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Engineering LibreTexts

4.4: Free OCR When You Can't Afford Other Software or Hardware

  • Page ID
    13904
  • Some would agree, the best things in life are free, like kittens, or software that will do optical character recognition.

    Most people have access to Microsoft Word. The most recent version, in Office 365, will import a PDF and convert it to native Word format for editing. You simply open the PDF in Word. There are some issues that you may need to fix and PDF forms do not convert well. For more information, see the tutorial on How to Convert & Edit PDF Documents in Microsoft Word on envatotuts+ site.

    If you don’t have Word and are still looking for a free way to perform optical character recognition on a PDF document, you can also try the OCR feature in Google Drive. It will convert files that are 2MB or under and in PDF, JPG, GIF, or PNG formats. Anyone can get access to a Google Drive by creating a Gmail account. After uploading the PDF to Google Drive, you right click on it and select to Open with Google Docs. The OCR process will take place. You’ll need to format the text in Google Docs after that point. For more information about this, see the tutorial on How to OCR Documents for Free in Google Drive on envatotuts+ site.

    There is also a Free Online OCR site that will allow you to upload a PDF and select Word (doc), Rich Text Format (rtf), or a Text Document (txt) as the output.