OCR App for Mac

macOS & Mac Apps

Greetings AppleVis Community
This is my second post to AppleVis, and I strongly admit that I would never enjoy my newly bought Mac Air without the great deal of information about Apple devices and available accessibility.
I am a PhD student and lots of material have to be scanned with OCR. I was using Omnipage Pro on my previous Lenovo Windows machine, as well as using Kurzweil for light OCR recognitions.
Now when I turned to be a OS X proponent I am searching for OCR app. I see that Abbyy Fine Reader is available still it is too expensive for my limited budget. The second option is Prizmo. My question is will Prizmo perform as good as AFR? And does the price of AFR come from great recognition quality? Are they both going to be light on my Mac Air 2015 (1.6GHZ and 4GB RAM)?
Thanks everybody for any help, and please feel free to suggest any other options.



Submitted by Esther on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Some application vendors offer educational discounts for apps that are purchased directly from their web site stores, rather than through the Mac App Store, which cannot support trial versions, upgrade discounts, or educational discounts. This is the case for both the ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac and Prizmo OCR apps. Their web sites will also let you access 30-day free trial versions of the apps. Usually, educational discounts cannot be combined with other sales or promotions, so you might be better off just buying the app when it goes on sale. For example, ABBYY Findereader Pro for Mac usually goes on sale in the U.S. for "Black Friday" weekend (the Friday after Thanksgiving, when many retailers start Christmas sale promotions). A web search turned up coupon discounts for this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend that take the price down from $119.99 to $69.99. Note: this applies to ABBYY's U.S. web store, since the pricing and links will vary according to region:

You might want to read the ABBYY FineReader Express for Mac: general question thread on AppleVis:

I haven't tried the latest version of Prizmo (Prizmo 3), but the OCR accuracy is better with ABBYY Finereader in both the earlier Express and current Pro versions than in Prizmo 2, and I don't believe the Prizmo 3 upgrades have improved the OCR engine. Be aware that if you want to support batch or automator OCR processing for expediting jobs in large volumes, you'll probably need to buy the more expensive Prizmo version that includes the Pro Pack, and figure that into your price comparisons.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

@Esther thanks for directing us to that thread. It's been a while since anyone posted to that so I hope it's all right asking this question here: on that thread, it says that after one page has been scanned you need to press a continue button somewhere. Does that happen after every page? also, I think it was you who said you assigned a keystroke to do this. How does one do that? Thanks.

Submitted by Aaron on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If you want a free, web-based OCR solution you can use SensusAccess.


They have a free service for submitting inaccessible documents (such as image-only pDF) and converting them to more accessible formats. Their service claims "tagged PDF" as an output format,but I found that all it did was OCR the image and make it a readable text-based PDF.

With SensusAccess you upload the file, specify the output format, and the resulting file is emailed to you when complete.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

for the best our app for mac, their's docuscan for mac. sorry for the incorrect spelling. google serotek and you'll find it. it cost but you could get a free demo. kurzwheel 3000 is also grate as well, but has a cost to it. their's a free demo as well. the latest built is version 14 which supports the acapella voices.let me know if those 2 options work and good luck finding the best fit.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Problem with that one is the image is sent to the internet for recognition processing. The recognition is good, but it does take longer than the old Kurzweil 1000 wasy did in my view. That's why I'm interested in an offline solution.

Submitted by Cherokee Eagle on Saturday, December 10, 2016

I'm looking into Fine Reader pro right now, and I really can't seem to get the hang of things. I couldn't get it to recognize the pages in the book I was scanning. And the help files seem designed for people with sight, so figuring out how to scan multiple pages and all that has got me stumped. Any advice? Thanks.

Submitted by Maldalain on Sunday, December 11, 2016

In reply to by Cherokee Eagle

Hi. Would you explain this more? I mean, are you looking for scanning multipage document without having to pressing the scan button? I have had the application and it works great. I am happy to help, I have had the application for almost a year on Mac and previously for almost 4 years on my windows machine, so I am quite familiar with it.

Submitted by Cherokee Eagle on Monday, December 12, 2016

There are 2 things that confuse me. I want to know if I can OCR a scanned document without exporting it to PDF first. I also want to be able to scan several pages without having to export. For example, scanning a book. Thanks for your willingness to help. I need All I can get. LOL

Submitted by Maldalain on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Well, let's say you've 10 pages to scan and recognise. When you first launch Abbyy Fine Reader, there's a table that you need to interact with to choose the input source of your document, so it's either your Mac to import a PDF or image to recognise without scanning and the second option is to choose the name of your connected scanner. Now if you select your scanner from the table, move right to the option "Scan to Word document". Vo+space on that, a dialogue with a preview of the page currently in your scanner will appear. Here you can choose the DPI, the size of of page and so on. Personally I choose 300DPI and I select the option to scan the entire scanning area, as I do not want any part to be missing of my scanned paper. Move to the Scan button, that will take a while depending on your scanner's speed, then when finished the scan button becomes undimmed, so you can turn the page in your book and place it on the glass pane of your scanner and press the scan button again. When you're done with the scanning, move to Finish Button and after a while you'll be asked for the name and place where you want to save your document. ABBYY Fine Reader scans and recognises the document simultaneously, so don't be confused with the speed of recognition. Also you'll receive a summary of your recognised document after you export the scanned document.
All the luck and please do not hesitate to leave comments if you need more explanation.