OCR apps for Mac - extract text from image or PDF

OCR apps for the Mac ensure that you can extract text from images or non-editable PDF files under macOS. "OCR" stands for Optical Character Recognition. In this post I have put together three examples of OCR software that you can use on the Apple Mac. Below that is a bit older condense, which is also compatible with QR codes Aristocrat as well as the newer one Easy Screen OCR App. All three are available for download from the MacOS App Store.

With OCR apps for the Mac, you can read text from images or paragraphs from PDF files using Optical Character Recognition under macOS. QR codes and barcodes can also be partially read. Image to text, PDF to text
With OCR apps for the Mac, you can read text from images or paragraphs from PDF files using Optical Character Recognition under macOS. QR codes and barcodes can also be partially read.

Easy Screen OCR

Easy Screen OCR is a Mac app from the developer Tong Zhang, which reads the respective text from images, screenshots, PDF files and other screen content by simply marking it and outputs it for further processing. The software is activated after installation via the menu bar icon or via shortcut. Then mark the text to be read out with the mouse by holding it in a rectangle. 

After reading out the screen section, you get the "pure text" for copying and further processing. With the app you can convert scanned documents, image files, PDFs and more into text. This can also help with a specialist, bachelor's or master's thesis if you want to quote a digitized book or something similar, but don't want to type everything in.

You can find more information, including how to save the read out text parts as PDF, PNG, etc., as well as the Easy Screen OCR download with this link or the following box:

[appbox app store id1359663922]

Important note from a reader: Easy Screen OCR is not free. After using it 20 times, the software is blocked and you have to insert money!


Aristocrat is another free OCR software for Mac under macOS. This helper for word processing also has an icon for the menu bar. In its menu you can choose, among other things, whether a screen section or the screen as a whole should be read out or copied directly as text. In addition, the extracted text can be used directly with various services, sent by email or published as a tweet.

Another useful feature of the OCR app for the Mac is reading out QR codes. In addition to decoding the pixel squares, the software can also recognize and read different barcodes, according to developer Josh Parnham. Different standards such as EAN-8, EAN-13, Code 128, ITF and so on are recognized. Like the one mentioned above, the program is also free.

You can find more information and details as well as screenshots and the Aristocrat download auf dieser seite or in the following box:

[appbox app store id886910172]


Condense by Thomas Johannesmeyer is the only OCR app for the Mac in this series that is not free. The software for reading letters, words, sentences and entire texts under macOS currently costs € 5,49 in the Mac App Store. Since version 1.6, the Optical Character Recognition application has also included a "Text to Speech" function, which should be of interest to people with visual impairments. But the numerous other functions can also be helpful.

The description of the program deals with the application in an academic sense as well as with learning by means of video tutorials. For example, with instructions for programming: instead of typing the example from the video character by character, you can also press pause, run the software over it and use what has been written as text yourself. Quotes and paragraphs for use / analysis in presentations are also possible - ideal for school and university.

You can find the Condense download, a list of the individual features and ratings from users by means of this link or again in the box:

[appbox app store id715394237]

The best OCR apps for Mac / macOS?

Do you have a completely different suggestion as to which software is best suited for reading text from an image, a PDF or other sources on the Mac? Then please leave a comment - even if you want to share your own experiences with the OCR apps for macOS mentioned!

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8 Responses to “OCR Apps for Mac – Extract Text from Image or PDF”

  1. It should be noted that Condense was last updated four years ago. For my part, I would not shortlist such a program. :)

    1. Hello Enc! Yes, in principle I feel the same way when choosing a program. If I already pay something, then I would also like to have something that is halfway up-to-date. That's why I would prefer Easy Screen OCR because it has just been updated. ;-)

  2. Easy Screen OCR is NOT free! The software is blocked after it has been used 20 times. Even if this software is quite reliable, in my opinion it is too expensive for occasional, irregular and private use.

  3. Aristocrat under MacOS 10.14.6 Mojave: loaded, executed, symbol in the menu bar used to read out the screen section.

    Result: none, or the program says goodbye without further notification. It is a pity for the effort to even load the program.

    1. You could do the program Prism look at. I've been using this myself for a few weeks to recognize texts in screenshots. That works wonderfully. Unfortunately it costs something ...

    1. Hello Martin! Thanks for the hint. That seems like a good tip. With 4 USD it is definitely an alternative if you don't need so many features.

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