OCR Software

5 Best OCR Software of 2021: Extract text from images

If you’re in need of top-notch OCR software, these five platforms could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Published on
October 5, 2021

Companies and organizations around the globe are focusing on digitizing their businesses. A focus on digital innovation can help businesses scale, and OCR software has been a big part of modern digitization in organizations.

Back in the old days, office workers had to constantly scan, process, and fax documents like invoices and images by hand. This led to a notoriously high occurrence rate of errors. OCR software is a digital solution that helps organizations save time and money that would traditionally be spent on things like verification processes and data entry. OCR platforms are capable of automating the data entry process by scanning documents and photos to digitize the information in those documents. Each document can be easily saved in a variety of formats that can be edited as needed and fit into workflows easily.

OCR isn’t a brand new technology, but it’s worth noting that the modern version of OCR software is very robust. Today’s OCR software vendors can provide ultra-fast and highly accurate document processing. Even scans that are badly formatted and handwritten paperwork, today’s OCR software can process such documents with ease.

However, not all OCR software is equally as good. In this guide, we’ll explore five of our favorite OCR software, so you can make a more informed decision about your newest addition to your organization’s tech stack.

The 5 Best OCR Platforms of 2021

What is OCR Software / OCR Engine?

OCR (optical character recognition) software is capable of identifying text in scanned paperwork, as well as photos or artwork. Such software can also pull data from PDFs by converting the information into editable formats that can be digitally stored and edited when needed. OCR software can help you convert document photos to text with ease.

Before we dive into our list of the five best OCR platforms out there today, it’s worth noting that most OCR platforms follow a SaaS (Software as a Service) approach, so you can take advantage of cloud-based solutions. Just as well, most OCR platforms are based on RESTful APIs which can be integrated with your existing tech stack without issue.

1. FormX

When it comes to OCR software, the most attractive vendors make it possible to automate data extraction and capture. Business professionals are simply sick of having to process and manually input data from documents, so having the ability to leave the task to an AI-based program is desirable. FormX does an excellent job at providing this solution, as well as a number of different bells and whistles.

FormX is a data extraction cloud-based SaaS that uses artificial intelligence to take information from paper documents and process them into structured, accurate, and usable digital data. Many large enterprises use FormX because it’s so dependable and accurate, including Google, Link REIT, and Wilson Parking. 

FormX works well with images taken with smartphones

One of the best aspects of FormX is that virtually any document can be easily processed into structured data with this platform. A few examples include invoices, receipts, bank statements, handwritten forms, shipping orders, applications, reports, licenses, and much more. While there are many pre-configured data extraction models available to use, you can also train your own custom models for your business needs. These extractors and models can be configured with its user-friendly no-code web portal. API integration with mobile apps is effortless, making it ideal for teams without developers as well as teams with developers. 

FormX provides a desktop app for non-developers to batch-process their images

For those without developers, FormX provides a desktop app that can parse images and PDFs into Excel spreadsheets in batch. FormX is probably one of the best platforms you could use for data processing.

FormX uses AI to automate data extraction from any physical documents.
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2. Google Document AI

You can’t go wrong with one of the most trustworthy platforms available. Google’s Document AI product is an excellent solution that is part of the overall Google Cloud AI suite. DocAI is a type of document processing platform that utilizes machine learning to analyze, extract, and unlock data and provide data insights from physical documents. There are a lot of benefits to Google Document AI. To start, if you already use mostly Google products in your tech stack, implementation is extremely easy. This platform is also very easy to implement regardless, stores data safely within the cloud, and is quite fast.

However, it’s far from perfect. While we recommend this tool if you have a Google-based tech stack, there are some downsides to Google Document AI. The current AI modules don’t have the best documentation. Customization is quite difficult, and without that valuable documentation, figuring it out can be a lost cause. Just as well, it’s notably more expensive than other similar OCR platforms. Still, you can’t beat Google Document AI’s speed and integration-friendliness, which makes it worth trying out.

3. AWS Textract

AWS Textract is one of the more well-known OCR software platforms out there, and for good reason. This platform is capable of automatically extracting text and relevant data from scanned paper documents through the use of machine learning, AI, and OCR technology. AWS Textract is also a fantastic tool to use for identifying and understanding data that is in table form, which has historically been a roadblock for OCR technology. This tool uses a pay-per-use payment model, so you won’t have to worry about overpaying for your product. You’ll only pay for how much you use AWS Textract. It’s also incredibly easy to use, with little in the way of a learning curve. Implementation is quick and easy.

Now, there are some downsides. Despite being basic in machine learning, it’s not possible to train AWS Textract. Just as well, the accuracy of your documents might vary, especially for scanned documents that are messy or handwritten. In fact, AWS Textract isn’t really ideal for handwritten documents at all. If your business invests a lot of time into the data processing of handwritten documents like applications and forms, then AWS Textract may not be a good solution for your needs.

4. Docparser

Docparser is a popular and well-trust OCR tool. This platform boasts the ability to directly parse text from PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, and so much more. To use Docparser, all you have to do is scan a printed document and transfer it to your account on the Docparser platform. Once you’ve finished creating your parsing rules, you can then pull the text you need from those documents and send that data to a wide range of third-party platforms, from Google Sheets to Microsoft Word and more.

5. Nanonets

Another great example of an OCR platform that is based on artificial intelligence, Nanonets is capable of automating data capture for virtually any document or image out there, as well as ID cards and low-quality documents. Nanonets delivers a lot of features through the use of machine learning, image processing, and deep learning. This platform has a modern and robust user interface and can handle a fairly large volume of documents. Nanonets has tons of benefits: It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and does not require any developers or development teams. Nanonet’s API is great for integration and customization.

How was our list of the best OCR software? Tell us which product you’ve tried and tested at hello@oursky.com.

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