Best OCR software to extract text from images

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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  • Have you ever tried out ABBYY Fine Reader?
  • If so, you will love the two tools in this guide that use the same OCR technology to convert scanned images into editable file formats.
  • Want to see more similar solutions? Check out our dedicated OCR Software page.
  • Explore more photo editing software in our Photo Tools Hub.
best OCR software

Have you ever tried out ABBYY Fine Reader, the application for desktop that uses optical character recognition technology to convert scanned images into editable file formats?

If the answer is yes, then you will surely want to install these tools that use the same technology to recognize the text within images and allow users to copy and paste it to a new document.

What is the best OCR?

1. Adobe Acrobat DC Pro

Adobe Acrobat

Edit your scanned documents with ease using Adobe Acrobat. Thanks to its integrated optical character recognition (OCR) technology, you can extract text and convert scanned documents into editable, searchable PDF files instantly.

When you enable this function, Adobe Acrobat performs OCR on PDFs that contain images, vector graphics, hidden text, or a combination of these items.

By default, OCR uses the language selected in the dialog box to interpret the scanned text. Selecting the correct language improves accuracy, as the OCR engine uses language-based dictionaries for conversion.

Adobe Acrobat Export PDF supports the following languages for OCR:

Adobe Acrobat supported languages for OCR

The scanning and text recognition using the Searchable Image (Exact) command basically adds an image layer on the original scan with hidden text.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Instant conversion (automatically extract text from any scanned document or image and convert it to editable text)
  • Text formatting recognition (automatic custom font generation)
  • Seamless integration with Office products (export text to DOCX, PPT, XLS, or TXT file formats)
  • Archive-fit (preserve the exact look and editing restrictions with the smart PDF format that include searchable and editable text)
  • OCR language (picked from default locale)
  • System fonts (the converted text is displayed in an available font that is the closest match to the original used in the scanned page)
  • All pages editable (convert all pages of the current document to editable text in one click)
  • Turn off / disable automatic OCR for scanned documents
  • Batch OCR using (convert any number of image-only PDFs to editable text in one click)

Get Adobe Acrobat here

2. Photo Scan app

Photo Scan app windows 10

Google’s Photo Scan app is available for Windows 10. OCR technology is part of the Universal Windows Platform and many developers started creating applications that extract text from photos.

The Photo Scan for Windows 10 is a free application that supports in-app purchases and comes with many great features.

First of all, once you open a photo using Photo Scan, the application analyzes it and if the image contains any text, it automatically extracts and displays it on the right side.

In addition, you can save the extracted text to Text File Document, Rich Type Format, HTML File Document, CSS and other file formats, or to clipboard.

If you have a picture on your PC and want to extract text from it, right-click on it and select Open with, then click Photo Scan. The list of recent photos and the entire photos collection can be found in the left-pane of Photo Scan.

The Photo Scan app supports also the web camera, and its speech feature can be used to read out all extracted text from an image.

Other features of the Photo Scan app include glare-free scans, smart rotation, and automatic cropping. If you want to get rid of ads, you need to make in-app purchases.

Download the Photo Scan app for free from the Windows Store

There you go, you should be able to choose your weapon when it comes to editing scanned documents with no effort at all. What tool do you like best? Share your impressions with us in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about OCR and PDF editing

  • Can we extract text from image?

You can capture text from a scanned image and easily edit it or make the file searchable using the Searchable Image (Exact) command in Adobe Acrobat.

  • Can Microsoft Word do OCR?

Microsoft Word does not have OCR capacities. There are nevertheless Windows integrated products that provide a basic OCR feature such as OneNote.

  • What is the best OCR software?

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the pinnacle when it comes to OCR based software allowing you to edit scanned documents effortlessly.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.