A Comparison between IronOCR and Syncfusion OCR

This article will compare two software libraries that use optical character recognition (OCR) to automate the detection and extraction of printed or handwritten text from images and from scanned documents. First, we will discuss the features of both libraries. Next, we will examine and compare their text recognition and extraction capabilities using example source code produced using both libraries. Finally, we will compare the libraries' licensing and pricing.

The libraries that we will compare in this article are:

  • IronOCR
  • Syncfusion Essential PDF

1. Syncfusion OCR

Syncfusion's Essential PDF library incorporates OCR functionality to enable image-text processing on scanned images within PDF documents.

Syncfusion's OCR processor can work with Tesseract versions 3 (3.02 and 3.05) and 4. The library can be included in .NET Core and ASP.NET applications.

Features of SyncFusion Essential PDF's OCR Functionality include:

  • Perform OCR Tasks on PDF Documents. The library's OCRProcessor class can be used to perform OCR on PDF files. It is based on the Tesseract data processor, which is known to be one of the best OCR processors in the world.
  • Perform OCR Tasks on Parts of PDF Documents. Users can OCR specific pages or areas of a PDF document.
  • Perform OCR Tasks on Images. Users can extract textual data from images for import into other applications.
  • Multi-Language Support. The Google Tesseract engine (Syncfusion by extension) currently supports more than 60 languages right now, and is experimenting on many more.
  • Good Accuracy. By harnessing Google's Tesseract open source engine, Syncfusion Essential PDF achieves very good text accuracy, performing OCR in an decent amount of time.

2. IronOCR

IronOCR is a C# software library that allows .NET platform developers to recognize and read text from pictures and PDF documents. It is a .NET-only OCR library that uses the powerful Tesseract engine. Tesseract versions 3 - 5 works right out of the box on Windows, macOS, Linux, Azure, AWS, Lambda, Mono, and Xamarin Mac.

IronOCR covers more languages than every OCR engine available, supporting 125 languages, (only English is installed by default).

.NET developers have full control over their documents, being able to modify them as they see appropriate.

2.1. IronOCR Features

IronOCR offers a unique combination of capabilities and functions for integrating, signing, exporting, reading visuals, and extracting details from photos, independent of user technical background or hardware sophistication.

2.1.1. Accuracy

The IronOCR SDK beats other OCR libraries in terms of accuracy, with a rate of 99.8 percent.

2.1.2. Fixing Low-Quality Scans and Images

The IronOCR class provides extensive control to C# developers. They give their developers OCR (images and PDF to text) functionality and fine-tuned performance in each specific instance.

IronOCR includes configuration options that enable the library to process images that are not of ideal quality. Some of these configurations that are available include: Clean Background Noise, Enhance Contrast, Enhance Resolution, Language, Strategy, Rotate And Straighten, Color Space, Detect White Text On Dark Backgrounds, and Input Image Type.

2.1.3. Languages

IronOCR provides support for 125+ international languages.

2.1.4. OCR Text Extraction

The Iron Tesseract can read several image formats as well as PDF files. This feature is not available with standard, free Tesseract engines. If your scans are of poor quality, OCR input allows you to automatically fix the required attributes.

2.1.5. Image Optimization Filters

The OCRInput class provides C# programmers with fine-grained control over input. The picture input is subsequently preprocessed by developers for speed and accuracy. This eliminates the need to use Photoshop Batch Scripts or ImageMagick to prepare photographs prior to OCR processing.

2.1.6. OCR Region of an Image

IronOCR allows its end-users to perform OCR on specific areas of an image.

2.1.7. OCRResult Class

IronOCR returns an advanced result object for each page it scans using Tesseract 3,4 or 5. This contains location data, images, text, statistical confidence, alternative symbol choices, font names, font-sizes decoration, font weights, and a position for each of the following:

  • Pages
  • Paragraphs
  • Lines of Text
  • Words
  • Individual Characters
  • Barcodes

2.1.8. Multiple Languages in one Document

IronOCR allows developers to use multiple languages in a single document. This capability is extremely beneficial to .NET service providers.

3. Starting a new project in Visual Studio

In this article, we will be using a new Visual Studio Console Application to demonstrate the OCR processing capabilities of both IronOCR and Syncfusion Essential PDF.

Open the Visual Studio software, go to the file menu and select New Project. Then, select Console Application.

Enter the project name and select the path in the appropriate text box. Next, click the create button, and then select the required .NET framework, as in the screenshot below:

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 1

The Visual Studio project will now generate the structure for the new console application. The program.cs file will be opened upon completion.

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 2

We will now add both libraries to the project.

4. Install the IronOCR Library

The IronOCR library can be downloaded and installed in four ways. These are:

  1. Using the Visual Studio NuGet Package Manager
  2. Direct download from the NuGet webpage.
  3. Direct download from the IronOCR webpage.
  4. Using the Visual Studio Command Line.

4.1. Using the Visual Studio NuGet Manager

You can integrate IronOCR in a C# project using the Visual Studio NuGet Package Manager.

Access the NuGet Package Manager GUI by clicking on Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solutions...

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 3

After this, a new window will appear. Search for IronOCR and install the package in the project.

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 4

Additional language packs for IronOCR can also be installed using the same method described above.

4.2. Direct download from the NuGet webpage

IronOCR can be directly downloaded from the NuGet website by following these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the IronPDF NuGet Gallery Page
  2. Select the download package option from the menu on the right-hand side.
  3. Double-click the downloaded package. It will be installed automatically.

4.3. Direct download from the IronOCR webpage

Developers can download the library from the IronOCR web site and add it as a project reference.

Follow the instructions below to add the library as a reference in Visual Studio.

  1. Right-click the project from the solution window.
  2. Then, select Add Project Reference and browse the location of the downloaded reference.
  3. Next, click OK to add the reference.

4.4. Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

  1. In Visual Studio, go to Tools > NuGet Package manager > Package manager console
  2. Enter the following line in the package manager console tab:
  3. Install-Package IronOCR
A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 5

The package will now download/install in the current project and be ready to use.

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 6

5. Install the Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR Library

Syncfsion Essential PDF can be installed in three different ways.

  1. Using the Visual Studio NuGet Package Manager
  2. Direct download from the NuGet webpage.
  3. Using the Visual Studio Command Line.

5.1. Using the Visual Studio NuGet Manager

As with IronOCR, developers can also install SyncFusion's OCR Library using Visual Studio's NuGet Package Manager.

Access the Package Manager as before by clicking on Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solutions...

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 7

Search for SyncFusion OCR and install the appropriate package (should be Syncfusion.PDF.OCR.Net.Core)

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 8

Additional language packs for SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR can be downloaded from GitHub.

5.2. Direct download from the NuGet webpage

Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR can be directly downloaded from the NuGet website by following these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the package's NuGet Gallery page.
  2. Select the download package option from the menu on the right-hand side.
  3. Double-click the downloaded package. It will be installed automatically.
  4. Next, reload the solution and start using it on the project.

5.3. Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

  1. In Visual Studio, go to Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Package Manager Console
  2. Enter the following line in the package manager console tab:
Install-Package Syncfusion.PDF.OCR.Net.Core -Version 20.2.0.38
A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 9

The package will now download/install in the current project and be ready to use.

6. Perform OCR on PDF document

Both IronOCR and Syncfusion OCR are capable of performing OCR on PDF documents. Here, we will discuss how both of them can be used in Visual studio.

6.1. PDF OCR Text Extraction using IronOCR

With just a few lines of code, developers can perform OCR on an entire PDF or on specific pages/portions of a PDF. Consider the code snippet below.

using IronOcr;
var Ocr = new IronTesseract();
using (var Input = new OcrInput())
{
    Input.AddPdf("example.pdf", "password");
    var Result = Ocr.Read(Input);
    Console.WriteLine(Result.Text);
}
using IronOcr;
var Ocr = new IronTesseract();
using (var Input = new OcrInput())
{
    Input.AddPdf("example.pdf", "password");
    var Result = Ocr.Read(Input);
    Console.WriteLine(Result.Text);
}
Imports IronOcr
Private Ocr = New IronTesseract()
Using Input = New OcrInput()
	Input.AddPdf("example.pdf", "password")
	Dim Result = Ocr.Read(Input)
	Console.WriteLine(Result.Text)
End Using
VB   C#

6.2. PDF OCR Text Extraction using Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR

You can use the OCRProcessor Class to perform OCR on PDF documents as well as on regions of a document. Examine the code sample below for context.

using Syncfusion.OCRProcessor;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing;
//initialize the ocr processor
using (OCRProcessor processor = new OCRProcessor(@"TesseractBinaries\"))
{
PdfLoadedDocument lDoc = new PdfLoadedDocument("Input.pdf");
processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English;
processor.PerformOCR(lDoc, @"TessData\");
lDoc.Save("Sample.pdf");
lDoc.Close(true);
}
using Syncfusion.OCRProcessor;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing;
//initialize the ocr processor
using (OCRProcessor processor = new OCRProcessor(@"TesseractBinaries\"))
{
PdfLoadedDocument lDoc = new PdfLoadedDocument("Input.pdf");
processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English;
processor.PerformOCR(lDoc, @"TessData\");
lDoc.Save("Sample.pdf");
lDoc.Close(true);
}
Imports Syncfusion.OCRProcessor
Imports Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics
Imports Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing
'initialize the ocr processor
Using processor As New OCRProcessor("TesseractBinaries\")
Dim lDoc As New PdfLoadedDocument("Input.pdf")
processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English
processor.PerformOCR(lDoc, "TessData\")
lDoc.Save("Sample.pdf")
lDoc.Close(True)
End Using
VB   C#

7. Perform OCR on Images

Both libraries can perform OCR on images within a C#.NET and .NET Core application.

7.1. Perform OCR on Images using IronOCR

IronOCR is unique in its ability to automatically detect and read text from imperfectly scanned images with only two lines of code.

using IronOcr;
var Result = new IronTesseract().Read(@"images\11111.png").Text;
using IronOcr;
var Result = new IronTesseract().Read(@"images\11111.png").Text;
Imports IronOcr
Private Result = (New IronTesseract()).Read("images\11111.png").Text
VB   C#

OCR input Image

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 10

OCR OUTPUT form IMAGE
OCR Output
Simple Data Outputs:
» NET Text Strings
» Barcode & QR Data & Images
Structured Data Outputs:
» Pages
» Blocks
» Paragraphs
» Lines
» words
» Characters
Export Documents:
» Searchable PDFs
» hOCR / HTML Export
» Images of any Page, Text
Element or Barcode

7.2. Perform OCR on Image using the Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR Processor

Syncfusion Essential PDF is capable of extracting text from images with great accuracy.

using (OCRProcessor processor = new OCRProcessor(@"TesseractBinaries\"))
using Syncfusion.OCRProcessor;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing;
{
//loading the input image
Bitmap image = new Bitmap("11111.jpeg");
//Set OCR language to process
processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English;
//Process OCR by providing the bitmap image, data dictionary and language
string ocrText= processor.PerformOCR(image, @"TessData\");
}
using (OCRProcessor processor = new OCRProcessor(@"TesseractBinaries\"))
using Syncfusion.OCRProcessor;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics;
using Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing;
{
//loading the input image
Bitmap image = new Bitmap("11111.jpeg");
//Set OCR language to process
processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English;
//Process OCR by providing the bitmap image, data dictionary and language
string ocrText= processor.PerformOCR(image, @"TessData\");
}
Using processor As New OCRProcessor("TesseractBinaries\")
Using Syncfusion.OCRProcessor
End Using
End Using
Using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics
	Using Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing
	'loading the input image
	Dim image As New Bitmap("11111.jpeg")
	'Set OCR language to process
	processor.Settings.Language = Languages.English
	'Process OCR by providing the bitmap image, data dictionary and language
	Dim ocrText As String= processor.PerformOCR(image, "TessData\")
	End Using
End Using
VB   C#

OCR Input Image

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 11

OCR OUTPUT form IMAGE
OCR Outpu
Simple Data Output:

+ NET Text Strings
Dee eT Nd
tC eke ass
Biren)
Soy
Seg
ors
eae
eed
TLC
eres
Smt d
See amr'
etd ieot

8. Licensing

Use of both IronOCR and Syncfusion Essential PDF require software licenses.

8.1. IronOCR Licensing

IronOCR has a free development license for personal, noncommercial projects.

IronOCR offers a distinct price structure for commercial licenses. The Lite package begins at $499 with no additional costs. All licenses include a 30-day money-back guarantee, a year of software support and upgrades, development, testing, staging, production validity, and a perpetual license (one-time purchase). Learn more about IronOCR's complete pricing structure and licensing information from this page.

For a one-time fee of $1599, you may obtain royalty-free redistribution of SaaS and OEM goods.

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 12

8.2. Syncfusion Essential PDF Licensing

Syncfusion Essential PDF provides three types of developer licenses, but doesn't provide SaaS and OEM coverage.

  • Community License. The Community license is free for developers and small companies of up to 5 developers. It also includes live support.
  • Retail License. The Retail license is a yearly-based license that must be purchased separately for each developer in an organization. Retail licenses start from $995 per year per developer.
  • Unlimited License. This option provides licenses for an entire organization on the same, yearly basis but for a lower price.

View the entire licensing structure for Syncfusion Essential PDF (and for other Syncfusion components) on the product licensing page.

A Comparison Between IronOCR and SyncFusion Essential PDF OCR, Figure 13

9. Conclusion

IronOCR supports about 125 worldwide languages in total. Its processing capabilities include: the ability to perform OCR on portions of a PDF document or image, the ability to extract text from PDFs and photos, and the ability to correct an image of poor quality, among many more. IronOCR prioritizes speed and accuracy. Its accuracy rate of 99.8 percent is higher than any other Tesseract-powered OCR library on the market. IronOCR works right out of the box, with no need for performance tuning or image preprocessing.

Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR also uses the Google open-source tesseract engine. It can perform OCR on entire documents or specific portions of documents. Syncfusion's OCR library supports more than 60 international languages.

IronOCR licenses have lifetime validity with unlimited support and SaaS and OEM coverage. On the other hand, Syncfusion Essential PDF OCR offers yearly-based licenses. IronOCR pricing starts from $499, and Syncfusion pricing starts from $995 per year.

Obtain IronOCR along with four other Iron Software products for a discounted price by purchasing the full IronSuite. Products bundled in the IronSuite include:

  1. IronPDF
  2. IronOCR
  3. IronXL
  4. IronBarcode
  5. IronWebscraper

The Iron Software licensing page contains more detailed information about pricing and licensing for the above five products.