OCR software – Optical Character Recognition – is used to convert scanned and printed or handwritten images onto your PC, and turn it into a readable and formatted text file. OCR software analyses the document thoroughly, and picks out any writing or images on the document, and if it looks similar to a letter in a font installed on the computer, it will create it. It also intelligently tracks and notes the typical features of specific letters and characters. OCR Softwares occasionally come with a spell checker, which can try and pick out words it does not understand, and guess. Obviously, 100% accuracy is difficult to achieve but it is worth using as the time you save from having to create the entire process is quite considerable.
1. OCR to Word
OCR to Word is a text recognition software that can save you countless hours, re-typing all the work you have already written out. It can take any image, document or scanned item and convert it into a editable, readable and accurate Word document. You can download OCR to Word for free from their website here. It also allows for zooming and specification on what part of an image you need. It is optimised to work with any scanner and boasts a 98% accuracy rating.
FreeOCR is built using the latest Tesseract engine, which is one of the most powerful engines for software of this type. It can deal with multiple file formats, including PDF, Tiff and faxes. It is completely freeware and can be used at any time, as well as distributed for free. You can download it directly here. Tesseract is maintained by Google, following the success of the OCR engine in the 90s. The software optimises the power of Tesseract, and allows it run file types it usually would not be able to
One of the most popular OCR software out there, with more than 300,000 users worldwide. It is free to use and can even be edited from scratch for you to design similar software. It has no limitations in the form you can download it in, and is completely free for anything you wish to use it for. You can find improved equivalents on the ScanStore.com website, which gives you better features when it comes to more complex documents. But this can easily handle most legible writing, saving you countless hours in the process.
Many people use Evernote because it allows you to organise and set up your professional and personal life in easy to access locations, making work a lot less stressful. It syncs up effortlessly with other hardware like smartphones and tablets, but one of the most under-used parts of Evernote is the OCR feature. This gives Evernote not only another great feature, but could allow you to store important memories and information through photographs, you can simply key in the word you are looking for which allows you to go straight to your images, tagged in Evernote for easy access.
Boxoft provide a huge host of quality paid converters and other software. It is a free software, even for business use, and it is extremely quick to extract and convert. The user-friendly interface allows it to work quickly, and also a high accuracy which can make your re-typing of mistakes much quicker. However, should you purchase a license for Boxoft software, you get free upgrades for life – even if they completely revamp the software and sell it for a much higher price. If you don’t like the additional features and the free upgrades, you can get your money back within 30 days if you are not happy with the quality of the product, but Boxoft consistently produce quality goods, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.