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Home > Tips > 5 Free OCR Apps for iPhone That Works Great in 2019

5 Free OCR Apps for iPhone That Works Great in 2019

With these 5 best free OCR apps for iPhone, powerful but barely known, your iOS device can copy text from image or paper.

Updated Feb 14,2019 | by Cody

In many cases, you may want to copy text from an image or paper. All that can be done on your iPhone. Here are 5 great free OCR apps for iPhone that you can get from AppStore for optical character recognition.

This is the newest list for iPhone scanner apps, which does not include the apps that require an in-app purchase. All apps are tested and only one of them contains ads. The last one is really customizable. If you are in need of an OCR app, your searching ends here.

Title List

Microsoft Office Lens|PDF Scan

Microsoft has provided a completely free scanning app Microsoft Office Lens . You can use it to crop or optimize the picture you take to make it more readable. You can also use it convert to images to editable text, but you need to use it with other Microsoft apps like OneDrive, Word, or PowerPoint.

Office Lens

If you have a Microsoft account and use the Microsoft document app, then Office Lens is a very good choice. It is like having a scanner in your pocket and you can use it to digitize texts on whiteboards, blackboards or anywhere.

Google Keep - Notes and lists

For those who prefer Google Docs, then Google Keep is the one that you cannot miss. Google Keep is like a Notes app like Evernote but also comes with a very powerful OCR technology.

Google Keep works very well with Google Docs. Of course, you can also choose image from your iPhone Photos app or take a photo and save it as a note in Google Keep. Once an image is captured, tap on it and then you will see the three-dot option on the right top corner. From the three-dot menu, you can select the Grab image text option to automatically convert the images to text on iPhone.

Google Keep

You can copy and cut the text and use them on anywhere you want. Unlike Office Lens, you don’t need any other apps to make it work.

English OCR

English OCR is also another totally free OCR app for iOS with the simplest and best interface.  Rather than the entire image, you can select a specific area of the image to scan. That’s where I like about this free app.

English OCR

The results of the scan are very accurate. In most of the cases, you don’t need any editing on the result text. You can just copy and paste the text to another app on your iPhone. This app does contains some ads which I don’t mind because of its great performance. 


As English OCR, the LEADTools OCR  app also offer the option (Intelligent Select Area option) to select an area from an image to scan. Compared with the previous OCR apps, OCR Scanner with LEADTOOLS SDK is probably the most powerful and provides the most features.

OCR Scanner

Unlike English OCR, it supports extract text from over 45 different languages and text to speech playback option available for most of these languages, which is very helpful for the blind.

Besides scanning text from an image, this app can also help you convert images to various document formats. When the scanning complete, this app offers a quick option to whether to copy the text to a clipboard or to use it in an email.


As you may know, Shortcuts is a free automation application acquired by Apple. With an online OCR API, you can create a shortcut to copy text from an image on iPhone. here is a pre-made OCR shortcut that you can use.

To get it, you need to open the shortcut link in Safari. After that, you can run this shortcut to take a photo or select one from the Photos app to scan. Once the image is scanned, you can view the text, add to Notes, or copy to clipboard. What I love about using Shortcuts is that you can customize it as you want.

OCR Shortcut

This shortcut is using a free online API by, you need to upgrade to the paid version if you want to scan photos larger than 1MB. If you do want to pay, you can always use it online.


You can also modify the shortcut to use another API or something.

Free Online OCR

If you don’t want to download any apps, you can always use a free online OCR to convert images and PDF to text. Just head over to this website and upload your images.

If you intend to do it on a PC, you can transfer your photos from iPhone to PC. To transfer photos from iPhone to PC, you can use a dedicated software IOTransfer. It allows you to one click to transfer all photos from iPhone to PC along with other media files.

As a powerful iOS file manager, IOTransfer also allows you to transfer files from PC to iPhone. Wireless file transfer is available as well. 

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