What software can I use to OCR a PDF file?

Anonymous April 10, 2014
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I’d like to find a software that is able to recognize text in a scanned document PDF file. I know that Adobe Acrobat Pro is able to do it, but I really would not like to spend $ 689 on this software. Is there a free software that is able to do it? Or, at least, a cheap software?

Thanks all in advance!

  1. Ion P
    April 12, 2014 at 7:27 am

    PDF-XChange Viewer.
    The FREE OCR functionality supports a base language set of English, French, German & Spanish. Additional Language Extension Packages are available also.
    See for more: http://www.tracker-software.com/product/downloads

    • Hovsep A
      April 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      thats a good one too

  2. Oron J
    April 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    As a free option, Google Drive! Upload the PDFs and Google will OCR them for you.

    Most commercial OCR products will also "read" PDFs. My favourites are Abbyy FineReader and Nuance OmniPage. They're not free, but far cheaper than Acrobat! Abbyy also has an online service (http://finereader.abbyyonline.com/en) which allows you to convert your documents on demand. It too costs something, but you pay by the page (around $0.15 if I remember correctly). The accuracy is not quite as good as the standalone product, but still very high.

    There are a bunch of "PDF to Word" products out there as well. Their accuracy depends on how the document was created in the first place. If the document was generated from a word processor/page layout program using a standard driver, they will usually produce good results. If the PDF is a scan of printed documents, they will not produce a result at all as they don't have an OCR module. Again, I have had good experience with Abbyy PDF Transformer+. There are also plenty of free products, and my experience with them is that your mileage will vary - some documents convert well, others not.

  3. Kaushal A
    April 10, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    foxit reader

  4. Rajaa C
    April 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Try Able2Extract Professional. Not too costly.


    • Hovsep A
      April 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      it is a good one, great to extract some parts fro pdf file and not all the pdf file

  5. Jan F
    April 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

    This article lists a few freeware options for OCR

    Then there is NitroPDF, a nice Acrobat alternative (2 weeks trial)

    On a side note, you can get Acrobat Pro as a Creative Cloud Single-App subscription for about $20 p.m.

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