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Convert PDFs and Images into Searchable Text on Your Mac with These Free OCR Apps

Mac OCR Download: How to Convert Scanned Documents into Editable Text on Your Mac

If you have ever scanned a document or an image on your Mac, you may have noticed that you cannot edit or search the text on it. That's because scanned documents are saved as images, not as text files. To make them editable and searchable, you need to use a technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Mac Ocr Download

OCR is a process that converts scanned images into text that can be edited, copied, pasted, searched, or translated. It is useful for many purposes, such as digitizing paper documents, extracting information from receipts or invoices, creating searchable PDFs, translating foreign languages, or improving accessibility for visually impaired users.

In this article, we will explain what OCR is and why you need it on your Mac. We will also show you how to choose the best OCR software for Mac based on various criteria. Finally, we will review and compare three free OCR tools for Mac that you can download in 2023.

What is OCR?

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a technology that analyzes scanned images or PDFs and recognizes the text characters on them. It then converts the image into a text file that can be edited, copied, pasted, searched, or translated using any word processor or text editor.

OCR works by using algorithms and machine learning to identify the shapes and patterns of the characters on the image. It then compares them with a database of known characters and assigns them a corresponding value. For example, if the OCR software detects a shape that looks like an "A", it will assign it the value "A".

OCR can recognize text from various types of documents and images, such as books, magazines, newspapers, letters, invoices, receipts, business cards, flyers, posters, signs, logos, or handwritten notes. It can also recognize text from different languages, fonts, sizes, colors, orientations, and backgrounds.

However, OCR is not perfect. It may make errors or miss some characters due to factors such as poor image quality, low resolution, distortion, noise, blur, glare, shadows, or complex layouts. Therefore, it is important to check and correct the OCR output before using it for any purpose.

Why Do You Need OCR on Your Mac?

OCR is a useful technology that can help you with many tasks on your Mac. Here are some of the benefits and use cases of OCR on Mac:

  • Digitize paper documents: If you have a lot of paper documents that you want to store or share digitally, you can use OCR to scan them and convert them into editable and searchable text files. This way, you can save space, reduce clutter, protect your documents from damage or loss, and access them anytime and anywhere.

  • Extract information from documents or images: If you need to get some information from a document or an image, such as a name, a phone number, an email address, a date, a price, or a barcode, you can use OCR to scan it and copy the text to your clipboard. This way, you can avoid typing it manually and save time and effort.

  • Create searchable PDFs: If you have a PDF file that contains scanned images or text that cannot be searched or copied, you can use OCR to convert it into a searchable PDF. This way, you can easily find what you are looking for by using the search function or highlight and copy the text to another application.

  • Translate foreign languages: If you encounter a document or an image that contains text in a foreign language that you do not understand, you can use OCR to scan it and translate it into your preferred language. This way, you can learn new words, phrases, or sentences and communicate with people from different cultures.

  • Improve accessibility for visually impaired users: If you have a visual impairment that makes it difficult for you to read text on paper or screen, you can use OCR to scan it and convert it into speech or braille. This way, you can listen to or feel the text and access the information without any barriers.

How to Choose the Best OCR Software for Mac