would expect from an OCR. Is it that 500 pages old book you want to be converted to searchable PDF? The application handles it with utmost precision.

ABBYY will extract the most accurate texts from the images found on the web.

In addition to that, it can convert a scanned document into HTML or into the ePub format used by e-readers.

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader

Share, convert and edit your PDF's in no time with a software that uses AI-powered OCR technology.

Free trial
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Simple OCR

SimpleOCR is a handy tool you can use to convert your hard-copy printouts into editable text files.

If you have a lot of handwritten documents and you want to convert them to editable text files, then SimpleOCR would be your best option.

However, handwritten extraction has restrictions and is only offered as 14 days of a free trial. Machine print is free and has no restrictions.

There’s a built-in spellchecker that you can use to check for discrepancies in the converted text. You can also set up the software to read directly from a scanner.

Just like Microsoft OneNote, SimpleOCR does not support tables and columns.

Get SimpleOCR


FreeOCR

FreeOCR uses the Tesseract Engine which was created by HP and now maintained by Google.

Tesseract is a very powerful engine and is said to be one of the most accurate OCR engines in the world today.

FreeOCR handles PDF formats very well and has support for TWAIN devices such as digital cameras and image scanners.

In addition, it supports almost all the known image files and multi-page TIFF files. You can use the software to extract text from pictures and it does that with a high level of accuracy.

And, just like the other OCR software solutions for Windows 10 from this list, Free OCR can’t translate tables and columns.

Get Free OCR


Boxoft Free OCR

Boxoft Free OCR is another handy tool you can use to extract text from all kinds of images.

This freeware is easy to use and is capable of analyzing multi-column text with a high degree of accuracy.

It supports multiple languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Basque, and many more.

This OCR software allows you to scan your paper documents and converts them into editable texts within a very short time.

While there are concerns that this OCR doesn’t excel in extracting text from handwritten notes, it performs exceptionally well with a printed copy.

Get Boxoft Free OCR


TopOCR Reader

TopOCR Reader differs from the typical OCR software in many aspects but performs the job accurately. It works best with digital cameras and scanners.

Its interface is also different as it has two windows – the image (source) window and the text window.

Once the image is sourced from the camera or scanner on the left side, the extracted text appears on the right side where there is the text editor.

The software supports GIF, JPEG, BMP, and TIFF formats. The output can also be converted into multiple formats including PDF, HTML, TXT, and RTF.

The tool also comes with camera filter settings that you can apply to enhance the image.

Get TopOCR Reader


The market is flooded with OCR software programs that can extract text from images and save you a lot of time you could have spent retyping the document.

However, good OCR software should do more than extract text from printed documents.

It should maintain the layout, text fonts, and text format as the source document.

We hope that this article will help you find the best OCR download for Windows 10. Feel free to comment and share.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, the Windows 10 API has native OCR support so that it can be used by all Windows 10 apps, like the Photo Scan app.

  • Yes, Microsoft Word has OCR support integrated with its printing feature. If you have issues with Word, make sure to check out our quick fixes.

  • OCR software isn’t 100% accurate, but make sure to get one of the best OCR software tool from this list, such as Readiris or ABBYY FineReader. You can also look into scanner devices with OCR support.

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