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Anyone know of any free & reliable OCR software?

For a completely personal project, I need to get my hands on some (preferably free) OCR software capable scanning and lifting all the text from a relatively poor quality PDF of a scanned book dating from the 1950’s.

I use Linux and have so far tried 3 different applications but none seem to be working. In this case, if anyone has any direct experience of using OCR software which works well on Windows or Linux, please let me know!


Adobe Acrobat has a an option that converts PDF to Word, including text and images and it has worked very well for me.
I did have to retouch few pages in photoshop due to the bad status of the book, but besides that, it was very accurate.

I would agree that Adobe’s option is best which is only €20-something/year for unlimited.
I also used a site called online ocr which was not bad either. They charge by the page.
Tried all the free ones I could find and in the end, Adobe’s for that price per year is well worth it.

Yeah, it’s just that I am pretty sure that I already have an opensource version of Adobe’s exact same software installed. I am thinking that my PDF is just of too poor quality to read. It’s basically a PDF of a scanned book which has been out of print for decades and the writing on each page is fuzzy and bleeds into the background.

I think I might just go the evil route and send it to someone desperate for work to rewrite for $10.

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Send me a sample to try out with Adobe if you like but yours is also a good option

Thanks for the offer but I would need to find someone with very basic intellect and no knowledge of who I am to trust with this. I trust you but it is a project which would raise eyebrows.


At the end of the delivery, you can request a refund saying “This no good, nid refund imedzietli”, you can keep the $10, keep the work and have a free version.

(It’s a sarcasm, and what I recommended is immoral, so please do not follow it.) (not taling to cyarex btw)

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