The Best OCR Programs and Applications of 2023

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a technology that allows reading and recognizing text. The OCR facility integrated with a PDF program is an extremely effective method that allows you to avoid manual rewriting of PDF documents in most cases. 

Digitizing documents (and the fact that it is available through computer programs) is one of those tasks that has become more accessible thanks to the smartphone and computer. Now, using a mobile phone and a Windows computer, we can digitize large amounts of documents and images that we have at home and convert them into text documents such as a Word document or a PDF file.

How do you go from image to text? This good question is solved by software called OCR, which allows us to convert the text of images into text documents, whether they are e-books or Word documents.

Best OCR for Windows System

Here are some of the best OCR programs or tools that we can install on our Windows computer and that will help us digitize our documents using a smartphone camera and a Windows computer and transform them into digital text documents.

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is a PDF OCR program. SwifDoo PDF OCR feature is supported with many text and image formats. Which means we can export text to Word, TXT HTML etc. And we can extract text from images which are in JPG, TIFF, PNG etc.

Until now, scanning and entering PDF documents into the system took from several minutes to even several hours. Thanks to the SwifDoo PDF OCR service, each document can be read and transferred directly to the SwifDoo PDF program.

SwifDoo’s OCR facility recognizes the document number, the Contractor’s Tax Identification Number, as well as VAT rates, products, prices and payment terms. It can turn a scanned image into text.

Moreover, the main SwifDoo PDF program is an all-round PDF editor.


FreeOCR is a free program, the program has a great Spanish language engine that allows us to better digitize and recognize parts of Spanish text. FreeOCR is more up-to-date software than other options, which makes it perform better, but doesn’t mean there aren’t unrecognized parts of the text. FreeOCR also allows us to export text documents in PDF format, which is very useful if we want to share a received document. 

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader is a proprietary option, which means you have to pay for it. I’m not usually a huge fan of hers, but this time is worth an exception. This software is one of the best for text recognition, not only because of its high level of recognition, but also because it allows batch recognition, that is, the creation of a document containing text from several images.

In addition, this document can be exported in any text format, from TXT to PDF, to Doc or EPUB. 

This service will allow us to do all the work in each team and process any image without being dependent on a specific scanner or hardware model. Of course, this service works on a scanned page, which should be taken into account if we have a low budget, as a batch of a thousand images or ten thousand images would be a high cost.

The Best OCR Applications for Mobile Phones

Let’s see which some of the mobile OCR text recognition applications that are worth installing.

Turbo Scanner

For little money, Turbo Scanner provides good functions and acceptable text recognition. The scan takes a bit long, up to 30 seconds. There is also a free version of the app, but it has ads and no PDF printing feature.


Elegant appearance, good text recognition and easy to use make CamScanner a competitive option, but the program does not recognize the characters in all languages. Moreover, it is expensive: the full functionality of this program is available only in subscription!


On the iPhone, TextGrabber achieved the best scanning results, but it is relatively expensive. Operation, subsequent editing and transfer of texts are easy. A practical function for holidays: recorded texts can be immediately translated into many languages.


Nowadays, everyone generates a huge amount of documents and spreadsheets, which ultimately take up a huge amount of space. This can be solved using an OCR tool, a smartphone and a Windows computer. 

The advantage of these tools is that they can all be tested for free, so we can make comparisons with the same image or with the same image package and choose the program that suits us, although personally I think in the case of the PDF OCR program, SwifDoo PDF is a very good option for use with a Windows computer.

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