Best Online PDF OCR Tools in 2023

Don’t want to type out text from a scanned PDF file? You need an online PDF OCR tool to convert PDF documents into editable formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or plain text. 

Here we offer you a comprehensive guide on top online PDF OCR tools available in 2023. Whether you’re looking for a free tool or a paid one, you’ll find the one that fits your needs best. Join us to explore the features, pros, and cons of each tool.

What is PDF OCR?

If you manage PDF documents for your studies or work, you might have been looking for a solution that enables you to edit, copy and paste text from scanned PDFs.

That’s where the term PDF OCR comes into play. OCR, which stands for Optical Character Recognition, is a technology that makes it possible to convert scanned PDF files into editable text.

PDF OCR saves you time when you have to extract text from a scanned PDF. After converting the PDF into an editable format, you can edit the content just as you would with a standard Word file.

Top 6 Online PDF OCR Tools in 2023

Using an online PDF OCR tool, you can convert a scanned PDF into an editable format quickly and without downloading software.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 online PDF OCR tools in 2023 that you can use for free.

Tool 1: Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is recognized as the best online PDF OCR tool in 2023. It uses advanced OCR technology to turn your scanned files into editable PDF documents instantly, with editable text and custom fonts that look just like the original file.  

Here are the pros and cons of Adobe Acrobat as a PDF OCR Tool:


  • Its automatic custom font generation ensures your new PDF matches your original fonts.
  • You can even work with your new PDF in other applications, making it easy to incorporate into existing workflows. 
  • You can use its other editing tools to rearrange or delete your PDF text.


  • You have to pay for a paid version to access its OCR feature.
  • You might need to spend long time to learn how to use its features since Adobe Acrobat has so many advanced functionalities.
  • The whole process will slow down if you’re using an older computer.

Here’s how to use the tool:

  1. Open a PDF file containing a scanned image in Acrobat.
  2. Click the “Edit PDF” in the right pane. The software automatically applies OCR to your document and converts it to a fully editable copy.
  3. Select the text element you wish to edit and start typing. The text will match the appearance of the original fonts in your scanned image.
  4. Choose “File” > “Save As” and give a new name for your editable document.

Tool 2: Google Docs

Google Docs is a cloud-based platform and apart from a well-known editing tool, it’s also a powerful PDF OCR tool. 

Here are the pros and cons of Google Docs as a PDF OCR Tool:


  • It’s free. 
  • It allows more than one user to edit the same document at the same time.
  • You can store multiple PDFs on Google Drive to manage them easily.


  • It may deliver less accurate scan results when dealing with complex layouts.
  • Uploading your PDF onto a cloud-based platform may raise privacy concerns.

To help you better understand the cons, let’s take a look at the two screenshots when we’re trying to turn a PDF with a complicated format into an editable file.

Here are simple steps to use Google Docs as an OCR tool:

1. Upload the scanned PDF document.

2. Right-click on the PDF document and select “Open with” > “Google Docs”.

3. Google Docs will open the PDF document and automatically perform OCR on the document.

4. Once the OCR process is complete, you can edit the text or download the document.

Tool 3: is a free online PDF OCR tool that allows you to upload your scanned PDFs and images and convert them into editable text. 

Here are the pros and cons:


  • It’s free.
  • It supports over 40 languages and can recognize text in multiple fonts.
  • There are three output formats to choose from, including docs, xlsx, and txt.


  • No other customization options besides output formats and language.
  • “Guest” users (without registration) are only allowed to convert 15 files per hour.

Here’s how to use the tool:

  1. Click the “Select file” button and select the scanned PDF file that you want to convert to editable text.
  2. Select the language of the PDF file from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the output format for the OCR’d document, including text, Word, and Excel.
  4. Click the “Convert” button to start the OCR process.
  5. Once the OCR process is complete, you can download the editable document.

Tool 4: ONEPDF

Another online OCR tool compatible with iOS and Android is ONEPDF, enabling you to extract text from PDFs or images.

Here are the pros and cons:


  • It’s free.
  • Its PDF scanning results reach up to 99% precision.
  • It supports more than 16 languages.


  • It only converts scanned PDFs less than 1GB in file size. 
  • The result may be less accurate when it comes to handwritten texts.

Follow these three simple steps to OCR PDFs for free:

  1. Upload your PDF file to the OCR PDF tool.
  2. Choose document language.
  3. Get an editable PDF.

Tool 5: Soda PDF Online

Soda PDF Online is an easy-to-use software complete with editing tools for modifying PDF files your way. 

Here are the pros and cons:


  • It offers a range of customization options to ensure that the output is accurate.
  • You can choose text output: text-image, text only, or image-text.
  • It supports multiple PDF versions, ranging from PDF 1.4 to PDF 1.7.5.


  • You have to spend some time learning how to use the OCR feature since there’re many customization options.
  • It requires a stable internet connection.

Here’s how you can use the OCR tool:

  1. Choose the “OCR” feature in the top toolbar.
  2. Drop your PDF file or click on “Browse” to upload a scanned PDF file.
  3. The OCR will be completed automatically.
  4. Edit or select text in the file. 
  5. You can also open “Settings” in the top right toolbar to customize your output content.
  6. Click on the “Download” button to download your OCR’d document.

Tool 6: i2OCR

i2OCR is a free online PDF OCR tool in 2023. You can upload your scanned PDFs and images to i2OCR and use the OCR feature to convert them into editable text. i2OCR supports over 60 languages and can recognize text in multiple fonts.

Here are the pros and cons:


  • It’s free.
  • It supports more than 100 languages.
  • It allows you to select a PDF to OCR from a url.


  • It only allows you to download OCR’d documents in text format.
  • It has limited customization for an accurate OCR result.

i2OCR converts PDF to text in 2 steps: first, it converts PDF into images, then recognize text of the selected image.

How to Select Best PDF OCR Tools

Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing a PDF OCR online tool :


Choose a tool that can accurately recognize text from your PDF documents, especially when the content is handwritten. Online OCR tools that use advanced algorithms are more reliable. 

Ease of Use

Look for an OCR tool whose user interface is user-friendly. The best tool allows you to select, upload and download the PDF file in easy steps. The OCR process should be intuitive, without requiring too much learning.


Select an OCR tool that promises to keep your data safe. Remember to check the security features before uploading your PDF file. The best online OCR tool should offer secure data storage.


Pick free OCR tools if you only need to use some basic features. If you need advanced features and are not on a tight budget, go for a paid plan that allows you to make more changes to your PDF file.

Key Takeaway

Using an online PDF OCR tool can help you convert uneditable PDF files into searchable and selectable PDFs.

Try to use the 6 best online PDF OCR tools we’ve discussed in this article. Adobe Acrobat, Google Docs,, Soda PDF Online, and ONEPDF are all free and easy to use.

With the right online PDF OCR tool, you can streamline workflows of data extraction and analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best OCR APIs for PDFs?

The best OCR APIs for PDFs are Google Cloud Vision API and Microsoft Azure Computer Vision. 

They allow you to unlock insights from image and video content using OCR, object detection, and image analysis.

What are the best OCR software options for Windows 10?

The best OCR software options for Windows 10 are Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, and ABBYY FineReader. 

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a favored option among users for its robust OCR capabilities. ABBYY FineReader is trusted in the OCR field for its precision and editing tools.