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As it can be easily deduced from its name, FreeOCR is a free optical character recognition software tool that allows you to extract the text from an image file or a PDF document. The program includes scanning capabilities so that you can also convert your printed documents into e-text by simply scanning them. FreeOCR uses the Tesseract OCR engine, which was created and is maintained by Google.
The program offers a simple and intuitive user interface that is divided into two panels. The left one is for the source PDF document or image file (which usually comes from your TWAIN or WIA scanner). This panel allows you to rotate the image clockwise and counter-clockwise and to select a particular portion of the image where you want to extract the text from. The right panel, on the other hand, will show you the resulting text after the OCR process. This panel allows you to save the text as a plain text file, export it to MS Word or RTF formats, or copy the text to the clipboard among other helpful options. You can even specify some replacement strings for the program to correct certain OCR errors automatically.
Summing up, FreeOCR is a handy and free OCR tool that will be very helpful to you if you have moderate needs to process documents with OCR technology. The program supports all major image file formats including multi-page TIFF documents. Also, FreeOCR comes with support for eleven popular languages, though you can download over 120 additional ones from Tesseract project's download page. I would definitely recommend this tool for general-purpose OCR tasks.
- Includes scanning capabilities to transform printed information into e-text
- Comes with support for eleven popular languages
- Allows you to export the resulting text into MS Word and RTF formats
- Does not support scanning into PDF format yet