You might have noticed that digitalization is on a rise since last decade. This is where the need of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is felt. OCR makes it possible to digitize the handwritten or printed documents by making it editable through word processing programs. OCR converts the scanned, handwritten or printed image files into machine-readable text.
May be, you have a receipt or book that you have typed years ago and now you want to put it in digital format. Of course, you don’t want to retype it. OCR can be really useful to get such a job done in an easy way. This technology can be used to extract the exact text from images and convert a printed table into an excel sheet, old book into PDF with searchable text underneath page images and more.
If you have a Windows 10 laptop and looking to use free OCR readers, then you can choose from the below mentioned list.
FreeOCR makes use of Tesseract Engine created by HP and maintained by Google. Tesseract is a powerful engine and one of the most accurate OCR engines in the world today. It also has support for TWAIN devices such as image scanners and digital cameras.
Apart from this, it supports all known image and multi-page TIFF files. This software can be used to extract text from pictures with high level of accuracy. The only drawback is it cannot translate tables and columns.
Though Microsoft OneNote is a note keeper, it can also be used as an OCR Reader. There is an option to extract text from the images with name – ‘Copy text from picture’. It is unique in its functionality. Just insert the picture to OneNote and then right click on picture to choose ‘Copy text from picture’ and OneNote will handle the rest.
It saves texts to clipboard so that you can paste the text into Microsoft Word or any other program. The only drawback is that it doesn’t support table. Kindly note that the OneNote that comes with new Windows 10 doesn’t have OCR capabilities, but you can still use it on your system if you are using Office suite.
SimpleOCR is another handy tool that can convert your hard copy printouts into editable files. If you have a lot of handwritten documents and want to convert them into editable files, then SimpleOCR can be the best option. The only drawback is that handwritten extractions can be done only for 14 days for free. Thereafter, you have to pay the fee. Machine print is totally free and has no restrictions.
There is a built-in spellchecker that you can use to check the discrepancies in the converted text. You can even setup the software to read directly from a scanner. It doesn’t support tables and columns.
Boxoft is another good free OCR that can be used to extract text from all type so images. It is easy to use and is capable of analyzing multi-column text with a high degree of accuracy. Another great thing about this tool is that it supports multiple languages including English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Basque, Portuguese and many more.
It lets you scan the paper documents and convert them into editable text within a short span of time. There are few concerns that this OCR reader doesn’t excel in extracting text from handwritten notes, but it performs really well with printed copies.
Capture2Text is another free OCR software for Windows 10 that even provides you the keyboard shortcuts to OCR anything on the screen quickly. You can use the mouse to select the portion that you want to capture and hit ‘Enter’ button the keyboard. The selection will be optically recognized. The text that is captured and converted will appear in a popup and will be copied on clipboard as well.
Capture2Text makes use of Google’s OCR engine and have support for 100+ languages. It makes use of Google Translate to convert captured text to other languages.
The Bottom Line
So, above-mentioned were some of the best OCR software that you can use on Windows 10 to extract text from printed, handwritten or image files and store it digitally on your system. All these software programs are available for free. Choose the best one for your use.