Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List)

Updated May 8, 2023

PDF files are frequently used for sharing documents; however, there are times when converting them into editable formats becomes necessary. Free OCR software can be employed for this purpose, enabling users to extract text from scanned documents. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology allows for the conversion of PDF documents and image files into editable text.

OCR has significantly transformed how businesses and individuals manage, store, and process documents. By converting printed or handwritten text into machine-readable text, OCR tools facilitate faster data entry, enhanced document management, and optimized workflow. Microsoft, a leading technology provider, offers a variety of OCR software solutions catering to diverse requirements. In this article, we examine some top Microsoft OCR tools and their potential to streamline your work processes.

Microsoft Office Lens

Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List): Figure 1

Microsoft Office Lens is a versatile OCR app available for iOS and Android devices. It enables users to capture images, extract text, and convert documents into editable formats like Word and PowerPoint. Office Lens can improve document management and workflow for both individuals and businesses by facilitating easy digitization of physical documents, streamlined collaboration, and increased accessibility of information.

Key Features

  • Image capture with automatic cropping and perspective correction
  • Text extraction from printed or handwritten documents
  • Document conversion into Word, PowerPoint, or PDF formats
  • Integration with OneDrive and other Microsoft applications


Microsoft Office Lens is available for free.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List): Figure 2

OneNote is an advanced note-taking app with built-in OCR capabilities that caters to a wide range of users. Its features, such as image capture, handwriting recognition, and collaboration tools, make it an ideal solution for both individuals and businesses looking to improve their note-taking, organization, and collaboration processes.

With OneNote, users can effortlessly search for text within images, even if the text is handwritten or embedded in complex layouts. This powerful feature enables users to quickly locate important information without having to manually sift through large volumes of notes. Handwriting recognition is another key feature of OneNote, allowing users to convert their handwritten notes into typed text. This functionality not only makes the notes more legible and professional-looking but also ensures that the content is easily searchable, further streamlining the organization process.

Key Features

  • Text recognition within images
  • Handwriting recognition and conversion to typed text
  • Real-time collaboration with sharing and editing features
  • Integration with Microsoft Office Suite and other applications


OneNote is available for free with a basic Microsoft account. Additional features and storage can be accessed with a Microsoft 365 subscription, starting at $6.99 per month for individual users.

Microsoft Cognitive Services

Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List): Figure 3

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a suite of cloud-based APIs for developers, which includes an OCR API with advanced capabilities. This API can detect multiple languages, analyze images, and extract printed or handwritten text with high accuracy. By integrating the OCR API into applications, businesses can enhance their workflows, improve data extraction, and streamline their document management processes.

OCR Feature

  • Language detection for over 60 languages
  • Image analysis, including text recognition and layout detection
  • Integration with other Microsoft Cognitive Services APIs
  • Scalable, pay-as-you-go pricing model


Microsoft Cognitive Services offers a free tier with limited requests per month. For higher usage, the pricing starts at $1 per 1,000 transactions.

Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List): Figure 4

IronOCR: C# OCR Library

Microsoft OCR Software (Updated List): Figure 5

IronOCR is a comprehensive OCR library tailored to meet the needs of C# and .NET developers. This cutting-edge solution enables developers to effortlessly extract text from images, scanned documents, and PDF files, simplifying processing, searching, and storing textual content from a variety of sources like scanned documents or files.

By automating the process of extracting text from images and documents, developers can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual data entry or integrating third-party APIs. IronOCR is suitable for a wide range of applications, such as digitizing printed books, automating data extraction from invoices and receipts, extracting text from images on websites, and implementing accessibility features for visually impaired users.

Features of IronOCR

Accurate text recognition: IronOCR can accurately recognize text from images, PDFs, and scanned documents, supporting multiple languages, including multilingual documents. Advanced image pre-processing: IronOCR can handle low-quality and distorted images, thanks to its pre-processing capabilities, including noise reduction, rotation, and resizing. Barcode and QR code recognition: Besides OCR, IronOCR also supports reading barcodes and QR codes, which can be used for various applications like inventory management and ticketing systems. Easy integration with .NET platforms: IronOCR is compatible with popular .NET frameworks, such as .NET Core, .NET Framework, and .NET Standard.

How to Install

IronOCR can be easily installed using the NuGet Package Manager. To install IronOCR, open your project in Visual Studio, then follow these steps:

  1. Go to 'Tools' > 'NuGet Package Manager' > 'Manage NuGet Packages for Solution...'
  2. In the 'Browse' tab, search for 'IronOCR' and select the IronOcr package.
  3. Click on 'Install,' and the IronOCR library will be added to your project.

OCR of a Picture

Here is a one-liner solution to perform quick OCR of an image:

    using IronOcr;
    string imageText = new IronTesseract().Read(@"images\image.png").Text;

    using IronOcr;
    string imageText = new IronTesseract().Read(@"images\image.png").Text;
Imports IronOcr
	Private imageText As String = (New IronTesseract()).Read("images\image.png").Text
VB   C#

It's as simple as that!


IronOCR offers a free trial with full functionality. Pricing starts at $599 per developer for a single project license.


Microsoft OCR tools offer a range of benefits for businesses and individuals, such as improved document management, streamlined workflow, and increased productivity. These solutions cater to diverse needs, making them an ideal choice for users ranging from casual individuals to large enterprises.

OCR tools play a crucial role in digitizing documents, improving data accessibility, and enhancing overall efficiency. By leveraging the power of Microsoft OCR tools and exploring libraries like IronOCR, you can find the best OCR solution that aligns with your requirements and budget. We encourage you to try out the recommended tools, take advantage of free trials, and explore other OCR options available to optimize your document management and workflows.

IronOCR offers a comprehensive OCR solution with advanced capabilities and support for over 125 languages. To help you experience the benefits of IronOCR firsthand, they provide a free trial, allowing you to test the software and determine if it's the right fit for your needs. If you decide to continue using IronOCR, pricing starts at $599 for a single project license.

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