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4 Best OCR Software of 2021 (Free and Paid Tools)

OCR software converts images of text into scannable, machine-readable online documents.

Historically used for transferring paper documents – passports, business cards, bank statements, etc. – it’s the most common method of digitizing text so that it can be edited on a computer.

The best OCR software allows you to scan and archive any image-based document to an editable PDF.

Today, these tools make document management and cloud storage fast and easy for individuals and businesses.

In this guide, I ranked and reviewed the best OCR software based on speed, ease of use, storage capabilities, accuracy, pricing, support, and more.

Let’s get to the list.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links that I receive a small commission for at no cost to you. However, these are the tools I fully recommend when it comes to OCR software. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

What is the Best Presentation Software?

1. Adobe Acrobat Pro Dc

Best overall OCR software for complete PDF solutions ($14.99 per month).

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an OCR software that helps you extract text and convert scanned documents into editable PDF files.

It provides a complete PDF solution for any device. This means you can create and edit smart PDFs and convert PDF files to Microsoft Office formats and JPG. You can also share PDFs, sign PDFs, and print or compress directly from Pro DC.

Adobe also recognizes your text and matches your font – and finally converts the PDF into that particular font.

Besides, the OCR tool offers multiple editing features, including text recognition, add comments, page reorder, combine files, etc. You can also perform functions like rotate, delete, or crop pages.

Key Features:

  • Split PDFs – Its PDF splitter helps you separate multiple PDFs files into different documents by specifying file size, number of pages, or top-level bookmarks.
  • Sign – Request signature on documents from others and add your own sign. You can also transform physical forms into fillable PDF forms instantly through scanning.
  • ISO Standards – Convert PDFs into compliant files by using a wizard or profile. You can also validate PDFs against PDF/X, PDF/VT, PDF/A, or PDF/E criteria.

Pros:

  • Part of Adobe, which integrates well with their photo editing software, photo management tools, and graphic design software.
  • Leverage Action Wizard to customize and create PDFs while saving keystrokes and time.
  • Verify PDF’s accessibility using Accessibility Checker.
  • Automatically scan texts from the paper and convert them into editable documents.
  • Compress PDF files with an optimized PDF online tool without losing quality for easy storage and management.
  • Convert PDF into multiple formats, including PNG, TIFF, or JPEG.
  • 7-day free trial.

Pricing:

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC costs $14.99 per month. You can also use Acrobat Standard DC at $12.99 per month to create, edit, and sign PDFs.

Get started with a free trial of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

2. OMNIPAGE ULTIMATE BY KOFAX

Best for real-time batch processing ($499).

Omnipage Ultimate is an optical character recognition (OCR) application that can help you turn paper, PDFs, and images into digital files. Basically, it transforms forms and PDF files into editable documents that you can edit, archive, and share. However, the software only supports the Windows system, so you can’t use it on your Mac.

Besides, the OCR software enables you to send converted PDF files automatically to pre-programmed workflows. And its eDiscovery Assistant helps you convert both single and batches of PDF files into searchable files.

Key Features:

  • Mobile Document Capture – It helps you capture text from a smartphone camera to convert pictures into texts.
  • Language Recognition – It supports over 120 languages to help you edit, process, and store documents practically from any part of the world.
  • OmniPage Server – Use the OmniPage Server for faster processing of documents for data analysis and archival needs. You can use it to process massive loads of documents regularly.

Pros:

  • It offers support for an extensive range of formats, including Microsoft Office, PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Corel WordPerfect, HTML, ePub, etc.
  • Scan documents to any format and route anywhere on the network.
  • Leverage Amazon Kindle Recognition to send converted documents directly to the eBook reader.
  • Execute recurring jobs more accurately by creating your own workflows.
  • The tool maintains the formatting of original documents.
  • Integrate OCR functions into apps to support operating systems virtually for computers and smartphones.

Pricing:

OmniPage Ultimate comes at a one-time cost of $499. Initially, you also get a 15-day free trial to get familiar with the OCR software.

Get started with a 15-day free trial of OmniPage Ultimate.

3. ABBYY FINEREADER PDF 15

Best for correcting sentences and fixing the alignment of documents ($199).

ABBYY FineReader PDF 15 is a PDF solution that incorporates AI-based OCR technology to create and enhance all types of PDF documents. It also helps you digitize, retrieve, protect, collaborate, and share multiple types of documents in the same workflow.

It further enables you to correct paragraphs and sentences and even fix the layout of the documents.

ABBYY helps you annotate any part in the PDF file through a text box, notes, and a broad set of drawings and mark-up tools. You can also comment on markups or reply to comments. Bring more transparency to assigning comments to different collaborators.

It also lets you search comments by sort, filter, and keywords. There’s even an option to collect more than one digital signature on the document.

Other prominent features include comparing documents in different formats, automating digitization and conversion routines, creating fillable PDF forms, etc.

Additionally, it got new updates recently that include:

  • It can convert Gothic fonts into editable documents or searchable PDFs.
  • An alignment assistant tool helps you align text or images automatically.
  • The tool produces files of smaller sizes without losing the visual quality while converting PDFs.

Key Features:

    • PDF Forms – Fill interactive fields in scanned paper and PDF forms to include text at required points. It also supports digital signatures and facsimiles for eSignature.
    • Split PDF Documents – Separate large PDF files into multiple short files to meet size requirements. It also allows you to save chapters of documents as separate PDF files.
    • Remove Hidden Information – Eliminate the risk of accidentally sharing confidential data in a PDF file by removing hidden data and objects. It helps you remove text layers added by OCR, attachments, comments and annotations, bookmarks, links, metadata, media, scripts, actions, and form data.

Pros:

  • Create different levels of password protection for PDF files.
  • Verify the digital signature to ensure integrity and authenticity.
  • Convert PDF files into multiple editable formats, including Microsoft Excel, Word, and more.
  • Split PDF documents by page count, file size, or bookmarks.
  • Leverage MRC Compression to reduce PDF file size by up to 20 times.
  •  

Pricing:

ABBYY FineReader PDF 15 offers three paid plans:

  • Standard: $199 one-time payment
  • Corporate: $299 one-time payment
  • Volume Licensing: quote-based (for large organizations)

The first two plans are best suited for individuals, while the quote-based plan is for organizations

4. READIRIS

Best for converting text files into audio files ($49).

Readiris is a PDF and OCR publishing software that helps you edit and annotate, aggregate, and split, protect and sign your PDF files. It also enables you to edit, convert, and transform paper files into multiple digital formats with just a few clicks.

Plus, it offers a host of tools to attach comments, annotations, and hypertext lines to reach the attached documents directly.

You can also convert images, PDFs, and texts to edit in the required format, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or indexed PDF. It is also comes equipped with a new recognition engine that offers faster document management.

Besides, Readiris helps you sign and protect your PDFs and send them electronically. Additional features include document batch conversion, barcode reading and encoding, splitting and merging your PDFs, and more.

Key Features:

    • Audio Files – Readiris converts text files into .mp3 and .wav audio files. You can also listen to audio files on any device, including smartphones, tablets, or desktop.
    • Verbal Annotation – It offers verbal recognition to help you embed verbal annotation into PDF files.
    • Multi-Format Import – You can import files in multiple formats, including PDF, DOC, JPEG, RTF, PNG, JPEG, PPT, and more.

Pros:

  • The tool is compatible with all Twain scanners.
  • Rotate and adjust upside down and tilted documents.
  • Convert books and documents to EPUB format on an eBook reader.
  • Modify text embedded in images.
  • Readiris recognizes over 130 languages.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Free online tech support.
  • Use IRIS iHQC technology to compress the size of PDF files by up to 50 percent.
  •  

Pricing:

Readiris offers three sub-products:

  • Readiris PDF 17: $49
  • Readiris Pro 17: $59
  • Readiris Corporate 17: $89

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