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Best Free Online OCR Softwares

To extract text from images or PDFs, you no longer need Adobe Acrobat.

Without the hassle of installing an app on your computer, there is a lot of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software available online that does a similar or better job.

They’re also cross-platform, as all you need is a browser. The best part is that these free online OCR applications are simple to use.

Best Free OCR Software Online

Each web app has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which we will outline in detail. It’s worth noting that you’ll have to upload the file online, which could pose a security and privacy risk, even though most web apps claim to delete files after a certain amount of time.

1. Google Docs

The majority of Google Docs users are unaware of a hidden OCR feature. Upload the PDF file to Google Drive and open it with Google Docs to get access to it. Right-click the file, select Open from the drop-down menu, and select Google Docs. Google Docs will now automatically convert the PDF to an editable format. You can edit the file and save it in PDF format again, or you can copy any text from it.

free online ocr image to text

However, Google Docs does not allow you to extract text from images.

Pros

  • Option to edit.
  • Ability to save the extracted text in multiple formats including Microsoft Word.

Cons

  • Cannot extract text from images.

2. Google Keep

While Google’s OCR feature extracts text from PDFs, Google Keep also does so for images. All you have to do is open Google Keep, create a new note, and use the image icon to upload an image with text. Once the image has been added to the note, select Grab text image from the three-dot menu icon. That is all there is to it. All of the text from the image will be captured by Google Keep and added to the note for you to edit or copy.

ocr image to text online

The only drawback to Google Keep is that it occasionally messes up the formatting by inserting a new line in the middle of a sentence or failing to leave a gap between paragraphs. Despite this, it accurately extracts text but does not work with PDFs.

Pros

  • Easy to use and edit.
  • Ability to copy extracted text to Google Docs from within.

Cons

  • Cannot extract text from PDFs.
  • Have a few formatting issues.
  • Open Google Keep.

3. Workbench

Google Docs and Google Keep, in both, can extract and edit text from PDFs and images. Workbench is a simple online OCR software that extracts text from images and documents for free. Once you’ve uploaded the file, it will extract the text and provide you with a simple Copy text button to help you copy it. You can also upload images and documents from popular cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and others, in addition to your computer.

free ocr image to text

While the user interface is clean and simple to use, it lacks minor features such as the ability to edit the extracted text. Though the accuracy is adequate, the ability to make changes before copying text would have been useful. Perhaps in a later update?

Pros

  • Simple and minimal UI.
  • Ability to upload from major cloud storage services.

Cons

  • Cannot edit the extracted text.

4. Online OCR

While most free online OCR software only works with images and documents, Online OCR works with GIFs as well. It’s also one of the few OCR programmes that can save the extracted text as a Microsoft Word document. The layouts, formatting, tables, columns, and graphics from the original file will be preserved in the converted document by OnlineOCR. You can edit the text before copying it, unlike Workbench.

ocr text online

With multiple ads on the page, online OCR has a poor user interface.

Pros

  • Supports many file formats including GIFs.
  • Ability to save the text as Microsoft Word.

Cons

  • Not so good UI with multiple ads on the page.

5. Convertio

While all of the services only allow you to upload one image or document at a time, Convertio allows you to upload up to ten. You can upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $4.99 per month, to upload even more images and support files of any size. It also accepts a variety of file types, including text files, word documents, CSV, and epub. You can add a document from a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box, and then upload it back.

ocr tools for pdf

The extension’s only drawback is that it doesn’t support file types like webp and GIFs.

Pros

  • Ability to upload multiple photos or PDFs at once.
  • Cloud storage support.
  • Supports Microsoft Word.

Cons

  • Do not support many file formats such as Webp.

6. Copyfish

This isn’t a website, but rather a Chrome extension that can extract text from any image, video, document, or even a website that doesn’t have a right-click to copy option. Advanced features, such as automatic language detection and handwriting support, start at $19.92 per month.

The extension has no major drawbacks, but the pro plans are quite expensive.

Pros

  • Can extract text from anywhere on the web.
  • The Pro version also supports handwritten text.

Cons

  • Pro plans are subscription-based and expensive.

Wrapping Up: Best Free Online OCR Software

You can edit the text before copying it in Google Docs and Google Keep, which extract text from PDFs and images, respectively.

Workbench and Online OCR, on the other hand, are simple tools that anyone can use to extract text from a variety of supported file formats.

Convertio is an OCR tool that can extract text from multiple files at once, while Copyfish can extract text from any web page, regardless of file format.

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