Avoid Retyping A Document With Online OCR

I recently was faced with situation where I had a hardcopy of a typed document where there was no editable or electronic version available and I needed a way to access and edit the document without completely retyping it.

It was at this point I started to think in terms of OCR (optical character recognition). OCR is software that has the ability to take typewritten (and sometimes handwritten) text and convert it to a digital version that can be electronically stored and edited. In my case, I did not want to install software on the computer, and started to think even further outside the box. I wondered, are there any online OCR services on the internet?

As I have said before, “if you can think of it, someone has done it”…  There are quite a few OCR services out there that I tried and the one I am settling with is called Online OCR… Online OCR is a free service in a “Guest mode” (without registration) that allows you to convert 15 images per hour.

Online OCR

I was able to take the hardcopy of the document, scan it to a PDF file, upload the PDF file to Online OCR where the text in the file was read and subsequently converted to an editable Microsoft Word document. What sold me on Online OCR was that Online OCR managed to convert the document and retain the formatting (fonts, table, etc…) to near perfection.

Online OCR’s conversion process with recognize 32 languages and can handle up to 8 different input file formats and produce 6 different output formats:


  • PDF (All types of PDF files including multi-page PDFs)
  • TIF/TIFF (Multipage TIFFs supported)
  • BMP
  • PCX
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • ZIP files containing the above types of files can also be uploaded.


    • Adobe PDF
    • MS Word 2003/XP
    • MS Excel 2003/XP
    • Html 4.0
    • RTF
    • Text Plain



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6 thoughts on “Avoid Retyping A Document With Online OCR

Add yours

  1. Hi Rick,

    That online OCR software looks pretty cool. I bet someone converting old records to digital form would really like that.

    Also, thanks a lot of the mention in the bonus area!


    1. Acitodg,

      Online OCR is the best one I tested… It recently saved my butt from having to retype some documents. I was very impressed with the output.

      Anytime on the mention… I really enjoy featuring other sites.



  2. I had done some research on online OCR, and did not get any luck to get a good tool that can recognize Chinese Language. When I looked last time, Adobe also could not support the chinese language recognization after scanning the hardcopy into a PDF, that is a bit of surprise. I asked some contacts in Chinese, they may have a tool, but likely originated from Chinese developers.


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