In this article on Naijaknowhow, I’ll be writing about the best OCR software for Windows and Mac PC. OCR simply means Optical Character Recognition. OCR technology simplifies the process of converting paper documents into digital PDFs for easy storage. It uses document scanning to transform invoices, text, and other files into digital formats, with a focus on creating PDFs for improved document management.
The shift towards a paperless office is becoming more attainable due to the advancements in OCR technology. Presently, OCR software is now able to work quickly, smoothly, and accurately. This is crucial when searching for specific information within scanned documents, as poor formatting can lead to the need for rescanning and the waste of time and resources in finding and repositioning the documents. Also, if the documents have been recycled, it will be impossible to rescan them.
OCR technology simplifies document management by allowing for the use of online storage solutions or specialized cloud-based providers to store and easily access important documentation. This makes retrieval and archiving of documentation more efficient. The ability to scan documents both individually and in batches has made the process even more efficient. six best OCR software for converting paper documents into digital PDFs for easy storage and retrieval.
List of the Best OCR Software for Windows and Mac PC
1. OmniPage Ultimate
OmniPage Ultimate allows you to quickly convert paper documents from various scanner sources into various digital file formats. This saves time, especially when you have a large amount of paper to process.
The OCR software is known for its accurate document conversion and is used by major companies such as Amazon, Ford, and GE. It also allows you to create custom workflow processes, ensuring that your documents are delivered to the appropriate location and format based on your requirements.
It offers a wide range of features and is relatively affordable for small businesses, despite its high price. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, OmniPage Standard is available for about half the cost. It has fewer input, output, and workflow options, but still provides sufficient features for most OCR needs.
2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
DC stands for Document Cloud and seamlessly integrates with Adobe’s cloud solution for easy access to files from any computer. Also, it offers smooth integration with other Adobe apps such as Photoshop, making it a great option for those who frequently use multiple Adobe products.
Adobe Acrobat DC Pro is a reliable brand with all the necessary OCR features, though it may be more expensive than some competitors. It offers additional capabilities such as the ability to add comments and feedback on documents, a specialized tool for scanning tables, the option to quickly compare two documents, and more. The Pro version allows editing documents immediately after scanning them.
Adobe Acrobat DC offers a high level of quality and is intuitive to use. Subscriptions are available in both monthly and annual options, with discounts offered for the annual plan over the monthly one. The Adobe brand ensures that the product is of high quality.
Rossum’s OCR solution is unique in that it targets scanning invoices for extracting important information that can then be exported to any program. This feature makes it particularly beneficial for businesses that frequently handle a high volume of invoices, particularly those from contractors and suppliers that are often in paper format.
The software utilizes AI to scan the document and identify important information, rather than relying on a fixed template. This approach is particularly useful as invoices are often presented in various formats, making it hard to use a fixed template. But despite its potential usefulness for a specific purpose, the limited scope of this software means it has limited applicability for other scenarios where documents or images need to be scanned or converted to editable text files.
However, despite its limited scope, Rossum’s software is designed to cater to a specific niche need and will likely prove useful for businesses that require a simple and efficient way to extract numerical data from invoices, rather than just working with plain text. Also, due to its tailored approach to the specific documents and data that need to be scanned and exported, Rossum does not have a fixed pricing model. Instead, interested parties are required to contact the company for a quote. However, a free trial is offered to test the software’s suitability for individual needs.
Readiris, a software developed by I.R.I.S, comes with a sleek interface and an array of valuable features, making it a top choice for small businesses or those looking to digitize large quantities of paper documents. Its comprehensive offerings justify its cost. The OCR software is a powerful tool that can handle a wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Office formats, and even includes the ability to have text read aloud.
It also offers features such as signatures, security protection, watermarks, comments, and annotations, making it a comprehensive solution for digital document management. Readiris is also known for its speed and efficiency, outperforming many older OCR programs. It quickly processes and organizes documents, allowing for seamless navigation between its various features.
Also, its user-friendly interface makes it easy to use without the need for consulting a manual or help file. This combination of powerful functionality and ease of use makes it one of the top OCR applications available. Readiris offers three level packages: the standard or basic package, which is a cost-effective option for many users, then the Pro package, and the Corporate package which is a one-time fee that includes features such as support for up to 138 languages and PDF password protection.
5. Abbyy FineReader
Abbyy FineReader has gained a positive reputation as one of the best options in the OCR field. The software may not be the most cutting-edge, but it is clean, functional, and effectively gets the job done. With extensive experience in assisting with document management, it offers a comprehensive solution for small businesses.
The OCR software provides all the necessary tools for converting paper documents scanned from a scanner into fully readable, organized digital documents. It can recognize text and convert it to PDF, Microsoft Office, or other formats, as well as compare documents, add annotations and comments, and more. Also, FineReader can handle the batch conversion of multiple documents and can handle a variety of output formats and 192 different languages with ease.
You can also work with the software from your phone through some companion mobile apps. A free trial is available to test its capabilities. The OCR software can be purchased as a perpetual license that allows for OCR conversions and editing of PDFs. Also, a Corporate version is available, offering additional features such as document comparison and automated batch conversions.
FreeOCR is a free Windows software that can convert scanned PDFs, multi-page Tiff images, and other image files into plain text or Microsoft Word documents. It can be used for commercial purposes. The software primarily focuses on character recognition and has great PDF support, allowing you to easily scan documents into FreeOCR. It has a user-friendly layout, making it easy to locate and copy specific text from the document.
It is known for its accuracy and speed, supporting over 10 languages. It quickly produces an editable version of small text sections and can handle documents with tricky formatting in just a few minutes. Additionally, it allows you to crop out unnecessary parts of the document to speed up the OCR process.
However, the only downside is that it may not be necessary for many users as OCR functionality is often built into modern printers. But it is a great solution for those who are still using an outdated printer that came with their computer or office. It is a lightweight and user-friendly program that offers highly accurate and efficient OCR capabilities.
When selecting the best OCR software for your PC, it is important to first identify your specific needs and then match them with the available features of the software. By following this approach, you can make an informed decision. OCR technology has advanced and will continue to do so for both Windows and Mac users. But for now, you can use any of the softwares listed above.