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A Python wrapper for Tesseract and Cuneiform
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Latest commit 66b92ad @jflesch v0.3.1 --> v0.3.1-git
Signed-off-by: Jerome Flesch <>



PyOCR is an optical character recognition (OCR) tool wrapper for python. That is, it helps using OCR tools from a Python program.

It has been tested only on GNU/Linux systems. It should also work on similar systems (*BSD, etc). It doesn't work on Windows, MacOSX, etc.

PyOCR can be used as a wrapper for google's Tesseract-OCR or Cuneiform. It can read all image types supported by Pillow, including jpeg, png, gif, bmp, tiff, and others. It also support bounding box data.


from PIL import Image
import sys

import pyocr

tools = pyocr.get_available_tools()
if len(tools) == 0:
    print("No OCR tool found")
tool = tools[0]
print("Will use tool '%s'" % (tool.get_name()))
# Ex: Will use tool 'tesseract'

langs = tool.get_available_languages()
print("Available languages: %s" % ", ".join(langs))
lang = langs[0]
print("Will use lang '%s'" % (lang))
# Ex: Will use lang 'fra'

txt = tool.image_to_string('test.png'),
word_boxes = tool.image_to_string('test.png'),
line_and_word_boxes = tool.image_to_string('test.png'), lang=lang,

# Digits - Only Tesseract
digits = tool.image_to_string('test-digits.png'),


  • PyOCR requires python 2.7 or later.
  • You will need Pillow or Python Imaging Library (PIL). Under Debian/Ubuntu, PIL is in the package "python-imaging".
  • Install an OCR:
    • tesseract-ocr from ('tesseract-ocr' + 'tesseract-ocr-<lang>' in Debian). You must be able to invoke the tesseract command as "tesseract". Python-tesseract is tested with Tesseract >= 3.01 only.
    • or cuneiform


$ sudo python ./ install


$ python ./

Tests are made to be run with the latest versions of Tesseract and Cuneiform. the first tests verify that you're using the expected version.

To run the tests, you will need the following lang support:

  • English (tesseract-ocr-eng)
  • French (tesseract-ocr-fra)
  • Japanese (tesseract-ocr-jpn)


PyOCR is released under the GPL v3+.

  • Copyright (c) Samuel Hoffstaetter, 2009
  • Copyright (c) Jerome Flesch, 2011-2013

other files:

  • Copyright (c) Jerome Flesch, 2011-2013

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