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.

You can find the various types of OCR software with a description of each below.

Users within a single department, working from home or who have a small business can simply scan their documents to a folder that is shared to everyone. In this “ad-hoc” scenario you only need some basic document scanning software to simplify and bring consistency to your filing system.

If you want to move to the next level, there are Desktop Document Management options that provide an all-in-one means for capture, storage, search and retrieval of documents. Additionally, they provide security, advanced capabilities and ease of use above that of the ad-hoc methods

And let’s not forget cloud-based options that alleviate the need to maintain storage servers or keep software up to date.

Need a simple, no frills OCR solution without spending hundreds of dollars on a professional software package? Look no further. There is a no cost, donation optional, OCR freeware solution for you.

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Freeware OCR

Optical Character Recognition software comes in a variety of types, but the control group to which they are compared are Desktop level OCR software. These give an assortment of features for affordable prices.

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Desktop OCR

PDF Converters are similar to but separate from regular OCR software. They offer fewer options, but many of them are able to modify PDF files in other ways, such as reducing the file size and adding security measures.

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PDF Conversions

Document scanning software lets you scan, name, and organize batches of documents automatically, speeding up processing time while minimizing user input.

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Document Scanning

The majority of OCR software is written for the Windows platform. A few companies do produce software compatible with MacOS, and while most of these are slightly more limited, this discrepancy is shrinking.

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Mac OCR

Speed up or even automate the recognition and export of machine-typed and hand-printed form data using the latest in enterprise level forms processing software.

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Forms Processing

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