If you had to choose what was one of the worst parts of your working days, what would it be? There seems to be an almost universal acceptance that administrative duties are the biggest drag. Those usually include data entry, invoice filing, retyping physical documents, and organizing paperwork.
The leap forward in technology is solving this problem much to public celebration – and OCR software is the catalyst!
What is OCR Software?
You may be wondering what OCR actually stands for – it means Optical Character Recognition. The whole concept is based on hardware and software that can read text on documents. The OCR engine involved in the matter is applications that recognize the words on paper (character recognition) and process them into a workable digital file format (OCR accuracy).
OCR software helps businesses and individuals manage their documents – making physical paperwork editable, readable, and manageable. It transfers papers onto the digital front without the need to retype them or make messy amendments. More of our daily activities involve multitudes of physical documents – an OCR process is becoming necessary to make sense of them!
7 Best Optical Character RecognitionSoftware for 2021
A simple search will yield hundreds, if not thousands, of results for the best OCR software. I’ve had a look at many, considering works to the general needs of individuals and businesses. Below are 7 of my favorite OCR software out of the bunch – and the ones I believe are the most rewarding.
Like we say, it’s not a software list without Adobe throwing their two cents, right? Adobe tends to offer the more complete solutions in their offerings – that’s why we’ll start this list with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Being the Godfather of the PDF document, this OCR program facilitates easy conversion of any scanned media into the desired file format – serving a palette of OCR tools for further use.
The editing features allow users to copy text and export to any popular file or image format. It also features printed text recognition, editing capabilities, signing fields, and page adjustments. Its OCR API mobile integration as well brings Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to another level of OCR software. Once again, Adobe hit the mark of all you could ever want in a niched platform.
- Wide variety of PDF editing tools to get the results you want
- Convert to multiple file-formats to ensure widespread accessibility
- Amalgamate different files to create one easy-to-use document
Adobe consistently brings the most competitive software into the fray. Nothing is different with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. The versatile functionality and features unquestionably make this one of the best OCR software. Anybody that gets frustrated with too many gadgets and gizmos – may find the OCR engine a bit overwhelming, though. Other than that, it’s the ultimate OCR solution.
OmniPage Ultimate is an OCR tool that’s dedicated to workflow. It understands there is an ever-growing need to feed various media into a platform and make output consistent. The application excels in turning any assets into editable text format. Not to mention how adaptive it is to external scanning hardware!
One of the best features of OmniPage Ultimate is the ability to pre-program the things you need to do. Are you a business in need to constantly scan, edit and archive printed documents into consistent formats? This can be achieved with a few clicks of a button. Batch processing has never been easier and more professional.
- Very compatible with searchable PDF files and other popular file formats
- Excellent tool to streamline administrative workflow
- Support for mobile devices to hasten the scanning process
There’s no doubt that OmniPage Ultimate was made for business – and I think it’s the best OCR software in that respect. The level of efficiency is unparalleled, and the file support is extensive. There’s something very satisfying in managing documents this well, let alone the organization features. As a business tool – it’s pretty expensive, though, at $499 one-time cost.
Readiris is an OCR tool that does everything you would expect it to. The unique trait about this platform is its specialization in creating audio files from the extracted text files fed through. Yes, it will transform any paper document or PDF file into a whole host of digital formats with a couple of clicks. But why not go further and let it annotate your text, too?
I do think that’s pretty remarkable. Readiris exports text files into popular audio formats like MP3 and WAV. The benefit to this is that those that are writing e-books can quickly convert them into audiobook – assets becoming popular in the Amazon marketplace. This OCR app is a fantastic tool for aspiring writers and media creators.
- Text-to-audio conversion tool with any scanned document
- Modification of embedded image filetext
- Friendly asset to eBook publishers and writers
It’s nice to see an OCR software that caters to the creative and informatics community. The potential that Readiris has to elevate your publishing game is enormous. Its functionality may not be best suited for business, but it can do the trick at a very affordable price. You can get the full suite of Readiris’ features for $89.
I have to say that Abbyy FineReader sounds like the name of a character in the educational children’s book. The only relation to that statement in parallel with this OCR technology is that this platform is well-informed. Much so that it almost takes care of your document processing for you! The powerful AI in Abbyy FineReader refines scanned files into palatable and professional assets.
Abbyy FineReader will assist in formatting your document and present vast modification options. You can annotate any part of the searchable PDF file – including editing fields, drawing, commenting, and marking-up. The result will always be a file that would adhere to the utmost professional standards. It’s a great OCR software for any business.
- Create any well-formatted and editable scanned PDF document quickly
- Export to a wide array of editable format files
- Compression tools help make exports even more accessible
Considering how Abbyy FineReader addresses its documents – I’d say that it’s the best OCR software for business. It seems to work tirelessly to ensure that files are clean and organized – ready for sharing or collaboration. Having a tool that makes all documentation transferable across the industry is something profoundly practical to have.
It wouldn’t be a list without including an item for our budget-concerned friends. SimpleOCR is quite frankly the best free OCR software. It brings a wealth of possibilities without the upfront or subscription costs of the more established brands. The platform is open-source and royalty-free, meaning its potential and reward know no limit – pending user contribution, of course!
SimpleOCR processes scanned documents with clarity and cohesiveness – adaptable to any Windows system with a TWAIN OCR scanner. Outside of its basic OCR function, it is a constructive tool for business’ custom needs. If there’s a developer in your midst, SimpleOCR can be used to create custom applications that help streamline your day-to-day OCR needs.
- Free OCR software that scans documents efficiently and reduces noise
- High customizability with open-source SDK
- Integrated spell-checker that works with converted text
As with most free software – it’s open-source. This means that SimpleOCR will be a bit more technical than the other platforms. If you can get your head around that notion, though, this application is excellent. Individuals and small businesses on limited budgets will like that SimpleOCR is a free application. Also, it will scale with growing requirements. There’s even a great paid option to improve features, too!
I do love when an OCR software is versatile in its trade – but sometimes there are several benefits to be had from focused platforms. Rossum is a business-dedicated OCR technology that takes the role of removing the trivial task of data entry. It specializes in processing business documents – including invoices, bills of sale, purchase orders, and any financial papers.
Rossum uses its focused approach to harness machine learning applications. Each document scanned through the platform – it will learn their patterns and structures. Ultimately, it will present business data efficiently. Better yet, it will assist in organizing all paperwork related to the business. This is very practical when sorting out your accounting books. Let’s not forget to mention Rossum also integrates with popular financial software.
- Batch processing to help process multiple invoices and business documents at once
- Export to popular bookkeeping and organizational formats
- Wide range of file support for scanning
Rossum is a business application and should be revered as such. Are you trying to grow your business and want to minimize administration time? This is the best OCR software to address that question. The cost of Rossum varies depending on how many people are using it – but there isn’t a better platform to optimize administrative efficiency.
Finally, I’ll include another free OCR software that’s backed by one of the big boys. Amazon Textract focuses on the detail of scanned documents – rendering a lot of text quickly and efficiently. It uses its machine learning algorithms to highlight important aspects of the scan – such as form fields and significant values.
Amazon Textract has been lauded for its proficiency in scanning professional documents. It specializes in resumes, legal manifests, inventory references, and medical reports – all processed in a palatable output format. The platform is web-based and free up to 1000 pages per month – but does become paid per page thereafter.
- Automate document processing with in-built tools
- Highlights the most significant parts of document scans
- A web-based online OCR application that is instantly accessible
If you’re a person that needs a quick, fuss-less solution from a trusted brand – Amazon Textract is your answer. There aren’t any downloads or initial investment required – just an easy OCR software that does its job very well. The level of flexibility isn’t all that, and it does become expensive with excessive document processes. If you need something done now, though – refer to Textract!
There is general OCR software listed above, and there are some tailored to specific needs. Whatever the case, I believe everybody can benefit from some efficient Optical Character Recognition platforms in their life. We all have papers to file and administrative tasks to complete. Have a review of all the OCR software mentioned – guarantee one of them will make your life easier!