- Scanning documents can come in extremely handy especially if you need an efficient way to keep things tidy.
- If you want to make the most of your scanner, we suggest you look for specific software (e.g. Epson, Canon).
- Sometimes, your scanner might fail to save the scanned file on your PC, here's how to fix this issue in no time.
- Here's our dedicated scanner section if you want to find out more about this subject.
There are various types of applications for image processing, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and batch scanning.
These are some of the best Windows 10 scanner software packages.
What is the best scanning software for PC?
1. Adobe Acrobat (recommended)
You might recognize Adobe Reader since it is the most used software to open PDF files. So we are here to tell that you can use Adobe Acrobat to Scan Documents, Create and Annotate PDFs and even recognize text using OCR. Since Adobe created the pdf file format, what better software to use, right?
All you need to do is open Adobe Acrobat, go to Tools -> Create PDF and from there click on Scanner. You will be presented with a lot of presets and options so that you get the best results. The presets available cover the most common documents that you might need to scan:
- a black and white document preset: useful for scanning text documents and running OCR
- color document preset: similar to the one above but it includes colors
- grayscale document
- color photograph
For scanning documents and creating a PDF with multiple text files in it we recommend using the black-and-white preset from Adobe Acrobat and also setting the scanner to 300dpi. This is the optimum value for OCR.
Once you finished scanning, it’s time to continue with Adobe Acrobat to combine all files into a single PDF, adjust the text, edit images, add password protection or create an interactive form.
2. ABBYY FineReader
ABBYY is an international software producer that specializes in creating programs for OCR reading and work with scanned documents. FineReader has top reviews and awesome ratings from a wide range of big publications.
We’ll see below what does it have and how is it the perfect software for your work with scanned documents.
FineReader allows you to edit, review and convert scans and PDf documents.
The editing feature comes in handy as it allows you not only to edit but also annotate the documents opened in FineReader and share the work with other users.
The compare feature helps you to track the changes that have been made to a document.
FineReader has one of the best OCR engines in the world, and this is probably the most used feature of this software.
You can easily convert scanned documents to Word, Excel, PDF and other formats with great precision. Forget about copying manually texts, just use ABBYY FineReader.
You can get this software for free from the official website, but it will have only some basic features. However, it is good to try such a tool, especially if you really need it and will like to buy it after.
3. Readiris Pro 16 (suggested)
This is one of the best software packages for OCR scanning that’s compatible with the Windows 10, 8 and 7 platforms. Readiris Pro is a more basic version of the software as there is also a Corporate version retailing at $199.
However, below you can find a download link for the FREE version with limited capabilities. Readiris Corporate has more extensive PDF options, includes a batch conversion option and supports more output formats.
Readiris Pro is compatible with all TWAIN scanners and can convert documents and images to a variety of formats.
The software scans documents to PDF, ePub, RTF, TXT, ODT, HTML, GIF, BMP JPEG, PNG and TIFF file formats, which is more than most.
Note that the OCR scanning isn’t just limited to documents, as the software also extracts text from image formats.
With this program, users can convert their MS Office documents into audio, ePub or image file formats. Readiris has a variety of PDF options for merging, indexing, compressing and organizing PDF pages.
Batch OCR is also a handy tool that enables you to convert a batch of documents from a selected folder. Another great thing about Readiris Pro is that it dramatically compresses file sizes for saved documents.
So this scanning application has plenty of more advanced options and tools.
Do you need to scan lots of photos? If so, ScanSpeeder will be ideal software as it enables users to scan multiple photographs at once much more quickly.
This isn’t freeware, but at $29.95 it still offers great value; and there’s also a trial version of the program that you can save to Windows from here.
ScanSpeeder works with most scanners. When you’ve scanned a batch of photos, the software will automatically straighten and split the pictures into image files.
The software supports TWAIN advanced scan mode to enhance image quality. In addition, ScanSpeeder also enables you to embed captions in images that you can then search within File Explorer.
So this program will certainly come in handy for quickly scanning photographs.
VueScan is a scanner application that works well and has fairly extensive customization options for scanning. It has a Standard and Professional edition that supports both flatbed/document and film/slide scanning.
VueScan enables users to keep their scanners working after upgrading platforms even if they can’t find the required drivers for the scanner/OS version.
The software works with more than 3,000 scanners and enables you to scan to JPEG, PDF or TIFF formats.
You can create OCR text files in the Pro version. The software includes an Options panel left of the scan preview with six tabs from which you can select input, crop, filter, color and output options.
As such, you can crop documents and adjust image colors before scanning. Two UI display modes also further enhance the flexibility of the program.
6. OmniPage Standard
OmniPage Standard is another highly rated OCR software package that provides very accurate text scanning. This software has Standard and Ultimate versions that are both compatible with Windows from XP up.
The Standard version is retailing at $149, and that should be perfectly sufficient for most as it still incorporates the best OCR technology.
The Ultimate version has extra drawing, digital signature, and scan-to folder tools.
OmniPage Standard is compatible with any TWAIN, WIA or ISIS scanners.
The software supports a greater range of output formats than most alternatives including MS Office applications, PDF, HTML, Corel Word Perfect, XML, CSV and more besides.
OmniPage’s 3-D correct technology gives it an edge when it comes to accuracy, and you can further enhance scan accuracy with some of the software’s enhancement tools such as the border-cleaning tool and punch-hole remover.
For processing multiple documents, Omnipage includes a Batch OCR tool with which users can select a folder for automatic processing.
This program can also do OCR conversions in 123 languages. As such, it’s little wonder this is one of the industry-leading scanner software packages.
But what if you don’t have a scanner at all? How then can you scan documents? Look no further than the CamScanner app for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone 8/8.1.
CamScanner boasts an extensive user base eclipsing 100,000 million devices and is one of the best mobile apps.
It enables you to scan documents by taking snapshots with your Windows handset.
The app is freely available at the Windows Store, but that adds watermarks to scanned documents. The alternative is a $4.99 a month CamScanner Premium Account.
With CamScanner you can quickly scan a variety of documents and convert them to JPEG or PDF file formats.
This app auto-detects and crops the scanned images and includes five enhance modes so you can give scanned copies a further boost.
In addition, CamScanner also supports OCR so you can extract and search texts.
The app also integrates with cloud clients such as OneDrive, CamScanner.net account, and SkyDrive.
As it’s a cross-platform app you can also synchronize documents between Android and iOS devices. So this is a great app that turns mobiles into portable scanner devices.
NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2) is open-source software that you can quickly scan documents and images to PDF, TIFF, JPG and PNG file formats with.
It’s a fairly lightweight package that needs just 1.6 megabytes of disk storage, and there’s also a portable version available for USB sticks.
Click the Download NAPS2 5.3.2 button on the software’s home page to save its setup wizard to Windows 10.
NAPS2 supports a variety of scanners and is compatible with TWAIN and WIA drivers.
So users can scan documents and images with document feeders or glass flatbed scanners, and the software includes numerous scanning options to adjust things like resolution, scaling, paper size, bit depth, etc.
The program enables users to set up scanning profiles, combine documents in a single set of pages and edit pages with rotate, contrast and cropping tools.
In addition, NAPS2 also has an OCR tool so that you can extract text from documents.
Overall, it’s a straightforward and snappy application for scanning documents.
9. PaperScan Scanner Software
PaperScan Scanner Software is a multi-purpose scanning application for Windows 10. Consequently, it supports most scanners and scanning devices.
The software has a Pro, Home and Free edition with the best version retailing at $149. Press the Free Download button on this Web page to add the freeware edition to your hard disk.
The professional version enables users to batch scan their documents and images with both TWAIN and WIA settings.
You can save the scanned documents or images with the PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and WEBP file formats.
The Pro edition includes plenty of image-editing options for contrast, cropping, rotation, gamma levels, and zooming.
It even enables you to annotate the documents or images with sticky notes, texts, arrows, and shapes.
You can also scan documents with PaperScan’s OCR engine. So the software has fairly extensive options and tools for scanning.
Those are several Windows 10 scanner software packages that can enhance scanning in various ways.
They’ll give you more accurate scans, faster scans, OCR text extraction, batch-scanning tools, PDF options, image-editing options and more besides.
FAQ: Learn more about scanner software
Does Windows 10 have a built-in scanning solution?
- Yes, Windows 10 has its own printing and scanning utility. However, note that compared to dedicated software solutions, the Windows built-in components are extremely limited and might fail to deliver the results you’re expecting.
Why is my computer not recognizing my scanner?
- First thing’s first, you’ll need to check if the scanner is properly connected to your computer, whether it’s a wired or wireless connection. If the connection seems to be in order, check out our guide that offers you 4 quick fixes for detecting your scanner properly.
Can I get a printer to scan to my computer?
- Yes, but you’ll have to make sure you have a printer that can also perform scans for you and that its drivers and dedicated software are up-to-date.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.