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Tesseract for iOS

tesseract-ios is not actively maintained anymore. I encourage you to use gali8's Tesseract-OCR-iOS instead.


Tesseract-ios is an Objective-C wrapper for Tesseract OCR.

This project couldn't exist without the Ângelo Suzuki's blog post. A lot of code came from his article.


  • iOS SDK 6.0, iOS 5.0+ (there is no support for armv6)
  • Tesseract and Leptonica libraries from the tesseract-ios-lib repo.


  • Add tesseract-ios as a group, and tessdata by reference to your project:

  • Go to your project settings, and ensure that C++ Standard Library => libstdc++:


Here is the default workflow to extract text from an image:

  • Instantiate Tesseract with data path and language
  • Set variables (character set, …)
  • Set the image to analyze
  • Start recognition
  • Get recognized text
  • Clear

Code Sample

#import "Tesseract.h"

Tesseract* tesseract = [[Tesseract alloc] initWithDataPath:@"tessdata" language:@"eng"];
[tesseract setVariableValue:@"0123456789" forKey:@"tessedit_char_whitelist"];
[tesseract setImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@"image_sample.jpg"]];
[tesseract recognize];

NSLog(@"%@", [tesseract recognizedText]);
[tesseract clear];

Method reference


- (id)initWithDataPath:(NSString *)dataPath language:(NSString *)language

Initialize a new Tesseract instance.

  • dataPath: a relative path from the application bundle to the .traineddata files. You can find these files from the tesseract downloads section.
  • language: language used for recognition. Ex: eng. Tesseract will search for a eng.traineddata file in the dataPath directory.

Returns nil if instanciation failed.


- (void)setVariableValue:(NSString *)value forKey:(NSString *)key

Set Tesseract variable key to value. See for a complete (but not up-to-date) list.

For instance, use tessedit_char_whitelist to restrict characters to a specific set.


- (void)setImage:(UIImage *)image

Set the image to recognize.


- (BOOL)setLanguage:(NSString *)language

Override the language defined with -initWithDataPath:language:.


- (BOOL)recognize

Start text recognition. You might want to launch this process in background with NSObject's -performSelectorInBackground:withObject:.


- (NSString *)recognizedText

Get the text extracted from the image.


- (void) clear

Clears Tesseract object after text has been recognized from image. Preventing memory leaks.