FreeOCR: Extract text from images

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FreeOCR is a free Optical Character Recognition application. This means that you can extract the text from various sources like PDFs and image files as well as anything that you get from your scanner.

Installation & Requirements

The installer is very basic but still offers some options like the creation of a desktop shortcut. However, you will have to manually start the application after the setup is over.

Interface

The application’s interface is quite elegant in its design and very clean. Nothing obscures the view and you can get familiar with the program in no time. The main functions are on the top as icons, the selected image is on the left and any text you extract will appear on the right side. When you first start the application the right side will be filled with some tips for the program and some basic instructions. You can easily delete the tips either by highlighting and deleting like any text or by pressing the red X button on the right of the image.

There are multiple ways you can extract text from any given image.  Furthermore, you can directly scan the text from your scanning device without inserting any file. Of course, you can also inset any PDF file or image you want. The application offers a simple PDF by default that you can immediately put to the test. However, you can enter your own image or PDF files by clicking on the icons at the top. When you have inserted your desired file, it is time to extract the text. If you simply want to extract everything on the file, you can click on the OCR button and choose OCR Current page or even OCR All pages. This will simply extract anything on the image or PDF files. However, you can also use the selection tool to determine the precise area you want to extract text from and choose the OCR Current page option.

Before you extract the text you will also have various options in your selection like zooming the image, removing the line breaks from the output text file, extracting an image instead of text and more. Finally, when you extract the text, you can directly import it to Word, export it as an RTF file or simply copy it to the clipboard and paste it in another application of your choice. You can even change the font beforehand if you wish via the Settings menu.

Pros

-Fast and simple installation
-Extremely easy to use
-User friendly interface with a clean look
-Multiple scanning and extraction features

Cons
-None worth mentioning

Conclusion

FreeOCR is definitely one of the best text extracting tools in the market. It is extremely easy to use but also very efficient which makes it a no-brainer for both inexperienced and advanced users. The fact that it is free is simply an added bonus.