FreeOCR is a basic optical character recognition package that will quickly extract the text from scanned documents, images or PDF files.

The program's clean and simple interface means it's easy to get started. At the click of a button it can import a page from your scanner, open a PDF file or an image (TIF, BMP, JPG, GIF and PNG formats are supported). Then one more click on the OCR button and FreeOCR will scan your image for text, displaying it in a separate window.

The accuracy of the results proved variable, in our tests: you may have to spend some time editing the finished text before you get quality results. (The OCR engine also requires images with a resolution of at least 200dpi, so screen grabs are unlikely to produce useful results.)

And while FreeOCR can open multi-page PDFs, you must work through them manually, one at a time, which could prove tedious for lengthy documents.

Still, with the right documents FreeOCR could still save you a great deal of time, and it's so easy to use that it won't take long to find out if this is the right tool for you. Well worth a look. But please note: the program will attempt to install additional elements prior to installing the main program - read each EULA carefully, and click Decline to avoid installing potentially unwanted software.

What's new in 5.4.1?

- Testing with Windows 10 (Technical Preview)
- Scanning fixes to makes/models of scanner
- Better PDF compatibility for PDF Open function
- Minor fixes

Verdict

FreeOCR has its limitations, but we can't really complain at this price, and if your OCR requirements are simple then it may provide everything you need