Don't-Miss Stories

SkyDrive expands OCR scanning, talks up data-saving 'smart files'

SkyDrive can now turn your pictures into words and soon, it'll save a lot of space on your hard drive, too.

OCR makes short work of digitizing your docs

These four programs and a free online service make it easy to turn your paper documents into editable digital ones. Which one to use depends on what you need to accomplish with it.

Review: OmniPage 18 Standard has great OCR and page reconstruction

OmniPage 18 Standard is a flexible program that will more than satisfy basic OCR needs.

Review: Abbyy FineReader 11 Professional Edition does clean OCR and is easy to use

Abbyy FineReader 11 Professional has the same strengths and foibles as Nuance's competing pro edition. Though a snap to use, it's a little more expensive than similar programs.

Review: FreeOCR extracts text ably

For straight text extraction, you can't beat this competent freebie. You won't find advanced output options, but there's no price tag, either.

Review: Free-OCR performs adequately on text docs

If your needs are modest, then this limited but free online OCR service will extract your text just fine. It supports 29 languages, including English.

Review: OmniPage Ultimate 19 talks the talk, walks the walk

New text-to-speech features plus a Metro-style utility and PDF forms take OmniPage where it's never been before. Already a top OCR program, the Ultimate version is good for workgroups, but overkill (and pricey) for those with little need.