Free OCR software? You may already have it... - Jon Galloway

Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Update (2011): This post describes using a little know feature of Microsoft Office which does a good job with OCR. It was written 5 years ago, but still gets a lot of traffic. Unfortunately, Office 2010 removes that feature (Microsoft Office Document Imaging).

There are a few workarounds for this:

Summary

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) can really come in handy. For example, I previously wrote about how I use Timesnapper as a black box to recover work which would otherwise be lost. Since most of my work is text based (C#, SQL, HTML, documentation, communications, etc.), the obvious next step is to grab the code from a screenshot. Of course I can retype it, but OCR would be better. 

There are some great commercial OCR packages out there. My company recently used OmniPage Pro in a project which loaded data from hundreds of PowerPoint slides into SQL Server for reporting and analysis1OmniPage is great software, but it costs $149 for the basic version, which doesn't really make sense if you're just using it to avoid retyping a little text from a screenshot every now and then.

I looked around for free OCR software, and was a little bit surprised that there wasn't much out there. Here's a rundown of what I found, wrapping up with a program that wasn't technically free, but I already had it. There's a good chance you've got it, too. 

GOCR

I first tried out GOCR (a.k.a. JOCR). The easiest way to try it out is the GOCR Win Frontend, which installs GOCR as well. My opinion matched Pitor's:

To let things be clear - gocr is not ready, to say the least. Personally I'd even say the effect of trying to OCR a page is so crappy it is not even worth installing the gocr engine (seems like the total rewrite in 0.40 did not help much). And I am talking about an ascii black text on a white page, without other elements. Gocr seems to go all the way down here - error in 98% of recognized characters, randomly added spaces, etc. For example: content is C unrir in gocr, sounds like drunken elvish to me.

Tesseract OCR

Yeah, there's been some chatter in the blogospheres and internets about Tesseract since Google assisted in re-releasing it as an open source project. I have no doubts that the press alone (not to mention Google's involvement) will propel Tesseract towards OCR fame and fortune, but it sounds like it's not usable at this point:

It only is configured to build under MSVC++6 for Windows.
It only accepts uncompressed bitonal tiffs.
It's command-line only.
No GUI.
It performed abysmally on the provided testimage.tif
But it did build. :)

Microsoft Office Document Imaging

On accident, I stumbled across Microsoft Office Document Imaging. It's included Microsoft Office Tools ("Microsoft Office \ Microsoft Office Tools" folder in the start menu, default installation location is "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MODI\11.0\"). The interface looks a "My First VB5 Application" reject, but it works great.

It handles scanned documents via TWAIN. The image import's a bit lame - it only handles TIF files. You can convert to TIF in just about any graphics application (e.g. MSPAINT - open the file, Save As TIF file). An easier method is to just copy the image to the clipboard and paste as a new page into MODI.

Here's a quick walkthrough of how I grabbed some text from a PDF2.

Step 1. I selected the text I wanted to OCR with Cropper (output set to Clipboard)

Step 2. I opened Microsoft Office Document Imaging and loaded my image with Page / Paste Page

Step 3. I ran the OCR process by clicking on the "funky eye" toolbar button (or in the Tools menu)

Step 4. Click the Export to Word toolbar button

Step 5. Copy the text and paste it where you want it

In this case, it was an e-mail. I've done the same thing to grab SQL or C# code which I then paste into the editor and compile (Ctrl-F5 for SQL, Ctrl-Shift-B for C#) to catch the things that didn't make it through the OCR cleanly.

I haven't tried it, but apparently you can automate MODI from .NET.


1 Yes, it sounds insane, but it actually worked, and the business value of the data more than justified it.
2 Yes, you can select and copy text in a PDF. This is just an example, but in this case the final result of the OCR'd text was a lot cleaner than the oddly mangled and mis-formatted text I got from the PDF select / copy approach.

Published Sunday, October 1, 2006 11:05 PM by Jon Galloway
Filed under: ,

Comments

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks alot...very handy!

Monday, October 2, 2006 3:44 PM by snarfy snarf

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Wow!  I can't believe that I didn't know about that before now.  That is going to be a huge time-saver.

Monday, October 2, 2006 7:06 PM by Ryan Smith

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Top stuff Jon.

Yeh I've been tinkering with that MODI codeproject sample for a while now.

Simple OCR is scheduled for TimeSnapper 2.2. Can't wait to have it in there.

Other features (including extensible callouts during archiving -- which you requested!) are going to be done first though. But OCR is my favourite feature, particularly for the 'don't lose my data' type usages that you've done so much.

thanks again for the support!

lb

Monday, October 2, 2006 10:41 PM by lb

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I've been using MS Office OneNote 2007 for a while, and it includes text recognition too. It's really cool: you rip a screen shot and have OneNote OCR it so you can copy and paste recognized text.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 9:52 AM by Milan Negovan

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

¡Gracias Jon!

¡Un excelente aporte!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 3:17 PM by Joaquín varela

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Great! Solved my OCR problems. Yes, the text wasn't perfect, but it works. thanks

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 7:39 AM by simone

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i need this software

Monday, December 4, 2006 1:24 AM by adel

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Love it didnt know my lame computer had it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007 2:35 PM by D

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

we want to ocr software

Thursday, February 8, 2007 11:47 AM by sakthivel

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Any chance to use MODI on a server for ASP.NET? E.g. through the new Office Server?

Saturday, February 24, 2007 8:57 AM by Uwe

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

THANKS BRILLIANT STUFF JON.

Monday, March 12, 2007 12:03 PM by DE_MACS

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

it is good software

Friday, March 16, 2007 3:38 AM by Muhammad Raheel

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Great tip on free OCR  Jon.  But I'm wondering if MODI works well for selections on multiple pages with images.  Whenever an image is included in a page, the copied sections look smudged.  Any idea why this happens?

Monday, March 19, 2007 12:28 AM by Arjuna

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I tried you directions leaning the Cropper out & it worked much better than my HP scanning ocr. Thanks for your advice!

Sunday, March 25, 2007 1:02 AM by Ron Manus

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hi Jon.

Very good! Thanks for sharing it!

I've felt it strange that there was no 'poor mans' ocr among all the programs on the pc.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:15 AM by Knut S.

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks jon. Very useful information. I did have it in my computer and I didnt know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 6:59 PM by miguel Trejo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for the info...  Worked like a champ and didn't even need to download any shareware!

Sunday, April 22, 2007 5:21 PM by Joe

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks!  This just made one of my users very happy.

One of those weird corners of the computer I never wander into...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 8:50 PM by jimmy

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Excellent John,

This unsuspected windows OCR software saved my day !

Nicolas

Rio de Janeiro

Friday, May 4, 2007 8:19 PM by Nicolas Bourlon

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Yep - Great find.  You made my day and saved me tons of time & money!

Thanks

Balki

Monday, May 7, 2007 12:26 AM by Balki

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

The people who reply "send the free OCR" must not be that good with English, or else they didn't actually read the article.

He said, "You may already have it...". He did not say he could give it to you.

He also said, "It's included Microsoft Office Tools ("Microsoft Office \ Microsoft Office Tools" folder in the start menu, default installation location is "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MODI\11.0\")."

It's included with Microsoft Office. It is not actually free, per se, but included with Office, which most people already have.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:36 PM by MichaelP

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks alot for sharing...it works :D

Friday, May 25, 2007 7:34 AM by py

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

to help me in my work

Saturday, May 26, 2007 8:23 AM by Rene

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

hmmmm i'm getting install issues....apparently i don't have m4561414.cab. oh well! adobe acrobat pro 7~!

Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:37 PM by pomi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is without a doubt, the most outstanding info ever.....

I Love You Jon !!! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 6:12 AM by Mo-T

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Excellent guide.  Dont realise MS Office come with OCR with Imaging Viewer.  My job is done in 5 minutes Yeah!

Thursday, June 7, 2007 6:51 PM by Richard T

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Excellent stuff...thanks alot...it saves my lots and lots of time...

great

Monday, June 11, 2007 8:41 AM by Atif

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks this is a life saver!! See thats the problem with Microsoft, they don't really tell you about all the hidden extras in XP!

I am glad I am getting my moneys worth!!

Friday, June 15, 2007 12:04 PM by JimGoe

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I had a problem when I started using the program. It said the network source was unavailable. I put in the XP disk and tried several avenues to solve the problem but nothing worked. Any ideas to help me??? Apparently I need something that contains the pro11.msi installation package, which I thought I had, but it isn't working.

Monday, June 18, 2007 1:46 PM by Pat Wilson

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Unfortunately it doesn't go back as far as my edition of ms office: 2000.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 10:59 AM by MBD

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Jon,

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge... it was extremely helpful, and I really appreciate it.

`Michael

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 2:15 PM by Michael McCarthy

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I want a ocr software

Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:37 AM by Mosharaf Hossain

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I really appreciated your detailed info. Thanks a million.

Friday, June 29, 2007 11:46 AM by Frank Sun

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

God bless ya, brother, for passing this on.  Huge help.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:37 AM by Trey

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I just did the following test: take a screenshot of Tesseract's download page and save as an image. Try using MS Office 2003 and try Tesseract to turn the screenshot into text. Terreract barely got 10 letters right. MS Office missed 1 letter on the whole page. I know which one I'm picking.

Monday, July 23, 2007 11:47 AM by Dinah

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Many thanks, my canon scanner 8000F wouldn't OCR (too old bundled software, Omnipage 2002 to be updated by miserly scansoft)Fortunately Office  2003 worked if you know how to find it

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:08 AM by Tonyc

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks a lot buddy

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 10:40 AM by rakesh

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I'm so glad I stumbled upon this after looking at various dodgy free downloads (I lost the disk with free OCR that came with my scanner). Sure enough, the funny little app was just where John said it was, and it works really well. Problem: wife with very old computer, no internet connection, no means of transferring files from it to my machine, wants to send an email. Solution: print the text, scan and OCR to Word on my computer, paste into email client and away we go. Brilliant!

Thursday, August 2, 2007 4:10 AM by Roger Bridgman

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is not free though, deceptive. The price for Office was in your computer. Many cheaper models come without it.

Friday, August 3, 2007 4:12 PM by dh

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks a ton for the posting Jon. Its a revelation worth commendation.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 9:18 PM by Ravinder

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You have saved me hours of work. So much quicker than text bridge. Thanks so much

Saturday, August 11, 2007 12:45 PM by Styn

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

How do I look for "free OCR software" on my computer if I have it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 1:22 PM by Barney

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hi Jon, Thanks. I looked yesterday for hours to find a simple and a good one and was already to pay. And it was on my computer! Just what I needed. Thanks again.

Pierre-Antoine

Monday, August 13, 2007 2:59 AM by Pierre-Antoine

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

hi, i really want to have it in order to complete my final project of BSCS. Thanks!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007 7:15 AM by Fahad Shahzad

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks Jon, I downloaded some free software which was not very good and then I found this link and discovered it was on my machine the whole time.

You are a star

thank you

Angi Wren

Monday, August 13, 2007 8:55 AM by Angi Wren

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Jon, You Da Man!!

Thanks for what was under my nose all the time.

Ed

Monday, August 13, 2007 10:13 PM by Ed Mazzilli

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Man you saved my weekend!  I had to transcribe a report made on a typewritter...

Thanks alot

Friday, August 17, 2007 10:58 PM by Rob M

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

That's brilliant.  Thanks a lot.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 11:46 PM by JR

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

It doesn't do well on columns of numbers.

Friday, August 24, 2007 12:03 AM by Boris

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for the help

Saturday, August 25, 2007 5:42 PM by chris perez

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i want to scan spanish and english image files and text files also and i need to return text using ocr

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 7:56 AM by sk.razia

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hi Jon!

Thanks a lot for your tip. I was looking for free OCR software and didn't find one that would work but MODI did. I just tried it out with a spanish text ant it worked good. Not perfect and the page format was lost, but with a little editing it was done ... in much lesser time than retyping the whole.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 10:05 AM by Hellmut Brinkmann

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

cheers mate - ur a legend bro

Thursday, August 30, 2007 8:52 AM by lilsick

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

PARA ESTUDIANTE DE NIVEL MEDIO BACHILLER MEXICO

Thursday, August 30, 2007 10:34 PM by JOSE CHUC

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks so much for sharing this information! I'm in the same boat you were in. You've saved me so much time!

Friday, September 7, 2007 5:56 PM by Bethany

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I used it with XP, but now have Vista.  I appears that it is not possible with this OS.  I have MS Office Word, Publisher, Excel, Powerpoint...but it appears no OCR.  Did Microsoft eliminate it in the newest version for Vista?

Saturday, September 8, 2007 6:37 PM by Linda

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thank-you very much for sharing this helpful information!  Your time posting these details has saved your readers so much more of their time.  

Monday, September 10, 2007 10:47 AM by Chris

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Do you think you'll ever stop getting kudos on this one?!?? I don't think you should - THANKS HEAPS

Friday, September 14, 2007 1:36 PM by Cynthia

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I need OCR Software freeware

Sunday, September 23, 2007 9:17 PM by Junaedi Tanuwijaya

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You are my hero!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007 11:43 PM by Dalit

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I just need a trail version of OCR.

Monday, September 24, 2007 5:03 AM by John

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

There it was under my nose all this time, as you say it works brilliantly, thanks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 5:12 AM by Patrick

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I LOVE you!!! Sharing this knowledge has saved me hours of work.

Monday, October 1, 2007 11:57 PM by HKH

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I don't have it... why??? :(

Saturday, October 6, 2007 8:42 AM by Spam Banjo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Worked a treat. Thanks!

Monday, October 8, 2007 11:24 AM by Michael

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is fantastic.  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 2:28 PM by HELL YEAH

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just a tip, if you have Office 2007, it isn't installed by default and you have to add it through add/remove programs and change Microsoft Office.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:46 PM by wedwards

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

MS Office tip worked ABSOLUTELY FANTASTICALLY! Thanks for being my life-saver today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 3:29 AM by anissat

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for this - saved a lot of time

Friday, October 19, 2007 1:15 AM by Jo Blo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Brilliant!  Tried SimpleOCR to extract text from a PDF screenshot - terrible results! The Office XP software works flawlessly and it was there on my machine all along.  Huge timesaver.  Thank you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:35 PM by durutti

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

To recap much from the previous posts:

1) This is a sub-program of MS Office 2003+; you must own MS Office; it must be installed via advanced options, it is not part of the default install.  You have to have the program discs to do this.  [Don't have them?  Hmmm... yours is a pirated copy, perhaps?]

2) It does not retain columns.  Lots of other stuff it won't do; remember, MS doesn't even advertise that it is part of Office, so don't expect Nuance Textbridge or ABBYY Finereader, just be happy if you have it and it works for you.

3) It is not an optical handwriting recognition program, unless you are an engineering or architectural draftsman old enough to have learned draftsman script.  My father could have done this, maybe.  Me?  Not a chance!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 7:33 PM by kd7mvs

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I want Free OCR to complete my project of HandWritting Recognition System.

   Plz send its code to my e-mail.

      Thanking in anticipation.

Saturday, October 27, 2007 6:53 PM by Fahad

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Not only does text capture from a PDF introduce weird formatting glitches, it's also possible for a PDF to have security settings such that you arte not allowed to capture text from it.  In that case, doing an image capture from the screen of an enlarged image of the PDF, converting that to TIF and using the Office OCR should work just fine.  However, be advised that if the PDF has such security settings, then working around them may be a violation of the owners copyright.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:23 PM by August Mohr

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hey - thanks for this info! I never thought to see if MSOffice had something like. I actually assumed it didn't lol.

I was searching online for a tool to download and came across your post, and now I'm scanning in this 30 page doc and it's coming out as a word doc. Thanks for the tip dude! much appreciated!

Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:08 PM by anon

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks... saved me the search and evaluate time

Friday, November 16, 2007 1:35 AM by anon

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Have you tried simpleOCR (www.simpleocr.com). It is free and fairly effecttive.

Cheers

Friday, November 16, 2007 9:57 PM by Paul bournival

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just great. Thanks a bunch

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:26 AM by B.S.Karadi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks, brilliant software that i didn't even know i had!

Friday, November 30, 2007 2:46 PM by J0N35

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for ur comment. I too didnt know that I have.

Thank u very much.

Monday, December 3, 2007 3:34 PM by Senthil

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hi Jon.

A really useful post which google pushed to the top of the list... wonderful!

Many thanks indeed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007 7:23 AM by Richard R

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Coool, over a year later and your great post keeps on giving, thanks

Friday, December 7, 2007 10:29 PM by trix

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just installed an all-in-one printer on my system at work and wondereed what I was going to do when I discovered it didn't come with OCR software. Question answered: turns out I had MODI installed all along.  Thanks loads for ferreting this out.

Monday, December 10, 2007 2:23 PM by El_Kabong

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thats frekin awesome! - Thanks. Just what I needed. Found it straight away thanks to google!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 5:55 AM by Andy

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks Jon.  You have provided very crucial information!

Friday, December 21, 2007 5:03 AM by Vikram

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

As well as I thought I knew the Microsoft suite... I've learned something new today. Thanks a bundle!

Sunday, December 23, 2007 7:56 AM by Steve

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Great tip!!! Awesome!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007 11:28 AM by Nuno M

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for the tip.  I used the windows search feature for "microsoft windows image" and it automatically found the shortcut...did not have to go into the folders.

Monday, December 31, 2007 1:30 PM by Ed Pagliassotti

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

please send me a e mail as how to find the free OCR

Thursday, January 3, 2008 7:43 PM by ray428@copper.net

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

^^ Read the article, dummy.

Monday, January 7, 2008 6:27 AM by Fblabber

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Great tip !!!  You saved me a lot of time and hassle.  You rock !

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 11:34 PM by Bill

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

YOU'RE MY HERO! Thanks so much for posting your findings.

Saturday, January 12, 2008 10:21 AM by Paula

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I Need OCR software for PDf to Word Converting

Monday, January 14, 2008 11:45 PM by Prabhu

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I don't know about this OCR software...I call it BUTCH

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 8:42 AM by Grant Knudsen

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You just saved me 50 minutes of of my life which I'd have spent typing... Two words: thank you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 11:13 PM by СК

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

It works! I can;t beleive it I was in town in three computer software stores and they didn't seem to lnow what I was talking about the last one finaly found something on the net and offered to order it but i declined and started to goggle and soon found I had it thanks to you and it works just like I wonded it to

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:46 AM by David B Wolfe

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

can't see for looking now can i absolutely great

many thanks

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 6:39 PM by frodo from shropshire

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This tip was a lifesaver!  I had some scanned POD's from an international shipment that I needed to verify with a master Excel file.  Manually, this would have taken hours.  Your tip using MS Office took the scanned .pdf (from an original tiff) and converted perfectly.  The original was 6 pages of waybills.  Copy, paste, vlookup, and BAM!

Thanks!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008 1:16 PM by Eric D

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Good find - thanks! Has anyone figured out how to convert HANDWRITING to text?

Friday, February 1, 2008 9:00 PM by Nik

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I love you. I used to have Text Bridge. This is so much easier and better to use and it's free.

Go the web and go you - for taking your time. IF you were here next to me I'd give you a big soggie kiss right now. :)

Yoav.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 6:44 PM by Yoav Factor

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks a lot!  This save me so much time and money as well.

Great post!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008 10:22 AM by RAY EDWARDS

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Very cool, thanks, saved me heaps of time

Thursday, February 7, 2008 6:56 PM by Siigrid Malessa

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I have it, and it's working fine on English and Danish, but doesn't seem to work on German. I copied from a PDF file.

Friday, February 8, 2008 2:48 AM by Lars Bo Jensen

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Jon and especially Joe Hren get my undying gratitude.  Nuance wouldn't update my too-old Omnipage when I moved to Vista.  Who'd guess a comment in an unknown (to me) blog somewhere on the vast net could save me $150 or more and many hours of frustration! And it was all about a right-click! You're my Valentines.

Monday, February 11, 2008 1:06 PM by Suzanne

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Sir,

i Need one OCR Software . for scanning the image ....

if is available please let me know.

Regards

Ajith

Mangalore

Ph: +91 9845557668

Email:ajit@binaryindia.com

ajitok@rediffmail.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:17 AM by Ajith

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I'm still running Office 2000, so I don't have this option, and my old copy of Omnipage 10 anymore doesn't save as PDF.  Still, I know I got I.R.I.S. OCR software with my HP all-in-one scanner/printer.  Until today, though, I haven't been able to figure out how to make it work except when I was scanning a new image.  I have several existing image files on my computer which I'd like to convert to text.  Reading these comments got me digging, and in MY case the answer was found in C:\Program Files\HP\Digital Imaging\DocProc\dpe_ocr.exe.  It works well for me, and since this seems to be becoming a catch-all for "you may already have it" solutions, I thought I'd share it here.

Friday, February 22, 2008 12:30 PM by David

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks a lot. Solved my problems

Sunday, February 24, 2008 9:55 PM by SC

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is very handy.  I had been retyping text from image PDF -- but no more!  Thanks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 11:55 AM by Jim Lewis

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Nice one, thanks you saved me time and money

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:23 PM by Jeremy

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This was great. I used it on a copy-protected PDF (had to use alt-PrtScrn to grab image) and the OCR quality was almost perfect. Saved me hours of retyping!

Friday, March 21, 2008 3:37 PM by Bruce Altner

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

some people desreve public recognition . yourare definitely one of them. thanks for making my life easier.

lorrie

Friday, March 28, 2008 10:34 PM by lorrie johnstone

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

MICROSOFT WORD FTW!?!?!?!?!?!?

worked amazing!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008 11:22 PM by OH YEAH

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for posting this. You have made my typing life so much easier.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 10:37 AM by Susan Houde

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Excellent. A job I was about to hate turned into a breeze. From PDF to text. Thank you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 5:34 PM by Paul deVere

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

It seems to be great software just what I need. Where do I get it? I searched my system and its not there can it be downloaded anywhere? I have searched and searched and could not find it!!

Monday, April 7, 2008 12:12 PM by Seamus

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This was of great help, thanks!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 4:12 AM by Jorn

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

May already be in these comments somewhere, but to copy a table into a spreadsheet, highlight and copy a column at a time after running OCR. Crude but works; it had a little trouble with dates is all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 4:10 PM by Giles

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks, that was exactly what I needed!

Many thanks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 10:19 PM by Sam

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks - you obviously have a hit blog here - great

Friday, April 11, 2008 4:44 AM by rob leach

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hi,

Just like Pat Wilson, I also have a problem opening my excel files.  A window installer pops up and then says that the network source is unavailable.  It will then ask for PRO11.msi which I don't have in my computer.  I don't have my windows operating disk as well. Where can I get this PRO11.msi thing?  Thanks.  

Saturday, April 12, 2008 9:19 PM by Carmela Tords

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks Dear, you have done a great job for me at least.

Thanks Again

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:35 AM by Naseem Ahmad Hanfi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Please send me the free OCR software.

Just kidding.  Great tip, I had no idea it was there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:44 AM by Bill Lait

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

my lexmark printer did the automatically before but i cant get it to do it again but now i can do it this way thxs

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:54 AM by John

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

if u have adobe acrobat pro, it also has an ocr. nothing beats abbyy reader though, it's better than omnipage, which is more expensive.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:22 AM by chicken

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Jon, my thanks to you! I was looking for an OCR program I used to have packaged with a translation program and couldn't find it; a Google search led me here. Awesome! Thanx for sharing this tip!

Sunday, April 27, 2008 4:57 PM by Rivahcat

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is awesome and works great.  I do have to scan each page and manually assemble the pieces, but the character recognition is superb compared to the other two downloaded programs it tried.  I have not had to do any tweaking! thanks !

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:42 AM by carol

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Nice one, exactly what I was looking for - GENIUS!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008 4:50 AM by Steve Nichol

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

yes, you are GENIUS! thanks...

Thursday, May 8, 2008 1:34 PM by gai

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

PARKO 18-68

11206, VILNIUS

LITHUANIA

Friday, May 9, 2008 2:07 AM by MANTAS KERNAGIS

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks much for the tip. I have OCR software that came with my scanner, but I didn't want to install the whole scanner suite at this time. This tip saved me a lot of time. Sweet!

Friday, May 9, 2008 1:17 PM by Heidi in Chicago

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Seriously it work soooo cool thx u very much.

Monday, May 19, 2008 8:00 AM by sree8133

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You saved my day ! HP only released a basic Vista driver for my older HP Scanjet 3750C. With your trick I didn't have to try (and fail) to install the old XP scanner package. And I don't need the fancy stuff they give with the scanner anyway ... just a waste of HD space.

Friday, May 30, 2008 10:50 AM by Luc

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Pls. send me your OCR software. GOD bless you. Thanx.

Sunday, June 1, 2008 1:31 AM by Shankar

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

thanks a lot and works with office 2007 too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 1:30 AM by Br

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

please send the free OCR software, thx in advance

Thursday, June 5, 2008 2:09 AM by shanky

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks a million! I just wonder why it is kind of a "hidden" option in Ms Office Pack!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:48 AM by Helen Goldberg

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I heart you, John Galloway!

Thursday, June 12, 2008 7:54 PM by Ronica

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

thanks you so much.. very very helpful.. A posting that is truly noteworthy. made me fall in love with MS office...

Saturday, June 14, 2008 2:21 PM by MikeyG

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hm, that was a surprise. The Microsoft Office OCR worked very well, but I didn't even know it was there! I was thinking of buying software & saved money thanks to this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 3:47 AM by Ben

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i need a free download software that will help me convert a handwritten material to a text in microsoft word font style.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:37 AM by charles okonjo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i need a free download for a software that can aid a hp scanner in converting handwritten character to a microsoft word character.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:41 AM by charles okonjo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks ... this is cool.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:20 PM by OlaJobi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is the Best information! You have made extracting information from a nightmare report, a pleasant dream.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 1:30 PM by S. Blauvelt

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

How can I acheive throu coding in .net. Reading a hand written text from image file like bmp/jpg/jpeg/gif.,etc .

let me know.

pls send any link or idea to this id linguage_23@yahoo.com

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 6:26 AM by Ramesh

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Wow!  Thanks for making me look like a superstar!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:09 AM by Lauren

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I look up tricks to making my life easier on the internet all the time but this is the first time I have ever commented on something I've found... this MODI feature makes me so excited that I now realize what a computer dork I am.

I reiterate what Lauren said... thanks for making me look like a superstar!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 1:26 PM by jennifer

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I need something that can convert the thoughts in my head into MS Word format?

Can anyone help me.

NEvertheless Mr Jonny - you have broght be a micro-step closer to my dream.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:39 PM by Jimmy

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Dude, thanks so much for the info!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:45 PM by Grateful Person

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Tks so much. My son offered to help to type some parts of textbk for his blind classmate so that it can be converted to Braille and I told him don't do that yet as I looked for some software to do that job. I've been hunting for abt a wk now and this morning got yours, tried & it worked. Great! May God bless you for sharing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008 8:14 PM by teckyee

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for this, works a treat.   I note some guys state used to work on xp but not on Vista.    I use Vista Ultimate and no probs as long as you kept office setup files after installation all OK otherwise it asks to insert disc - office disc but then no probs.  Many Thanks

Monday, August 11, 2008 6:18 AM by wiltedelf

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Yeh good one mate. Saved me some real life drama.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 6:44 AM by Barks

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just another thanks for pointing the way to this feature.

Friday, August 22, 2008 5:18 PM by Lisa

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

thanks a lot. just saved my life

Friday, September 5, 2008 1:04 AM by Kris

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

The most useful advice I've found in some time.  The MS Office toole worked perfectly.  Thanks so much.

Sunday, September 7, 2008 11:36 AM by Angelo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

please provide me the link so that i can easily have the free ocr  

Saturday, September 13, 2008 7:00 AM by azaz

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks! This works like a charm. At first I had some troubles when using the copy function of Adobe Reader but when I started to use Cropper it works perfect!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 11:24 AM by TeraByte

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Wow. When you said "You may already have it".

I thought why not look into it and give it a chance.

Boy it is a good OCR software. Hardly any errors execpt in a few ALL CAPITAL words.

I spent thousands of (Indian Rs) recently, I wish I new earlier. (1US$ = 46Rs)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:35 AM by Govind

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

men u saved my ass, my boss wud not have found it funny that my report was not ready, i scanned them all. thanks

Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:59 AM by Kelvin

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Found the programme and very impressed with what you can do with it. Many Thanks

Friday, September 26, 2008 1:18 PM by Geoff-UK

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Very useful, very simple... Thanks a lot for such a simple way to share your experience and knowledge!!!

Thankyou very much buddy!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008 12:53 AM by Paco Ruiz (MX)

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I love you. You may have saved my degree.

Thursday, October 9, 2008 11:05 PM by NZ dooley

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

nice , i am very interest of this software

Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:49 AM by linkon

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:36 PM by MichaelP

Thanks Michael please guide in future also................it will help us a lot....once again THANKS--------VENKY

Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:19 AM by VENKY

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Top Notch, I thought I knew what office had to offer... Saved me 3 hours work AND I know what to do next time. Thanks

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 9:50 AM by John

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Do you know if it can be automated to scan only a window in the image instead of the whole TIF?

Friday, November 7, 2008 1:08 PM by mike

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just another word of THANKS! I've been looking for a free and easy OCR program and one that actually works well for many many years. And this one works in Vista Office by the way. Same place as you described, except it's in folder MODI/12.0. Again, many many THANKS.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 4:49 PM by Robert

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I know alot of poeple have expressed thier appreciation for sharing this.  Again, I am joining others to say many many THANKS!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008 7:11 PM by Joseph

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Just another word of THANKS! I've been looking for a free and easy OCR program and one that actually works well for many many years. And this one works in Vista Office by the way. Same place as you described, except it's in folder  many many THANKS.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:52 AM by shabt

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I'm using it to take a scanned study guide, grab the text as Q&A for Flashcard Exhange, export it .XLS and use Flash! on PalmOS for portable study.  This is way cool!  Thanks so much!

Thursday, November 27, 2008 1:18 PM by Damian

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Well done John. Just like you, I've been searching for free OCR with very limitted success. This ones not fantasticly accurate, but it'll do for me. Thanks

Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:50 AM by Peter

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i should be needed now

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 3:38 AM by niranjan

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hey nice one ! Googled this and found your page worked really well - even white on blue from a book jacket - will save me loads of time - thanks friendly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 7:15 AM by Martin

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is really some kickass info thanks a lot

Friday, December 5, 2008 5:34 AM by Supreet

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Yer a legend, mate!

Ta muchly for the clue. I've got happy library staff, now that they don't have to retype blurbs.

Lady H

Perth, Western Australia

Monday, December 15, 2008 8:18 PM by LadyH

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Hooray! Had a look around for free OCR software before, and concluded there was none that was usable. Came upon this page today, and it works a treat! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 10:29 AM by Cormac

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Would have been nice if you included some Linux OCR software as well (if any exist out there), but I guess I'll have to ask Google for it or try WINE with these you mentioned ;-) Thanks.

Monday, January 19, 2009 12:38 PM by Darko Maksimović

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

v0=tihberbfv0erobf[-oer]-thgbier]-gt0

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:24 PM by fuw4t=g8erwgi9]-er0

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

What about free ocr for  macs (mac 10.4)

albroth@comcast.net

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:23 PM by Albert rothman

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You Made My Day JON, KUDOS !!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009 11:09 PM by Gabriel Bonilla

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Cant thank u guys enough

Sunday, January 25, 2009 7:54 PM by AVI

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

looking for the best software

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 1:39 AM by yogi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks for sharing this. I've had this all along and never had a clue that it could do OCR. It has helped me at work and I didn't have to request a software purchase. God Bless

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 5:03 PM by hi

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

You sir, are a hero!

Small info for those who don't find MODI; I did not at first, then went to MS help pages. For Office 2007, MODI is not installed by default. You want to find you installation CD and select it again in order to install it.

The last thing I need is a software that turns PDF files into image files.

Saturday, February 28, 2009 11:38 PM by Victor Noagbodji

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Excelent tip, Thanks,

you may want to try an OCR implementation OVER the Tesseract called:

FreeOCR.net V2.6 Free PDF OCR Software

Last Updated Jan 2009, using the Tesseract engine v2.03

It works smoothky and even reads PDF files

Monday, March 2, 2009 9:41 AM by Moshe

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Worked like charm!  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 4:47 PM by Bill

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I typed in OCR software into Google, and this page was about result number 7 on the hit list - and it deserves to be! Thanks for a really useful article, Jon.  

Thursday, March 5, 2009 10:59 PM by John C

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thanks! I also didnt kew about it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 6:45 AM by Stelmo

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

i want this software

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 3:36 PM by mohamed

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Thankfully, this is up to #2 on Google's "free ocr" search! Who knew that MS could actually have usable software?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 5:13 PM by Jeremy Eble

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Outstanding! This just saved me hours of research trying to purchase the right product, not to mention the money it will save my company.

Friday, March 13, 2009 5:23 PM by Jesse

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Brilliant, Like many here, You've just saved me a lot of time & money. OCR software that came with My New Multi Function Canon Pixma 980 isn't that good but this method will do better.

Thank You,

Sunday, March 15, 2009 7:49 AM by Big M

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I have Office 207 but no applications under the MODI/12 folder! Also, someone said that Office Onenote 2007 has OCR: I cannot find it there and the Help menu does not tell you anything about it. But thanks anyway!

Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:03 AM by Hans Baer

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Doesn't come with Office 2007 - they've replaced it with Microsoft Ofice Picture Manager. I still have a MODI folder, with a 12 folder below, but there's no .exe file to run it (the folder may be left over from a previous installation of Office 2003 before I obtained the pc).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 4:30 PM by Bill

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Ta very much, you have helped me out heaps with this!

Monday, March 30, 2009 5:46 PM by Andrew Robbins

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

This is a great tip. I was just searching the net for info on OCR, and by accident stumbled on your page. I just have to find the easiest way to get table data into Exel.

Good times to all.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 3:21 AM by Kim

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

I like the OCRTools application. Its free, and it converts the whole image to text, or you can select a portion to convert. The new version is pretty good. Its at www.ocrtools.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:01 AM by Roger

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Great, saved me time and money. THANKS A LOT!!

Friday, April 3, 2009 2:16 PM by Fred

# re: Free OCR software? You may already have it...

Does this support Japanese characters?

Friday, April 10, 2009 7:49 AM by Jam