Revolutionizing Text Recognition: The Power and Potential of Open Source PDF OCR

April 7, 20231.1K views

PDF files are commonly used for storing documents in a digital format, but sometimes it can be challenging to work with scanned PDFs, which contain images instead of text. This is where OCR (Optical Character Recognition) comes in, which is a technology that can recognize text within images and convert them into editable text. There are many open source PDF OCR tools available that can help with this task, and in this article, we will explore some of the best options.

1. Tesseract OCR

One popular open source PDF OCR tool is Tesseract OCR, which is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It uses advanced algorithms to accurately recognize text in images and can convert them into searchable PDFs. Tesseract OCR is widely used and has a large community of contributors, making it a reliable and robust option for open source OCR. Tesseract OCR has an official iOS app, hence it can also be used on iPhone and iPad.


  • Tesseract OCR is open-source software, which means that it is free to use and that developers can modify it.

  • It can recognise over 100 languages, including those with difficult scripts like Arabic and Chinese.


  • Tesseract OCR is one of the most accurate OCR engines available, with over 99% accuracy in several languages.


  • Some technical knowledge may be required to install and utilise it, which may be a barrier for certain people.


Jul 08, 2021

"Perfect open source for data analytics and OCR"

What do you like best about Tesseract?

Tesseract is a powerful open source for ocr. I also have been using tesseract for several years and was happy to scan the document OCR with it. It is easy to use as well as easy installing. Accuracy is also available to use in many and many scanned documents

2. Kraken

Another open source OCR tool worth considering is Kraken, which is designed for recognizing text in historical documents. It can handle a wide range of document types, including newspapers, books, and manuscripts, and can even recognize text in degraded or faded documents. Kraken is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.


  • Kraken OCR is extremely adaptable and can recognise a wide range of fonts, including older, historical typefaces.

  • Users can train and adapt OCR models with Kraken OCR to better meet their individual needs and use cases.


  • Kraken OCR is open-source, which means it is free for anybody to use and modify.


  • While Kraken OCR supports a large number of languages, it does not support as many as some other OCR solutions on the market.

3. CuneiForm

CuneiForm is an open-source OCR engine that can recognize text in more than 20 languages which can also be used offline. It can extract text from scanned documents and save the output as plain text, RTF, or HTML. CuneiForm is available for Windows and Linux.


  • CuneiForm OCR can recognise text in a variety of languages, including English, Russian, and German.


  • CuneiForm OCR converts photos and scanned documents into editable text using powerful recognition algorithms.


  • CuneiForm OCR only supports a few document formats, including TIFF, BMP, and JPG.


WPS PDF is an all-in-one PDF solution that includes a powerful OCR feature. With WPS PDF, you can easily recognize text in scanned PDFs and convert them into editable text.


  • WPS PDF OCR can detect and transform scanned PDF files into editable documents. It can also detect text in photos and convert them to searchable PDF documents.

  • WPS PDF OCR supports batch processing, allowing users to process several PDF files at once, saving time and effort.


  • WPS PDF OCR offers a simple and intuitive interface, making it simple for users to navigate and utilize the software.

  • WPS PDF OCR is reasonably inexpensive when compared to other OCR software on the market, making it accessible to individuals and small enterprises.


  • WPS PDF OCR lacks some advanced features present in other OCR applications, such as handwriting recognition and support for more file formats.

  • WPS PDF OCR is an online solution, customers must upload their files to the cloud for processing. Those who are afraid to share their files online may be concerned about security.

FAQs on Open Source PDF OCR

What is open source OCR?

Open-source OCR (Optical Character Recognition) refers to OCR software that is distributed under an open-source license, which allows users to freely access, modify, and distribute the source code. OCR is a technology that enables machines to recognize text characters within an image or scanned document and convert them into editable and searchable digital text.

User-Friendly OCR for Multilingual Batch Processing

Each of these OCR tools has its unique features and capabilities that can be useful for different types of OCR tasks. However, WPS PDF is also an excellent option for Open Source PDF OCR, as it offers a user-friendly interface and advanced OCR capabilities, including text recognition from scanned documents in multiple languages. Its batch processing feature allows users to OCR multiple documents simultaneously, making it a time-saving option for users who deal with large volumes of scanned documents.

To start using WPS PDF, simply visit their official website and download it now. Experience the power of WPS PDF in simplifying your OCR tasks and increasing your productivity.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.