Best Free OCR Software for Windows, Mac & Linux


OCR software as you all know, are quite useful in order to create an editable text version of images containing text. It works well with formats like PDF and JPEG. However, it is to be noted that very few OCR programs have a capability of handling screenshots, as many a times the quality of image is very poor. Given below is a list of the best free OCR software for different operating systems.

Best Free OCR Software for Windows

1. FreeOCR

It is a good OCR and scanning program through which text can be extracted from popular image formats like Tiff and JPG. It also helps extract text from PDF docs that are scanned and allows images from the PDF to be selected as well as placed on its clipboard. Scanned results can be saved as plain text doc or can be exported directly to MS word. All that FreeOCR requires is a .Net Framework to run. This is according to me, is the best free OCR software for Windows operating system.


OS compatibility– Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit,  Windows 8

License – Free

2. Capture2Text

This OCR tool plays dual-role. Firstly, it helps in taking screenshots which is then converted to Windows Clipboard. Later, the text can be copy and pasted wherever one wants to.  Secondly, it also incorporates VRT or Voice Recognition Technology through which words are transcribed. You can expect 99 percent accurate results.


OS compatibility– Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit,  Windows 8

License – Free

3. SimpleOCR

This is a very popular OCR software and boasts of around 3 lakh users all across the globe. You can edit documents from scratch and it is absolutely free of cost. There are no limitations with regards to the format you wish to download. It has enhanced features for working with complex documents. This software has the capability of handling the most legible writing and saves countless hours in the process.


OS Compatibility : Windows 8, Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows XP, Vista

License– Free


Best Free OCR Software for Mac

1. Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Many people weren’t aware that even OCR scanning of docs is possible with Adobe Acrobat. If you wish to use it, all you need to do is go to Taskbar Create then PDF From Scanner and choose any 3 presets ( Color Document, Grayscale Document and Black & White Document)


OS Compatibility – Mac

License – Free

2.  PDFPen

PDF Pen is used for annotation of PDF documents and it also features OCR function, thus making it capable of dual roles. The accuracy of the software is close to 98 percent which saves lot of your time and efforts in correcting words that are wrongly interpreted.


OS compatibility– Mac

License– Free

3.  ABBYY FineReader Express


Talking about Accuracy, ABBYY FineReader Express offers 100 percent of it. It is considered to be a very precise OCR and supports around 171 languages, the largest as compared to other languages. Although good accuracy is offered, at times, you would have to take care of the formatting and manual readjustment needs to be done.

OS Compatibility– Mac

License – Free


Best Free OCR Software for Linux

1. ABBYY FineReader Engine CLI For Linux


It is a ready to use CLI tool that is based on advanced OCR technologies of ABBYY. It helps in automating document conversion and OCR on Linux systems. There is a command line that completely controls the processing. The same OCR quality is offered as is offered on Windows. The software supports various formats like PDF, XML, HTML, RTF and more. It recognizes 1D and 2D barcodes.

License– Free

OS Compatibility– Linux

Best Free OCR Software for Windows, Mac & Linux
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