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Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bki122689, Apr 8, 2009.
What's the best free OCR software for Mac?
If you purchased a new scanner, then it may have been bundled with OCR software. Otherwise, OCR software ain't cheap and it certainly ain't free. You have two options: Readiris 11 Pro and Nuance's OmniPage Pro X for Macintosh.
Any thing new on this now?
My Omni Page came with a Canon printer back in 2005 and died when I installed Snow Leopard.
There is a 3rd option that is probably the best: ABBYY's Finereader Express for Mac. It's $100 vs. Omnipage's $500. And it does not have a word limit, like Iris (50 pages). I'm presently using Finereader for Mac to digitize my books and have had no difficulties.
Note that you won't find free trials of any of these programs, but you probably won't have any trouble with them either. If you want to create fully searchable pdfs or fully editable text documents, all will do an excellent job.
There's no free option I'm aware of, though for limited use there are online OCR options, such as OCR Terminal.
Even less expensive is $50 PDF Pen 4.
thanks worked great for me
There are several affordable ocr applications but with such limited functionality.
I've tried almost all of them. But the only full function ocr software that provides high-quality conversion in different languages, multiple formats, etc. .... is FineReader. And it's already in Mac App Store
FYI: I contacted the Finereader dev last week, to see if the App Store version is AppleScript-friendly, explaining my interest in Folder Actions. Just got the response this morning-- no. They specifically said "no batch processing, only in PC version."
PDFPen, on the other hand, does permit such Folder Action batch processing. You can find scripts via google.
Free but not all powerful...
Simple and easy to use OCR app that I find very useful for my needs, but does have limitations...Check out PDF OCR X by Web Lite.
The community version is free but limited...
OmniPage for Mac will not work with Lion
I've been an OmniPage Pro X user for years, but it is PC software and will not work with the new Lion. And there has been no update to OmniPage for years and years. It is now toast, if you use Lion.
I bought ABBYY Fine Reader Express for Mac from the App Store, but it too does not work with the new Lion. However, I contacted ABBYY and they are working on the update to make FREM compatible with Lion.
Google Docs now has OCR capabilities when you upload a PDF file. When you go to upload a file, it'll give you the option to convert it to text.
Great for small jobs
This is a very simple and straightforward little app. If you're a home user that needs to convert a few small documents once in a while, then I say don't waste your money on something with more features. If you scan hard copy docs one page at a time to a PDF, it takes only a few seconds each to convert and drag each page of text into a continuous Pages or Word doc. The scanning takes far longer than the conversion and copying.
Obviously, if you are looking to scan books or multiple page docs on a regular basis, use a full featured app - but none of these are free.
Another (better) option exists
Adobe Acrobat Pro (currently called "Acrobat X Pro") has built-in OCR, and it works very well. I used it recently and was quite pleased. I actually have Acrobat Pro as part of my Creative Suite (CS.) Other than OCR, you would gain full control over the PDF file (if that's what you wanted to create.) It really is a powerful program and worth a look. The full standalone version has a list price of $450, but can be found for much less.
I tried out OCRKit this morning, and it worked perfectly, certainly if OCR is the ONLY feature you need than that program seems to fit the bill perfectly although it is not free (about $50.)
Vuescan. It not only works with a bunch of scanners / slide scanners etc but has built in OCR (text only). It's cheap (40 or 80 $ depending on version) and the developer is great. He regularly updates it to address issues / new scanners and responds via email. I've used it for a numb roy years and it is great.
ABBYY Finereader Express for Mac free trial
ABBYY Finereader Express for Mac does now have a free trial. It is only 15 days and will only convert the first page if you process multiple pages, but it gives you a good sense of how it works. It works very well for creating searchable pdf's from tiffs, less so from jpegs. I was working with images from an old book. Text recognition was excellent, numbers spotty because a lot of the thin lines were lost. After some research and experimentation I found that if I downloaded jpegs but saved them as tiffs it was the best. Text recognition was good but formatting was off for conversion from pdf to word. Does what it does very well, but limited - can't work with the documents, just create them. But it's easy to open them in preview, and you can do a fair amount with pdf's in preview in OS Lion.
I second that! It's free, it's easy, and Google OCR is pretty darn good! I had to translate an instruction manual in German, and G.Docs has allowed me to upload the PDF, translate to text, then translation into English! Very sweet, and almost instantaneous.
Very good alternative that not many people are aware of.
There is Preview too. If you have a PDF that includes information that looks like text - Preview will do an OCR of the information. There isn't a command to make it happen - I think it happens in the background periodically.
But go ahead and try. Scan an image with text and save it as a PDF. In a day or two text will show up. I think the OCR shows up after the system wide search catalogs the document.
I have been using the built-in OCR feature in Adobe Acrobat for years; have not experienced much problems, other than the PDFs which are password-locked for editing.
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FineReader is a POS. I tried to use it today for the first time, spent 4 hours, successfully OCR'd only 1 page. (I have no idea how I managed this.) "Help" constantly refers you to buttons that don't work and drop-down menus that are greyed out. not worth it.
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