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Apr 26, 2016

Awesome OCR


This list contains links to great software tools and libraries and literature related to Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Contributions are welcome, as is feedback.


OCR engines

  • tesseract - The definitive Open Source OCR engine Apache 2.0
  • EasyOCR - OCR engine built on PyTorch by JaidedAI, Apache 2.0
  • ocropus - OCR engine based on LSTM, Apache 2.0
  • ocropus 0.4 - Older v0.4 state of Ocropus, with tesseract 2.04 and iulib, C++
  • kraken - Ocropus fork with sane defaults
  • gocr - OCR engine under the GNU Public License led by Joerg Schulenburg.
  • Ocrad - The GNU OCR. GPL
  • ocular - Machine-learning OCR for historic documents
  • SwiftOCR - fast and simple OCR library written in Swift
  • attention-ocr - OCR engine using visual attention mechanisms
  • RWTH-OCR - The RWTH Aachen University Optical Character Recognition System
  • simple-ocr-opencv and its fork - A simple pythonic OCR engine using opencv and numpy
  • Calamari - OCR Engine based on OCRopy and Kraken
  • doctr - A seamless & high-performing OCR library powered by Deep Learning

Older and possibly abandoned OCR engines

  • Clara OCR - Open source OCR in C GPL
  • Cuneiform - CuneiForm OCR was developed by Cognitive Technologies
  • Eye - an experimental Java OCR (image-to-text) application
  • kognition - An omnifont OCR software for KDE
  • OCRchie - Modular Optical Character Recognition Software
  • ocre - o.c.r. easy
  • xplab - A GTK 2 tool for pattern matching
  • hebOCR - Hebrew character recognition library (previously named hocr, see Wikipedia article) GPL

OCR file formats


  • hocr-tools - Tools for doing various useful things with hOCR files, Apache 2.0
  • hocr-spec - hOCR 1.2 specification
  • ocr-transform - CLI tool to convert between hOCR and ALTO, MIT
  • hocr-parser - hOCR Specification Python Parser
  • hOCRTools - hOCR to ALTO conversion XSLT



  • TEI-OCR - TEI customization for OCR generated layout and content information
  • TEI SIG on Libraries - Best Practices for TEI in Libraries
  • GDZ - METS/TEI-based GDZ document format


  • PAGE-XML Schema - XML schema of the PAGE XML format along with documentation and examples
  • omni:us Pages Format (OPF) - XML schema very similar to PAGE XML that has some additional features.
  • py-pagexml - Python library for handling PAGE XML and OPF files.


  • OCRmyPDF - OCRmyPDF adds an OCR text layer to scanned PDF files, allowing them to be searched
  • Pdf2PdfOCR - A tool to OCR a PDF (or supported images) and add a text "layer" (a "pdf sandwich") in the original file making it a searchable PDF. GUI included. Tesseract and cuneiform supported.
  • Ocrocis - Project manager interface for Ocropy, see also external project homepage
  • tesseract-recognize - Tesseract-based tool that outputs result in Page XML format (docker image).


  • moz-hocr-editor - Firefox Addon for editing hOCR files Discontinued
  • qt-box-editor - QT4 editor of tesseract-ocr box files.
  • ocr-gt-tools - Client-Server application for editing OCR ground truth.
  • Paperwork - Using scanners and OCR to grep paper documents the easy way.
  • Paperless - Scan, index, and archive all of your paper documents.
  • gImageReader - gImageReader is a simple Gtk/Qt front-end to tesseract-ocr.
  • VietOCR - A Java/.NET GUI frontend for Tesseract OCR engine, including jTessBoxEditor a graphical Tesseract box data editor
  • PoCoTo - Fast interactive batch corrections of complete OCR error series in OCR'ed historical documents.
  • OCRFeeder - GTK graphical user interface that allows the users to correct characters or bounding boxes, ODT export and more.
  • PRImA PAGE Viewer - Java based viewer for PAGE XML files (layout + text content). Also supports ALTO XML, FineReader XML, and HOCR.
  • LAREX - A semi-automatic open-source tool for Layout Analysis and Region EXtraction on early printed books.
  • archiscribe - Web application for transcribing OCR ground truth from Deployed instance available at, results are available in @jbaiter/archiscribe-corpus.
  • nw-page-editor - Simple app for visual editing of Page XML files. Provides desktop and server docker-based versions.

OCR Preprocessing

OCR as a Service

OCR evaluation

OCR libraries by programming language



  • tesseract_ocr - Elixir library wrapping the tesseract executable.


  • gosseract - Golang OCR library, wrapping Tesseract-ocr.


  • Tess4J - Java Native Access bindings to Tesseract.
  • tess-two - Tools for compiling Tesseract on Android and Java API.


Object Pascal



  • pytesseract - A Python wrapper for Google Tesseract.
  • pyocr - A Python wrapper for Tesseract and Cuneiform.
  • ocrodjvu - A library and standalone tool for doing OCR on DjVu documents, wrapping Cuneiform, gocr, ocrad, ocropus and tesseract
  • tesserocr - A Python wrapper for the tesseract-ocr API


  • ocracy - pure javascript lstm rnn implementation based on ocropus
  • gocr.js - Javascript port (emscripten) of gocr
  • ocrad.js - Javascript port (emscripten) of ocrad
  • tesseract.js - Javascript port (emscripten) of Tesseract
  • node-tesseract-ocr - A simple wrapper for the Tesseract OCR package.
  • node-tesseract-native - C++ module for node providing OCR with tesseract and leptonica.


  • rtesseract - Ruby library wrapping the tesseract and imagemagick executables.
  • ruby-tesseract - Native Tesseract bindings for Ruby MRI and JRuby
  • ocr_space - API wrapper for free ocr service Includes CLI


  • - Rust bindings for tesseract OCR.
  • leptess - Productive and safe Rust bindings/wrappers for tesseract and leptonica.



  • Tesseract OCR iOS - Swift and Objective-C wrapper for Tesseract OCR.
  • SwiftOCR - Fast and simple OCR library written in Swift. Optimized for recognizing short, one line long alphanumeric codes.

OCR training tools

  • glyph-miner - A system for extracting glyphs from early typeset prints
  • ocrodeg - Document image degradation for OCR data augmentation


Ground Truth

  • Rescribe - Transcriptions of Caroline Minuscule Manuscripts PDM 1.0


OCR-related publication and link lists

Blog Posts and Tutorials

OCR Showcases

  • abbyy-finereader-ocr-senate - Using OCR to parse scanned Senate Financial Disclosure forms.
  • cvOCR - An OCR system for recognizing resume or cv text, implemented in Python and C and based on tesseract
  • MathOCR - A printed scientific document recognition system, pre-alpha

Academic articles

2011 and before









Links to awesome OCR projects







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