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Are there any web-based OCR (optical character recognition) services which you can recommend?

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closed as not constructive by Al E., Eight Days of Malaise, Sathya Sep 30 '12 at 14:20

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8 Answers 8

Google Docs now supports OCR.

Note - it only scans the first 10 pages of a pdf.

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Awesome! I didn't hear about this. <strike>Hoping they release an API!</strike> Correction: they have released an API. See googledataapis.blogspot.com/2009/09/… –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 1 '10 at 2:32
Didn't work for me You can upload files up to 1024 MB. Files converted to Google Docs have smaller limits. I tried to get my bylaws converted –  Evan Carroll Jul 8 '10 at 5:18
I should add the file I tried to upload was 2MB. –  Evan Carroll Jul 8 '10 at 18:06
If you're looking for an OCR API, take a look at wisetrend.com/wisetrend_ocr_cloud.shtml - great recognition quality even for low-quality images (based on the ABBYY engine) –  Eugene Osovetsky Oct 19 '10 at 7:39
Re-posting the correct link to the 2009 Google Data APIs blog: googland-dev.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/… –  kenorb Sep 12 at 16:06

Evernote does OCR for uploaded images. Although OCR priority is based on subscription you have (i.e. paid users has bigger priorities and faster servers for this feature).

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This is OCR only for searching within Evernote. You can't extract the text out of the images. –  Senseful Jul 1 '10 at 7:08
I so wish you could...looks like there might be a service you can add on to do this in the near future :( –  Darryl Hein Aug 10 '10 at 21:57
Indeed it's not actually OCR, more like similarity based matching, not parsing. (At least this is what I remember from some official source I encountered, it may have changed.) –  Christopher Galpin Oct 6 '11 at 2:26

Depends what you will need it for .

For example in my case, I worked on an engineering team that used a lot of old documents and scrap design paper that were either scanned badly or the text was of very low quality. Many old engineering documents are not searchable even as pdf from research sites.

It was a strain on the eyes to read 100 page documents to find one sentence or a paragraph. So we decided to use Evernote PDF Search in the Premium ( Yes there is a cost ). Worked wonders for us because we traversed countless documents getting valuable information. Using the export to searchable PDF our eyes were blown away. Also any scrap paper we scanned with design ideas were searchable as well (which is available in the free web version).

So even though this is not an OCR program it does provide a type of OCR for searching which is more than enough for us. So I recommend it :D

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http://www.MyFreeOCR.com is free online OCR. It is my website No registration.

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http://www.onlineocr.net has worked well for me.

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I dislike how the service says free in its title - but only the first 5 are free. It does support a large number of languages though –  Casebash Jul 1 '10 at 0:34

I have a online ocr service at http://www.soft-cor.com/Home/OnlineOCR, is a bit ropey at the moment still in beta but is free.

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Registration required. –  Evan Carroll Jul 8 '10 at 5:21

OCR Terminal (www.ocrterminal.com) is another option. It gives 20 free pages a month to users and supports about 20 languages. It requires sign-in though.

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If you want to scan and do OCR on business cards you can use this.

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  Dez Dec 6 '12 at 6:23