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12 Best Free and Open Source OCR Tools

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Software

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into searchable, editable documents. OCR software is able to recognise the difference between characters and images, and between characters themselves.

The use of paper has been displaced from some activities. For example, the vast majority of journeys on the London Underground are made using the Oyster card without a paper ticket being issued. We have witnessed talk of a paperless office for more than 40 years. However, the office environment has shown a resistance to remove the mountain of paper generated. Things have changed in the past few years, with a marked shift in the paperless office concept. Paper documents contain a wealth of important management data and information that would be better stored electronically. There is computer software that makes this conversion possible. The benefit of scanning documents is not purely for archival reasons. OCR technology is vital for gaining access to paper-based information, as well as integrating that information in digital workflows.

The selection of the right OCR tool is dependent on specific needs. For some, online OCR services may be useful, but there are privacy concerns and file size limitations. This article focuses on desktop, open source OCR software that offer good recognition accuracy and file formats. We cover OCR engines as well as front-end tools.

OCR software is not mainstream so open source alternatives to proprietary heavyweight software are fairly thin on the ground. Matters are also complicated by the fact that OCR computer software needs very sophisticated algorithms to translate the image of text into accurate actual text. The software also has to cope with images that contain a lot more than text, such as layouts, images, graphics, tables, in single or multi pages.

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • CVE-2021-4034 – Ariadne's Space

    Before we get into this, I have seen a lot of people on Twitter blaming systemd for this vulnerability. It should be clarified that systemd has basically nothing to do with polkit, and has nothing at all to do with this vulnerability, systemd and polkit are separate projects largely maintained by different people. We should try to be empathetic toward software maintainers, including those from systemd and polkit, so writing inflammatory posts blaming systemd or its maintainers for polkit does not really help to fix the problems that made this a useful security vulnerability.

  • Windows ransomware LockBit makes the jump to Linux [Ed: Pro-Windows site. Misses the point that over 90% of ransomware is a Windows problem.]

    First, they came for Windows. Then, for Tux. As cool as Linux is, it's increasingly becoming a target for ransomware-friendly cyber criminals intent on ruining people's days.

  • These critical security bugs put Linux servers at risk of attack [Ed: Attack from the inside maybe; you need to actually have an account on such machines to begin with... compare to Windows with remotely-exploitable full compromise bugs/back doors]
  • Patch Now: A newly discovered critical Linux vulnerability probably affects your systems
  • IoT security certification group gains steam [Ed: Another fake security consortium? Their shoddy products might be best off avoided altogether, as there's rarely a practical need for such gimmicks.]

    The ioXT Alliance, which offers a certification program for IoT security, announced it has certified 195 products and grown to 580 members. Meanwhile, Timesys is seeking participants for a survey on IoT security.

Audiocasts/Shows: Videos Editing and More

Chile citizens: Support these constitutional proposals for free software and user privacy by Feb 1

Chile is in the midst of governmental changes, and with these changes comes the opportunity for the people of Chile to make their voices heard for long-term benefits to their digital rights and freedoms. Chilean activists have submitted three constitutional proposals relating to free software and user freedom, but they need signatures in order to have these proposals submitted to the constitutional debate. We encourage free software community members in Chile to have a look at these proposals, and sign those that uphold digital freedom and autonomy. The deadline for collecting signatures is February 1st. Some further explanation and other information gathered by one of our community members, Felix Freeman, is included below. The English version of Felix's message is provided below. Read more

GNU poke 2.0 released

I am happy to announce a new major release of GNU poke, version 2.0. This release is the result of a full year of development. A lot of things have changed and improved with respect to the 1.x series; we have fixed many bugs and added quite a lot of new exciting and useful features. See the complete release notes at https://jemarch.net/poke-2.0-relnotes.html for a detailed description of what is new in this release. We have had lots of fun and learned quite a lot in the process; we really wish you will have at least half of that fun using this tool! Read more