Need a Quick OCR Job? Try This Free Online Service.

Most scanners and cameras nowadays come with some basic OCR software.  If you're not familiar with the term, Optical Character Recognition attempts to turn an image file into text, by recognising the pixels that make up each character.  Typically, it's used for turning scanned images of documents, newspaper cuttings, correspondence, books etc into small, indexable, searchable text files.  

If you don't have any such software, and you need to perform some OCR magic on a scanned image, there's a web service that can help. is, as the same suggests, an online OCR service that's free to use.  Just upload any image file of 2 MB or less, wait a few seconds, and the text is instantly displayed for you to copy and paste into a text editor or any other application.

If you're going to use such a service, a couple of caveats apply.  First, remember that everything runs on a remote web server, so it's best not to upload anything particularly confidential (or incriminating!).  Secondly, like all OCR software, this service works best if you experiment to find the best contrast settings for the source image.  Too little contrast, and accuracy goes out of the window, like this:


Free OCR - Before


Free OCR - After




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by Petty (not verified) on 2. October 2010 - 18:43  (58917)

I would recommend giving a go as well, I've found it quite fast and accurate with my image and PDF files, also there's no limit on the number of files that you can process.

by folha (not verified) on 23. August 2010 - 1:59  (56538)

You can upload your image files to It's free and accurate. For English only.

by steven (not verified) on 9. July 2010 - 12:01  (53990)

You can OCR up to 100 images per day at . And it's free.

by Anonymous on 18. June 2010 - 11:04  (52395)

The OCR site mentioned above also has a free online barcode generator and decoder.

The link to the OCR site is in the article, second line, second paragraph.

by keithr386 on 17. June 2010 - 17:39  (52337)

One other plus about this service is that it can be used to convert a PDF into an editable text form. Nice!

by LukeSBE on 17. June 2010 - 13:10  (52323)

IF you have MS Office installed (I know, not freeware, that beast!), you also have an OCR ... Check this: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MODI\11.0\MSPVIEW.EXE

by Anonymous on 17. June 2010 - 14:15  (52330)

If your version of office came with OneNote, then you have OCR capabilities right within OneNote. Just follow these steps:
1) Paste in a photo (or Screengrab) onto a Page in OneNote
2) right click on the image and "Copy Text from Picture"
3) Then Paste (Ctrl + V)

by Anonymous on 17. June 2010 - 13:35  (52328)

My MSPVIEW is located at

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\mspaper\MSPVIEW.EXE

by Anonymous on 17. June 2010 - 1:01  (52288)

"Your post triggered a spam filter"

what gives ?

by DesElms on 17. June 2010 - 3:21  (52296)

There are two things which happen around here, both of them kinda' frustrating...

First, if you insert a link to an external site in one of your postings here, it will sometimes ask you to key-in the captcha letters... which isn't so bad.

But, second, it will sometimes misinterpret something you put into your posting such that it thinks you're a spammer and just won't let you post. And that's MADDENDING!

I've reported it to Gizmo, who has always tried to figure it out; and every time it has seemed to fix itself before he could get to te bottom of it. So I don't know if it's a problem with the site or what.

Hope that helps!

Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA

by Anupam on 17. June 2010 - 4:15  (52299)

Sorry for the inconvenience. This is happening because of a new security module we have incorporated in order to keep spammers away. There has been quite an increase in spammer attacks on this site, and for that, the security module is necessary. If you encounter any such problem, or 500 server error when you post... please give these details to Gizmo, Rik, MC or me :

1. URL of the error page
2. Time and date you attempted to post comment.
3. Your IP address. You can find this from

As this involves your IP address, please do not post the details in comments. Please send in a private message.

by Anonymous on 17. June 2010 - 0:40  (52286)

Is the link there? If so, I must have missed it.

by Anupam on 17. June 2010 - 3:48  (52298)

Yes, the link is there in the article. Its not in the form of a link though, don't know why.

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