How to Scan to Editable Text in C#

Updated November 15, 2023

In our increasingly digital world, the ability to convert scanned documents into editable format has become an essential tool for both personal and professional purposes. Whether you're looking to extract important information from a printed page or transform a handwritten note into a digital document, scanning documents to editable format can save you time and effort.

In this article, we'll understand the concept of scanning to editable format and use a free online document OCR(optical character recognition) tool to help you achieve this task effortlessly. Additionally, we'll touch upon IronOCR, an advanced solution for those seeking more robust features.

Understanding Scan to Editable Text

Before we move any further, let's understand what "Scan to editable contents" means. Essentially, it's converting an image or scanned document, typically in a non-editable format like an Adobe Acrobat PDF file or image file, into a form where you can easily edit, search, and manipulate the text.

Applications of Transforming Scanned Document into Editable Text

Digitizing Printed Documents

Many businesses and individuals have piles of printed documents that they want to convert into digital files for easy access and searchability.

Editing Scanned Text

When you scan a document or take a picture of text, whether a Microsoft Word document table or some important original document with tightly spaced characters, it usually becomes a static image, scan to editable contents tools allow you to transform this image into an editable format so that you can make changes as needed.

Data Extraction

Converting scanned data into editable text is crucial for data analysis, especially when dealing with large volumes of information.

Archiving and Organization

Transforming paper documents into editable text files makes it easier to organize, store, and retrieve information.

Introducing IronOCR

IronOCR is a professional, complete OCR software program and library for .NET developers, offering advanced OCR capabilities, exceptional accuracy, and extensive format support.

IronOCR is a versatile tool that can convert printed or handwritten text in images into editable and readable text that you can efficiently work with. It's great for turning scanned documents into text that you can edit, search, or organize.

Features of IronOCR

Here's how IronOCR works for transforming scanned content into editable text:

  1. Compatibility: It can be used on different types of computers and for different kinds of software. So, whether you're on a Windows PC, a Mac, or even using cloud platforms like Azure or AWS, IronOCR can be your go-to tool.

    How to Scan to Editable Text in C#: Figure 1

  2. OCR Engine: A brilliant engine called Tesseract, which is excellent at recognizing image text, empowers IronOCR. This engine can understand text in various languages and fonts.
  3. Text and Barcode Reading: IronOCR can also understand barcodes and QR codes. So, if you have a document with barcodes or QR codes, IronOCR can read them.
  4. Specialist Documents: It's good at understanding specialized documents like receipts, checks (cheques), and invoices. If you have a pile of these, IronOCR can make them easy to manage.
  5. Computer Vision: IronOCR can use "computer vision" to find text in tricky images, even if the text is in weird places or at odd angles. It's like having a super-smart pair of eyes for your computer.
  6. Filters: It can also "clean up" images, making them better for reading. Imagine it as a tool that can sharpen blurry pictures, enhance image quality, and remove unwanted stuff from the images.
  7. Structured Data Output: After it reads the text, it organizes it neatly into pages, blocks, paragraphs, lines, words, and characters. This text organization makes it easy for you to work with the text.
  8. Export Documents: If you want to save the text in different formats, like searchable PDFs or HTML, IronOCR can do that for you.

Comparison with Online OCR software

While free online tools like Online OCR are suitable for basic tasks to extract text from scans for editing, IronOCR takes the game to a new level. In the realm of OCR programs, navigating through the complexities can often feel like a daunting task. Many users begin their journey by searching for a solution in the "file menu" and opening up the ABBYY FineReader program from the "Windows Start Menu." ABBYY FineReader, a well-known OCR tool, has earned a reputable spot in the OCR arena.

When using ABBYY FineReader, users click "Scan" button to initiate the OCR process within the ABBYY FineReader window. This popular OCR program boasts various features and capabilities, making it a formidable contender in the OCR realm.

However, when it comes to a head-to-head comparison with IronOCR, the differences start to emerge. IronOCR, a versatile C# .NET library, offers a strong alternative. It surpasses ABBYY FineReader in several aspects

  1. High Accuracy: IronOCR is renowned for its high accuracy, ensuring precise text recognition, even with complex cursive or italic fonts and layouts.
  2. Advanced Image Preprocessing: It can handle a scanned image with various quality levels, automatically enhancing and preprocessing images for optimal OCR results.
  3. Format Flexibility: It supports multiple input and output formats, including a scanned PDF file, Word processing program, Excel spreadsheets, and plain edit text files.
  4. Language Support: IronOCR supports numerous languages, providing up to 127+ language packs, making it suitable for international projects and multilingual document.


In conclusion, scanning to editable text OCR technology has revolutionized how we handle documents, format data, and information in this digital age. While free online tools like Online OCR provide a convenient starting point for basic needs, IronOCR offers a powerful solution for users seeking advanced features and the highest accuracy.

Whether you're a casual user or a developer looking to integrate OCR into your applications, changing scanned text into editable content is full of possibilities to make your life easier and more efficient.

Our licensing options include Team and Unlimited Licenses. Perpetual licenses provide ongoing support, while a 30-day money-back guarantee ensures satisfaction.

How to Scan to Editable Text in C#: Figure 2

We also offer royalty-free redistribution coverage for those requiring it.

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