Can you recommend OCR software for converting book scans?

Hello all,

I’ve just spent a frustrating few hours downloading various trial programmes which promise to convert PDFs to text.

I have a few old books that I’d like to scan and convert to text for editing in Scrivener (then compile as an e-book and re-publish).

My scanner is a Canoscan Lide 210 which is supposed to have OCR but it seems very poor. Can you recommend anything that will accurately convert PDF (or Jpeg) to editable text?

Many thanks in anticipation


Acrobat Pro itself does a pretty good job in OCR + it does good pre-processing of scanned PDFs, too.

Thanks Serenus - it’s a bit out of my budget at the moment. I saw some good reviews of Abbyy Finereader 11 and have ordered it - just under £80.

I will update this thread with a short review of it once I’ve used it - perhaps that will be useful to others.

Best wishes


The free version of PFD Xchange Viewer has OCR capabilities. I’ve tried it and it works fairly well

As mentioned earlier, I bought Abbyy Finereader 11. It’s very intuitive - for straight conversion at least - and most impressive in its accuracy at OCR. Delighted with it and wish I’d had the idea to look for it before hiring typists to take weeks to re-type previous books.

Highly recommend AF11.