FreeOCR : Extract Text from PDF files and Pictures

Carrying her digital camera with her all the time, my sister always takes pictures of people, places, things or funny sign boards. Some of these pictures include written quotes, addresses or other interesting text material which she wants to extract to post on her personal blog. But reading the text and then manually typing is boring and therefore she uses FreeOCR – a free optical character recognition (OCR) software. Using FreeOCR you can easily extract text from pictures and PDF files.

FreeOCR is a free optical character recognition software for Windows. It supports scanning from most twain sources like scanners and cameras. It can also open most scanned PDFs and multiple page tiff images as well as other popular image file formats. FreeOCR outputs plain text and can export directly to Microsoft Word document format.

You can download FreeOCR from its website where the download is available in form of a setup installer. FreeOCR is designed using Microsoft .NET framework version 2.0 and therefore if you are using Windows XP or Windows 8, then you need to download and install .NET 2.0 on your system first. After the installation of FreeOCR, you can run it from its Start Menu shortcut.

Using FreeOCR is very easy. Just click on the Open button in the toolbar and select an image or a PDF file. You can also directly scan a document from your scanner using the Scan button. When the preview of your image, PDF file or the scanned document appears in the left side pane, then you can click on the OCR button and it would extract the text and display it in the right-side text box.

FreeOCR : Extract Text from PDF files and Pictures

The buttons in the middle bar can be used to save the text in a plain text file, copy the extracted text to the clipboard and directly export the extracted text into a Microsoft Word document.

FreeOCR supports multiple paged TIFF images and multiple page PDF documents. It can make your tedious task of manually extracting text and typing it down very easy. I found the text extracted from images is not that accurate and you have to do little editing work to make it look okay. You can get better results from higher DPI and better resolution images.

You can download FreeOCR from