Best free software to convert images and PDFs to text

These are called optical character recognition systems, and are also called OCR. There are many different types, so let's take a look at the best free ones online

Everyone at college or at work will have had to convert part of a brochure, image or document into Word. How best to do this? Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems are the fastest way to convert an image into text.

We are talking about simple software that allows you to scan images or PDFs into Word and other manually editable text documents. There are several versions of OCR software, some of which offer very advanced features (such as multi-language and multi-alphabet recognition), but at the same time cost several hundred euros. Browsing the web, however, it is possible to find free online OCRs that allow you to convert PDF to Word easily, instantly and, most importantly, without having to pay anything.

Free Online OCR

By connecting to Free Online OCR you will be able to convert images and PDFs to Word and text documents without the need to register and without having to pay anything. To work at its best, however, you need the scans you make to be of good quality. A screenshot from a smartphone, for example, may be fine, while a low quality image of the text may compromise the final result. When converting from PDF to Word, in fact, it could happen that some letters are misinterpreted, while spaces could be replaced by punctuation marks. In short, if you don't want to spend too much time editing the text file after scanning, it will be better to provide high quality images or PDF.


Strong with a database of more than 60 languages (and as many alphabets) i2OCR is one of the preferred choices for those who usually transform PDF to Word. It doesn't require registration nor are there any dimensions to the image or PDF files to be converted: just upload the file to the platform (again, of good quality) and wait for the OCR software to do its work. Besides, before completing the export, the user can edit any errors or misprints directly from the online OCR editor.

Online OCR

With Online OCR you can convert PDF, JPG, BMP, TIFF and GIF files into Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, but with some limitations. Although free, Online OCR allows you to process up to 15 files every hour. By subscribing to the service, however, you'll eliminate the hourly limit and have the ability to convert two or more files at a time. Compared to other platforms you've seen, this OCR software seems to have some problems with italic text: before giving it a file, make sure that there are no strange formatting complicating the work.

ABBYY FineReader Online

One of the most popular and used paid OCR software, ABBYY FineReader Free allows us to convert up to 10 images in an hour, provided you have registered with the portal. There are several services you will be able to access thanks to your profile: not only free online OCR, but also an automatic translation service, saving files in the cloud and much more.