The realm of OCR technology is not just burgeoning; it’s booming. By 2030, the global OCR market is projected to soar to a staggering USD 32.90 billion, growing at a CAGR of 14.8% from 2023. From the bustling corridors of financial institutions to the dynamic world of logistics, OCR technology has become an indispensable tool. In the BFSI sector alone, OCR has revolutionized operations, contributing to over 19% of the global OCR market revenue in 2022.
Its applications are diverse, from automated data entry processes, and transforming data into computer-readable formats, to enhancing customer experiences in digital onboarding and document verification.
This guide offers insights into the features of OCR software. We’ve also prepared a detailed comparison of the top 10 best OCR software available today, so you can choose one that fits your unique needs.
But first, let’s cover some basics…
What Is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is a digital tool designed to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files, or images containing text, into machine-readable text data. At its core, OCR software is engineered to recognize and interpret handwritten, typewritten, or printed text characters.
This innovative technology involves several key components: image processing for enhancing and preparing the scanned image, text segmentation for distinguishing text from the non-text components, character recognition for identifying individual characters, and output formatting to convert scanned documents into a readable and editable format.
Related: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) vs Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR): What’s the Difference?
How Do OCR Solutions Work?
The process of OCR involves several integral steps:
- Image Acquisition: This initial entails capturing or importing the image of the scanned document into the OCR software. This image serves as the basis for extracting data.
- Image Preprocessing: In this step, the quality of the image is enhanced to ensure accurate text extraction. Preprocessing may include noise reduction, contrast adjustment, and character segmentation to delineate individual characters.
- Character Recognition: At the heart of OCR, this stage employs pattern recognition techniques to identify each character in the image. The software compares these characters against a database of known characters, using trained patterns to accurately recognize and interpret them.
- Text Output: Finally, the OCR software generates a text file containing the extracted text. This text is now in a digital format that can be edited, searched, and integrated with other applications, transforming static images into dynamic and usable data.
Key Features to Look for in OCR Software
When evaluating OCR software, it’s important to consider the following features for optimal performance and usability:
- Accuracy: Essential for the reliability of the software, especially for processing important documents. High accuracy ensures fewer errors and less manual correction.
- Multilingual Support: This feature is critical for global businesses or users who deal with documents in various languages. It broadens the software’s applicability.
- Integration with Existing Systems: The software should easily integrate into your existing digital environment, ensuring a smooth workflow and avoiding compatibility issues.
- Supported Document Types: A versatile OCR solution supports a range of file formats, making it adaptable to various use cases.
- Price: Price is a significant consideration. Evaluate the cost against features offered to find a solution that provides value for money. Look for options that fit your budget while meeting your needs.
- Ease of Use: User-friendly software with an intuitive interface reduces the learning curve and improves efficiency.
- Additional Features: Features like batch processing, document conversion, and image enhancement can significantly improve productivity and the quality of outcomes.
Types of OCR Software
Understanding the different types of OCR apps and software helps in selecting the right one for your needs:
- Standalone OCR Software: This type is typically installed on a local computer. It’s best for individual or small-scale use where internet connectivity is not a constant requirement.
- Cloud-based OCR Software: This type operates on a subscription model and is accessible from anywhere via the Internet. It’s ideal for businesses that require flexibility and regular updates.
- OCR APIs: These are designed for developers who want to integrate OCR functionality into custom applications or workflows. They offer great flexibility and are suited for tailored OCR solutions in larger systems.
What Are the Use Cases of OCR Software?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is versatile, with applications spanning across various industries, enhancing efficiency and accessibility. Here are some key use cases:
- Digitizing Historical Documents: OCR plays a vital role in the preservation of historical records. It allows the digitization of old manuscripts, books, and documents, making them accessible for research and analysis.
- Managing Paper-based Workflows: In business settings, OCR transforms paper forms, invoices, contracts, and other documents into digital files. This digitization aids in efficient processing, storage, and retrieval, streamlining administrative tasks.
- Converting Foreign Language Documents: OCR facilitates the translation and comprehension of foreign language documents by converting them into machine-readable text, aiding in cross-linguistic communication and analysis.
Top 10 Best OCR Software
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software has become a crucial tool for businesses. This section introduces some of the best OCR solutions in the market, each unique in its capabilities and offerings.
HyperVerge’s OCR solution, a part of its ID verification suite, is recognized for its cutting-edge technology and robust features. It utilizes AI for accurate and efficient text recognition, making it a standout in the OCR market. Key highlights include advanced face validation, document upload capabilities, and seamless integration with various systems. HyperVerge’s OCR is not just about converting images to text; it’s about enhancing security and improving user experience through technology.
HyperVerge Best Features:
- Accurate face validation for identity verification.
- Flexible document upload options.
- Seamless API integration for easy implementation.
- High responsiveness and minimal downtime.
- Advanced capabilities for detecting fraud and improving security.
- Some reviews suggest a need for improvements in recognizing non-standard document formats.
- Start: Aimed at start-up companies, this plan offers a free trial in a sandbox environment, a one-month duration, quick integration (less than 4 hours), and features to view and manage verifications.
- Grow: Designed for mid-size companies, it includes everything in the Start plan plus an end-to-end ID verification suite, central database checks, access to AML checks, and a custom workflow for businesses.
- Enterprise: Targeted at enterprise-level organizations, it builds upon the Grow plan by offering collaboration, leadership, and problem-solving tools, a custom pricing structure, dedicated support, and options for custom collaborative innovation.
2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a comprehensive PDF solution that offers powerful editing and OCR capabilities. It’s designed for professionals who need to do PDF file editing across devices, offering a range of tools for creating, editing, and managing documents.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Best Features:
- Advanced PDF editing tools.
- Powerful OCR capabilities for text recognition.
- Wide range of collaboration and sharing features.
- Compatibility with various devices and platforms.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Limitations:
- Some users may find the interface complex for basic tasks.
- The subscription model might be expensive for some users.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Pricing:
- Acrobat Pro: this plan offers an all-in-one PDF and e-signature solution with advanced tools.
- Acrobat Standard: it provides basic PDF solutions for conversion, editing, and e-signing.
- Acrobat Reader: A free version for reliably viewing, printing, and sharing PDFs.
- Acrobat for Business: it’s a complete PDF and e-signature solution designed for organizations and teams.
3. ABBYY FineReader PDF
ABBYY FineReader PDF is a highly advanced OCR solution known for its accuracy and efficiency in digitizing, editing, and managing PDFs and Microsoft Word documents and scans. ABBYY is a graphical tool that lets you not only scan files but also import files and perform OCR on them.
ABBYY FineReader PDF Best Features:
- AI-based OCR technology for high accuracy.
- Versatile in handling various document formats.
- Comprehensive editing and management tools for PDFs.
- User-friendly interface suitable for both businesses and individuals.
ABBYY FineReader PDF Limitations:
- Some users might find advanced features complex.
- Pricing might be higher than basic OCR solutions.
ABBYY FineReader PDF pricing options:
- Standard: This plan, designed for Windows, is priced at $99 per year. It’s a PDF application with AI-based OCR for managing both digital and scanned documents.
- Corporate: Aimed at corporate use with a yearly subscription of $165. It includes document comparison and automated conversion of up to 5,000 pages per month.
- ABBYY FineReader PDF for Mac: This Mac-specific version is available for $69 for a 1-year license, providing high-quality OCR for macOS users.
4. Kofax OmniPage Ultimate
Kofax OmniPage Ultimate is a versatile and business-oriented OCR software known for its accuracy in digitizing files, making documents easily editable and searchable. It’s designed to help businesses reduce the time spent converting files, lower operational costs, and manage documents efficiently.
Kofax OmniPage Ultimate Best Features:
- Convert documents into editable and searchable formats.
- Batch processing for handling large volumes of files.
- Recognizes over 120 languages.
- Exceptional OCR accuracy, including for digital camera images.
- Supports a wide range of output formats and integrates with various scanners.
Kofax OmniPage Ultimate Limitations:
- May require a learning curve for mastering all features.
- The interface could be overwhelming for first-time users.
Kofax OmniPage Ultimate Pricing:
- OmniPage Ultimate 19.2 is priced at $499.
- OmniPage Standard 18.0 is available for $149.
CamScanner is a versatile mobile application that specializes in scanning documents and converting them into high-quality PDFs. It’s known for its user-friendly interface and powerful OCR capabilities, allowing users to easily digitize, edit, and manage documents on the go.
CamScanner Best Features:
- Mobile-based scanning and OCR processing.
- Ability to create high-quality PDFs from scanned documents.
- Text recognition in multiple languages.
- Features to edit, e-sign, and manage scanned documents.
- Some features may require a premium subscription.
- Image quality might vary based on the device’s camera.
CamScanner pricing plans:
- Premium Account (Monthly): This plan is available at a monthly rate of $4.99. It provides enhanced features over the basic free version.
- CamScanner Premium (Annual): For an annual subscription, the cost is $49.99. This plan is suitable for users who prefer long-term access with a one-time yearly payment.
Rossum is an AI-powered document processing platform designed to automate workflows and enhance data accuracy. It eliminates manual processes, significantly improving efficiency in document handling. Rossum is known for its cloud-native solution, template-free approach, low code, and language-agnostic features.
Rossum Best Features:
- AI-based OCR for accurate data capture.
- The streamlined validation process saves significant time.
- Advanced post-processing capabilities.
- Built-in reporting and optimization tools.
- Initial setup and integration may require technical expertise.
- Advanced features might have a learning curve for new users.
Rossum typically offers customized pricing based on the needs and scale of the business.
7. MyQ X
MyQ X specializes in providing robust print management solutions, either on-premise or via a private cloud. It’s designed to enhance security in print environments across various workplaces, with features tailored to streamline and secure printing processes.
MyQ X Best Features:
- Top-level security for print environments.
- Simplified setup for print, copy, and scan operations.
- Centralized management of diverse printer fleets.
MyQ X Limitations:
- May require technical expertise for initial setup.
- Focused more on print management than on OCR capabilities.
MyQ X Pricing:
MyQ X typically offers customized pricing based on the needs and scale of the business.
Nanonets is an AI-powered platform designed for business process automation. It focuses on intelligent document processing, offering solutions across various industries. With its no-code platform, Nanonets makes it easier for businesses to automate manual data entry using AI-based OCR software, integrate with multiple systems, and transform unstructured data into actionable insights.
Nanonets Best Features:
- AI-driven OCR technology for accurate data extraction.
- Seamless integration with popular platforms like Gmail, Dropbox, and SharePoint.
- A no-code platform for OCR automation.
- Flexible export options in multiple formats.
- May require some configuration for custom workflows.
- The no-code approach might limit customization for complex tasks.
Nanonets pricing tiers:
- Starter: This plan is free and suitable for individuals or teams starting out. It includes 500 free pages, after which there’s a charge of $0.3 per page.
- Pro: Priced at $499 per month per model, this plan includes 5000 pages per month and additional features such as auto-capture line items and up to 20 fields.
- Enterprise: Tailored for larger businesses, this plan offers everything in Pro plus additional features like custom integrations, dedicated account management, and personalized training.
9. Amazon Textract
Amazon Textract is a machine learning-based OCR service designed for advanced document processing. It excels in accurately extracting text, handwriting, tables, and other data from scanned documents, without manual configuration.
Amazon Textract Best Features:
- Automated extraction of text and data from various document types.
- Machine learning capabilities for high accuracy and context understanding.
- Scalable for handling large volumes of documents.
- Integration with AWS services for enhanced processing.
Amazon Textract Limitations:
- Initial setup and integration may require AWS knowledge.
- The cost might be higher for processing large volumes of documents.
Amazon Textract Pricing:
- Offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
- Provides a free tier for new users.
SimpleOCR is a freeware OCR software known for its simplicity and effectiveness. It is designed to cater to both home users and educational institutions, offering an accessible way to convert scanned documents into editable text. SimpleOCR is particularly useful for those needing basic OCR functionality without the cost associated with more advanced software.
SimpleOCR Best Features:
- Freeware, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
- Simple user interface, easy for beginners.
- Capable of converting scanned images and documents into editable and searchable text.
- Basic features compared to more advanced paid OCR software.
- May not handle complex layouts or non-standard fonts effectively.
SimpleOCR is available as freeware, which means it can be downloaded and used without any cost.
HyperVerge’s OCR technology stands out for its sophisticated, AI-powered model, honed over 13 years. This technology underpins a holistic and customizable identity verification solution, making it a superior choice for various industries. HyperVerge’s OCR not only offers high accuracy but also seamlessly integrates into diverse workflows, ensuring end-to-end efficiency in identity verification. Interested in HyperVerge OCR? Sign up now and get a customized demo!