SimpleOCR crashes during the OCR process

Most crash bugs have been fixed in version 3.0 of SimpleOCR.  Please download the new version to eliminate these errors and greatly improve your SimpleOCR experience!

First of all, please be sure to have the last version of SimpleOCR and restart your computer. Then try the following.

Load the SimpleOCR.tif sample file shipped with SimpleOCR and try to OCR it. If you have a crash, please try to uncheck to “extract images” option and retry.  This option doesn’t work on old versions of Windows 95.

Look at SimpleOCR status bar once your document is displayed. You should see something like ‘1728×2200 horizontal and vertical image resolution in Dots Per Inch. If you have some strange values for the resolution (like DPI), it means that your scanning software doesn’t fill the resolution fields properly and it can make SimpleOCR crash. You can report the problem to your scanner manufacturer. Unfortunately, you can’t modify the resolution fields by hand from SimpleOCR. Save the document in a TIFF file and then use a TIFF file editor to change the resolution fields.

If it works with the sample file but not on your document, please try to select the text areas by hand using the “Create Area” tool.

In any case, please mail us a bug report.

2020-11-13T18:06:41-05:00Tags: |

The OCR results are poor

The scanning quality is very important. You should obtain a quality comparable with the quality of the sample file shipped with SimpleOCR.

Usually you should use a scanning resolution of 300 DPI.  It could be less if the characters are quite big or more if the characters are small.

Next, carefully tune the scanning brightness. Look at the characters in the resulting image. They should be clean. If you have a lot of characters in several pieces (i.e. image is too light) or many characters stuck together (i.e. image is too dark), you should tune the scanning brightness (or try a higher scanning resolution).

If your document has a sophisticated page layout, you can help SimpleOCR by selecting the text areas by hand using the “Create Area” tool.

Avoid having a scanning area bigger than the document.  In this case you can have black borders around the document and SimpleOCR doesn’t like that.

2020-11-13T18:01:17-05:00Tags: |

I have a “Too many shapes” error

This problem occurs when there is more than 20,000 distinct “shapes” (a set of connected pixels) in a document. This probably means your document is “noisy” (a lot of small dots everywhere) or there is an image in your document which looks like a cloud of points.

Two solutions:

  • select the “noisy” option in the bottom toolbar
  • select the text areas with the “area” tool.
2020-12-09T17:47:29-05:00Tags: |

SimpleOCR doesn’t recognize my scanner

Your scanner must be a TWAIN compliant scanner that can acquire a black and white image or grayscale image. A common problem is that you have installed an old 16 bit driver that can’t communicate with 32 bit applications like SimpleOCR. Try to get an updated driver by downloading it from your scanner manufacturer’s website.

If it still doesn’t work, you can always scan from your scanning software, save the resulting image in a black and white TIFF file, and process the file with SimpleOCR.

2020-11-13T17:55:23-05:00Tags: |


SimpleIndex can bring speed and efficiency to your scanning or doc filing no matter the process. Even if all you are doing is hand keying a few basic details about a document, breaking those details into individual indexes and adding tools like drop down choice lists, automatic orientation, and blank page deletion ensure a smoother, more consistent process.


Here’s where things start to get interesting. From basic tasks like splitting individual documents within at stack of pages by spotting a blank page, a specific mark, or a barcode separator to capturing index data directly from the page or looking up additional details about a document in a database, SimpleIndex has a host of powerful tools to tame your piles of paper or drives full of digital files. Let’s look at a few.


Optical Character Recognition is the ability to take a scan, which is merely a picture of a page, and turn it into words that the computer can understand and use to index your files. SimpleIndex leverages the power of ABBYY FineReader, recognized as one of the best OCR engines on the market, to accurately capture names, dates, important numbers, document types, and other details about your file. Some products have you set a box and capture whatever information happens to fall in that zone. SimpleIndex takes it further with Dynamic Zone OCR to enable you to set an oversized zone that allows for shifting of the pages between scans, but still captures just the date you need by matching against templates, lists, or even Regular Expressions (RegEx). You can also skip the zones entirely and use the full text of a page to find matches for your index data.


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Accurate OCR starts with quality images. Efficient OCR starts with fast scanning. Find Document Scanners built for OCR at ScanStore.

Our Team of OCR experts is here to help! SimpleOCR is not just Freeware, we have every kind of OCR solution from PDF Converters to Enterprise Data Capture, OCR Servers and Handprint Recognition for Forms and Surveys. Live chat with an OCR specialist now or Contact Us for a consultation on your OCR project.

SimpleOCR is the popular freeware OCR Software with hundreds of thousands of users worldwide. SimpleOCR is also a royalty-free OCR SDK for developers to use in their custom applications.

SimpleIndex is OCR built for business, offering powerful batch scanning, OCR server, and data capture features with a simple user interface and affordable licensing.

If you like free stuff, freeware versions of our SimpleView Document Viewer (with Tesseract OCR), SimpleCoversheet Bar Code Printer, and SimpleExport CSV to XML Converter are also available.

If you have a scanner and want to avoid retyping your documents, SimpleOCR is the fast, free way to do it. The SimpleOCR freeware is 100% free and not limited in any way. Anyone can use SimpleOCR for free–home users, educational institutions, even corporate users.

If your documents have multi-column layouts, non-standard fonts, tables, poor quality or digital camera images, you will not have much success with applications based on free and open source engines like SimpleOCR and Tesseract. You will need a commercial OCR application to get an accurate read. Our OCR Guide compares desktop and […]


Thank you for choosing SimpleOCR–the royalty-free OCR engine! These instructions will tell you the basics of how to integrate SimpleOCR into your application.

SimpleOCR contains several group of functions including image manipulation, image I/O with TIFF files, image acquisition with TWAIN compliant scanners, and of course, OCR. Note that SimpleOCR can read and create TIFF files containing bi-level (i.e. black & white) images. TIFF files are created by SimpleOCR using the CCITT Group IV compression scheme, but it can read most TIFF bi-level images.

The source code examples are given in VB and C++. The function headers are given in C++, since this is the original language that SimpleOCR was written in. To translate, simply replace all pointer variables with long integers and all char * with strings. Also, the ActiveX functions all have an “X” appended to the name (OCR->OCRX, LoadImg->LoadImgX, etc.). In the documentation, SimpleOCR refers to general library functions, while SimpleOCX is used to refer specifically to the ActiveX control.

SimpleOCX is an ActiveX dynamic link library (Dll) that allows developers to quickly integrate the SimpleOCR functions from any ActiveX-compatible programming environment. SimpleOCX acts as a “wrapper” for the core SimpleOCR libraries. Hence, SimpleOCX is not a native ActiveX control; it only provides an ActiveX interface to the SimpleOCR functions contained in ocrdll.dll and dlltwain.dll. Programmers who desire more efficient execution may forgo use of SimpleOCX.dll and interface directly with the core libraries.

Adding SimpleOCR to your application

The following instructions are provided in Visual Basic, but the implementation of SimpleOCR is similar in any development environment that uses ActiveX. Consult your documentation for language-specific instructions on how to integrate ActiveX dlls.

  1. Ensure that SimpleOCX.dll has been properly registered using “regsvr32.exe c:\Program Files\SimpleOCR\simpleocx.dll”

  2. Add a reference to “SimpleOCX” using the Project/References menu

  3. You can now declare variables of type “SimpleOCR” and […]

2021-01-23T09:29:06-05:00Tags: , |


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Our Enterprise OCR products offer many configuration and licensing options. For a fast, accurate quote please include estimated number of pages to process (annually or in total) and a description of the data capture requirements.

If we’re online you can chat with an expert immediately using the box in the lower-right. Our hours are 9AM to 5PM Eastern time zone.

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Our experts are here to help with your OCR project. Let us help you find the right application, assist with setup and configuration, or integrate it with your business applications.

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Please see our Knowledge Base for answers to common problems. Since the SimpleOCR application is free, our support staff is unable to respond to most inquiries.

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Technical support for the SimpleOCR SDK is limited to installation and licensing issues. Assistance with scripting, performance, bug fixes, enhancements or integration require professional services.

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The SimpleOCR SDK is a fast, lightweight OCR engine designed to let developers add basic OCR functions to an application with minimal cost and none of the drawbacks of open source solutions.

The ABBYY FineReader SDK is a fully-featured OCR engine with advanced features like handprint recognition, barcode recognition, ID and business card recognition, and support for 200+ languages including Asian scripts, Arabic and Hebrew. FineReader SDK is available in both Cloud and On-Premise versions.

The ABBYY FlexiCapture SDK gives you advanced, AI-based OCR data capture capabilities like document classification, forms processing, invoice processing, and machine learning for training data extraction templates.

You can shop for all of these in our OCR store, and our expert staff will be here to advise and assist in your OCR development project. Contact us to see how we can help!

The Smallest Footprint of Any OCR Engine

SimpleOCR is implemented as two C++ dlls with a total file size under 1 megabyte, making it perfect for mobile OCR applications, shareware and freeware applications, or any solution where the 100-500 megabyte footprint of modern OCR engines is impractical. Wrapper dlls and sample code for easy ActiveX and .NET integration are also provided.

The SimpleOCR SDK contains several group of functions including image manipulation, image I/O with TIFF files, image acquisition with TWAIN compliant scanners, and of course, OCR. Note that SimpleOCR SDK can read bi-level and grayscale, and create TIFF files containing bi-level (i.e. black & white) images. TIFF files are created by SimpleOCR SDK using the CCITT Group IV compression scheme, but it can read most TIFF bi-level and grayscale images.

SimpleOCR SDK Documentation

Version 3.5 adds many important […]

OCR Freeware

About SimpleOCR Freeware

Do you dread having to retype that document you are holding in your hand? If only you had the electronic file, your life would be so much easier. With SimpleOCR, you could easily and accurately convert that paper document into editable electronic text for use in any application including Word and WordPerfect.

Not only is SimpleOCR up to 99% accurate, it is 100% free.

Download SimpleOCR now or learn more its feature and functions.


With optical character recognition up to 99% accurate, there is no better OCR application for the price. This increased accuracy greatly reduces the need for post-recognition proof reading and correction. And after all, isn’t that why you want to OCR the document in the first place? Of course it is!

System Requirements

SimpleOCR works on any version of windows, from Windows 95-10 and beyond! Your scanner need only a TWAIN driver, the driver that comes with a majority of all scanners sold. In short, SimpleOCR will most likely work with the PC and scanner you already have.


SimpleOCR is free for all commercial and non-commercial purposes. It may be re-distributed freely, but only in its original, unaltered form.

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  • Huge Dictionary – With more than 120,000 words, it is unlikely that SimpleOCR will run into a word it does not know. In the rare event that it does, our improved text editor allows you to easily add the new word to the dictionary. By adding new words to the dictionary, SimpleOCR becomes better with every use.

  • Attention! SimpleOCR does NOT have any handprint OCR capabilities, it will not be able to recognize handwritten text. ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) is rather complicated software usually on a more expensive side.

  • Despeckle – For those documents which are not […]

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