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When you scan a document that has text or numeric data on it, you are able to read and understand what is written in the scanned image. However, to a computer, the resulting image file is just as meaningless an assortment of pixels as a landscape photo. In order to transform this information into an editable format that you can search through, copy, and modify without retyping it manually, you will need the an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

There is a wide variety of OCR software available. While they all share the ability to convert images of machine printed (not handwritten) text or numbers into an editable format, the various software often have different features, accuracy, prices, and language options.

The majority of OCR software is written for the Windows platform, but a few of the major companies have released versions for MacOS systems, as well. Mac OCR software are often slightly more limited than their PC counterparts, but this discrepancy is getting less and less pronounced with every version.

Currently, there are are professional versions of ABBYY FineReader and both pro and corporate versions of ReadIRIS available for MacOS.

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ABBYY FineReader 14 Professional for Mac

Creates editable, searchable files and e-books from scans, PDFs and digital photographs. The most accurate OCR available for OSX, its unmatched recognition and conversion eliminates retyping and reformatting. Sophisticated yet remarkably intuitive, FineReader has an easy-to-use interface that makes even the most complex tasks simple.

IRIS ReadIRIS 16 Pro for Mac

Affordable OCR software for Macintosh users using the latest version of the IRIS OCR engine.

IRIS ReadIRIS 16 Corporate for Mac

Adds support for files over 50 pages, business card recognition, as well as automatic processing of hot folders.