There are a few ocr questions on this site, but they are either only for Linux, or only for PDFs.

So I am looking for a tool that converts images with text into editable text (.doc / .txt).

It needs to:

  • be free or relatively cheap (< £20)
  • be as accurate as possible
  • ignore images
  • run on Windows 7 64 bit
  • definitely support .jpeg and .gif files
  • Tesseract can do exactly what you want: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/a/10029/2401
    – Cornelius
    Jul 30, 2014 at 18:55
  • @Cornelius I completely missed that! +1. Please vote to close this as a dupe! Jul 30, 2014 at 18:56
  • 1
    That answer talks about pdf output, but it can output plain text too.
    – Cornelius
    Jul 30, 2014 at 18:57
  • 1
    I use Microsoft OneNote as OCR tool. On Right click against an image It can copy the entire text in images and It also has the capability to search text with in image. It is free and accurate and runs on windows and support almost all image formats. Bonus point is that it supports multiple languages :) English,French, Spanish also Jul 23, 2015 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


The best OCR tools available for personal use in terms of accuracy are Nuance OmniPage, ABBYY FineReader and Acrobat XI Pro. (I have not looked at benchmarks but I got this impression when I was looking for one a few years ago). But they all cost over 20 USD.

Tesseract is most of the time considered as being the most accurate open source OCR engine. There exist several Tesseract GUIs. Otherwise you can use some bindings to it, as in the example below.


Convert image to tif with ImageMagick:

#convert myimage.jpeg -auto-level -compress none myimage.tif

Python code to read data from myimage.tif (Tesseract needs TIFF as input):

from PIL import Image
from pytesser.pytesser import *

image_file = 'myimage.tif'
im = Image.open(image_file)
text = image_to_string(im)
text = image_file_to_string(image_file)
text = image_file_to_string(image_file, graceful_errors=True)
print "=====output=======\n"
print text

FYI: comparison of optical character recognition software


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