OnlineOCR: Convert image files into text for free

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Have you ever had an image or PDF from which you wanted to extract the text? Don’t have Acrobat or any other OCR software? There are a number of online OCR tools, many of which don’t require registration. I have tested a number of them and found one to be the most reliable. OnlineOCR works really well and will export as an Excel, Word, or TXT file without any registration. Here is how it works:


  1. Go to OnlineOCR and click on ‘Choose file’.
  2. Select an image or PDF from your computer and click on ‘Upload’
  3. Choose your ‘Recognition language’ and ‘Output format’.
  4. Type in the code in the ‘Please enter the code’ box and click on ‘Recognize’.
  5. A box will appear with all of the plain text. Below the box will be a ‘Download Output File’ link. Click on the link to copy the full file to your computer which you can then open and edit in the appropriate editor.

This works really well if you have taken a screenshot or a clear photo of some text. It doesn’t always work 100%, but it does most of the work for you. It even works well with tables if you choose the Excel or Word options. I have used this to make my scanned documents searchable.  I make the text file name the same as the original image file or combine as one PDF (easily done on a Mac). Then, when I do a Spotlight search, the text file comes up and I just open the combined PDF or find the image file.

Let me know how else you could use this by adding a comment below, sending me a tweet at @nathanghall, or email me using the contact page on this website. Thank you.


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