Old versionsSee all
Turning image-based documents into searchable and editable texts will let you reuse the text of your scanned files without typing it all again. Free OCR to Word offers to perform that tedious task for you at no cost, allowing you to copy, paste, or save the retrieved text in a quick and convenient way. It can work directly with your scanner or from any JPG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG, or PCX image file, to name a few.
It is hard to be critical with a free tool that performs a task so technically complex that not even the most expensive professional OCR engines have managed to master completely. Free OCR to Word is no exception, and even though they claim to offer a 98% level of accuracy, the truth is that more often than not and unless the text is extremely clear and free from extraneous characters, the resulting text leaves much to be desired. After testing this tool with at least half a dozen different texts using different fonts and backgrounds, I only managed to get the promised 98% accurate results with a typewritten letter with clear Courier characters over a pure-white background. Other texts, which looked pretty readable to me, produced but gibberish text, especially when the background had a certain shade of color.
The program’s interface offers a side-by-side display of the original image and the retrieved text. Here you can perform all the edits and corrections required to match both texts, manually. The program is not very generous in terms of editing and text revision features, and all it offers in this area is the option to delete all line breaks at once. The image file can be rotated to match the original text orientation when needed, and you are also allowed to select the area to OCR in order to speed up the process and to avoid unnecessary errors. The resulting text can be saved either as a Word or TXT file for further use.
Despite the many flaws introduced by its OCR engine, Free OCR to Word is a tool I’d still recommend to those who deal mainly with clearly scanned texts with a low level of complexity. Actually, being a free tool, I don’t see any harm in having an OCR engine installed on our computers in case we ever need one. Given the right conditions, it can surely save us a lot of time and trouble.
- Allows you to edit the resulting text
- Image rotation capabilities
- Can OCR selected areas
- Weak OCR engine
- Limited text editing features
- Tries to install unrequested apps during installation