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SimpleOCR – Freeware Optical Character Recognition Software

by James 11 May 2009 3 Comments

Overview

SimpleOCR is a free Optical Character Recognition program which can be used directly with your scanner, featuring error correction and an easy to use interface.

Review

I never used an OCR program until now because I never needed one. And I still don’t, but my girlfriend does 🙂 As a matter of fact I have a scanner in my house but it’s attached to her computer because she works with documents more than I do. Now she’s even very sure that she owns the scanner, even though I paid for it 🙂 Anyway, this test wouldn’t have been possible without her help, so thanks Mary! She scanned a document for me and I tried to import it in SimpleOCR and convert it to a text file. As I said in the overview, SimpleOCR can import the document directly from your scanner, but since I don’t have one, I took the TIFF file that my girlfriend saved.

simpleocr-screenshot-1

In only a few seconds the page was displayed in SimpleOCR, now all I had to do was to click on “Convert to Text“.

simpleocr-screenshot-2

The conversion of the page took only a few seconds and after that the program window was slip into two parts, the original document and the converted text document. As you can see from the image below there were quite a few errors in the converted text, but the error correction feature works very well, it even has a dictionnary that suggests you the good alternatives. Although the converted text had some errors it’s quite easy to correct them and to have an accurate text at the end of it all. There could be a problem if you have a long document, it will take you some time to go through it, but still it will be faster than retyping the whole thing.

simpleocr-screenshot-3

After you correct the document you can save it as a .doc file to use with OpenOffice.org or as a simple .txt file. SimpleOCR is able to handle machine writing and hand writing and is free to use for home and corporate users.

Version Tested

3.1

Author

Simple Software

Operating System

Windows All (except Vista)

Download link

Summary

 Powerful and easy to use.

 Very good error correction feature.

 Does not have a Vista version and it doesn’t work on other platforms like Linux or Mac OS X.

 The graphical user interface could use a facelift.

Rating

Verdict

Overall SimpleOCR is a good freeware program, designed to do what it has to do without too much fuss, simple and easy to use. SimpleOCR is also an OCR SDK that can be used royalty-free in other applications.

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out! If you know better free programs in the same category, please let me know!

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3 Comments »

  • NetReview said:

    Thank you. I’ve been looking a long time for a free ORC program. I will check it now. 🙂

  • Alan said:

    Try the open source app “gOCR”.

    Pros:
    Open source. (you know you like this)
    Command line app. (you can do a batch convert)

    Cons:

    Limited input image format. (You will need GIMP to convert your scanned text to the image format it supports and it can only output text)

    Input image needs to be scanned at 300DPI. This, and the fact that it uses a strange image format makes for huge input files (iirc 100MB+ per A4 page)

    Slow.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Thanks for recommending it Alan. You’re right, being open source is a big plus.

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