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7 Top OCR Software Apps to Convert Images Into Text

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You have many options to convert handwritten text into digital text. We’ll be sharing the top seven OCR programs that convert images into text.

What exactly is OCR?

OCR software can convert photos or handwritten text into text by using optical character recognition. OCR software can also identify characteristics that could be used in characters. Although a perfect match is not possible, software will attempt to approximate it.

OCR software is a great way to save time for students, researchers, and office workers.

1. OCR using Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote has OCR technology. It can read handwritten notes as well as photos.

  • OneNote allows you to drag a scan or a saved image. OneNote can also be used to copy a section of the screen and an associated image into OneNote.
  • Right-click an inserted picture and choose Copy. After you have copied the optically recognized text, you can paste it into OneNote.

OneNote can extract text from multipage pages in one click. Next, right-click on the page.


To print text only from the selected page, click Copy text to this Page in the Printout.

  • Click Copy text from all pages to the Printout. As you can see, you can copy text from any page with just one click.

The quality of your photo can also affect OCR accuracy. This is the most crucial feature in OneNote.

Want to compare OneNote against OCR software that is expensive? We have a comparison of OmniPage.

2. SimpleOCR

This screen capture shows the interface of SimpleOCR.

SimpleOCR might have helped me with my handwriting recognition issues using Microsoft tools. There are no limitations on machine-print recognition.

It is outdated and cumbersome. It is still possible to test it for its simplicity.

  • It can be set up to scan directly from a scanner or added to a page in JPG or TIFF formats.
  • SimpleOCR allows you to control the conversion via image selection, text selection, and text ignore.
  • Conversion to text transforms the process into. The validation phase is next. An inbuilt spell-checker allows users to correct any errors in the converted text.
  • Save the file as a TXT/DOC.

SimpleOCR was able to handle regular text well, but it was not able to handle multi-column layouts. The conversion accuracy with Microsoft tools was much better than SimpleOCR.

3. Photo Scan

Photo Scan Windows 10 OCR is free to download from Microsoft Store. Define Studios created Photo Scan which can scan QR codes and also perform OCR.

Point the app towards an image/file printout. A window adjacent displays the content.

This highlight feature is text-to speech. Simply click the speaker icon to have it read aloud what it just scanned.

Although it doesn’t recognize handwritten text well, it can still identify printed text. After all that, OCR text can be saved in various formats, including HTML, Rich Text, or XML.

4. (a9t9) Windows OCR App

(a9t9) OCR software is a free Universal Windows Platform app. It can be used with any Windows device. You can also find an Online OCR equivalent Both can be powered by the same API.

(a9t9) is able to convert your PDF into text and images in 21 different languages. It’s not intended for handwritten text, but to print documents.

5. Capture2Text

Capture2Text offers a free OCR service for Windows. It can be used with keyboard shortcuts to quickly scan any screen.

Use the WinKey+Q keyboard shortcut to activate OCR.

Capture2Text is compatible with Google’s OCR engines. It supports more than 100 languages. You can toggle saving the clipboard off/on, or change default OCR languages.

6. Easy Screen OCR

Easy Screen OCR does not come free. However, PDFs can be smaller than 50 MB or 15 pages.

Click on the Easy Screen OCR icon to convert any text on your screen. Select Capture and then click on the Easy Screen OCR icon.

You can set the recognition languages in the software’s Preferences. uses Google OCR.

Also: OCR using Google Docs

Google Drive offers OCR tools that can be used to identify text while you are away from your computer. Files should be no more than two megabytes in size.

Google Drive can also auto-detect languages from scanned files. With non-Latin characters, however, accuracy may be less.

  1. Log into your Google Drive Account
  2. Click on New >File Upload. Alternatively you can click MyDrive > Upload Files.
  3. Navigate to the file on your computer that you want to convert. Click on the button to upload the file.
  4. Now you have the document in Google Drive. Click Open with Google Docs.
  1. Google will convert your PDF/image file into text using OCR. It then opens the document in a new Google Doc.
  2. Download the fine-tuned file in one of the many formats Google Drive supports. Select from file > Save as List.

You Can Use Our Free OCR Software

They were good for printing text, but they are not great at handling cursive handwritten text. Microsoft OneNote however is my favorite OCR software. It can be integrated into your note-taking workflow. Photo Scan for Windows Store can also be used. It supports line breaks and many different document formats.

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