There are two well-known OCR software available for free namely - SimpleOCR and JOCR but both utilities require user to download and use them from desktop, however there is a better way to get images/documents converted in editable formats using free web-based OCR services, these free services allows users to upload documents in various formats and download editable version in format of their choice.
I tested some of these free online OCR services and here is a list of best ones which will get the job done easily and accurately.
- OCR Terminal - Simple, fast and accurate conversion but limited to only 30 free conversions per account.
- InstantOCR - multi-language OCR with support for more import/export formats then any other free online OCR service reviewed here.
- P2EScan - uses java based uploading.
- OnlineOCR - Fast and simple, use basic text-ocr without registration.
- FreeOCR - fast and simple OCR requiring no registration but can only convert to plain text.
- NewOCR - recognizes multilingual text from a scanned document or photo, handles image files in different formats, can process 29 languages (Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese) and supports layout analysis, which means that it can interpret multi-column text.