3 Ways on OCR Form to Well-formatted Word or Excel

Sometimes, we just get a paper form and want to use it as a digital copy, or we need to extract some data/text from the form. In these cases, we will need to OCR the form and export as editable Word or Excel format.

In fact, no form OCR can be 100% accurate, especially for form or excel spreadsheet that require high on maintaining of the original formatting. And that’s the reason why professional desktop OCR programs are highly recommended to do form OCR.

For this reason, here we list 3 great OCR tools to perform OCR on forms.

#1 Cisdem PDF Converter OCR (Mac)

It is mac OCR program allowing users to convert both native and scanned PDF, even images into various formats, with original file quality retained.

The Main Features:


OCR scanned PDF and images into 11 editable formats (PDF, RTFD, DOCX, DOC, XLSX, PPTX, HTML, TEXT, EPUB, PAGES ,KEYNOTE,JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF)

  • Convert protected PDF;
  • Batch convert and OCR processing;
  • Retain original file quality
  • Support 200+ languages;
  • Allow converting the entire file or specific pages;
  • Create PDF from other files (also allow locking, compressing, merging PDFs);

Steps to OCR Form with Cisdem

  1. Download and install Cisdem on your Mac.
  2. In the Converter Interface, drag and drop files to the program;
  3. Prepare for Form OCR. Choose page range, turn OCR button ON, select file language and choose the output format. If you are importing an image, the OCR function is ON by default.cisdem-01
  4. (Optional) Enable advanced OCR.cisdem-02

You can click the Settings icon, then bring up a new interface to customize each marked part to preferred format. For example, if you want to output a part as table, remove the original mark box and click on “Mark Tables” in the OCR applied zone, then drag a mark box to the part you want to mark as Tables. You can resize the mark box by dragging the borders.

5. Click Convert to start form OCR.

#2 Readiris PDF 17 (Mac & Windows)

It is a versatile PDF tool to create, edit, manage, sign and compress PDFs. With its OCR feature, you can convert PDFs, images even scans into various formats.

The Main Features

  • Convert scanned PDF and 7 images into editable Microsoft Office formats, to PDF, ePub, RTF, HTML, TXT, Excel;
  • OCR scans (paper files in a scanner) easily;
  • Create, edit, sign and compress PDF;

Steps to OCR Form with Readiris

  1. Download and install Readiris on your Mac or Windows.
  2. Go to Insert>From file, and upload the PDF or image for form OCR.readiris01
  3. Go to the output format toolbars, choose the output format as Word or excel.readirs02
  4. Then save the file after form OCR.

#3 ABBYY FineReader (Mac & Windows)

ABBYY FineReader is really a super powerful PDF tool to solve virtually all your PDF problems, such as editing, conversion, comparing or OCR. In addition, it provides a set of tools for highly accurate OCR results.

The Main Features

  • Convert PDF to 11 formats (PDF/A, DOCX, RTF, XLSX, PPTX, ODT, HTML,TXT,CSV,EPUB,FBS)
  • Edit, convert, compare PDF;
  • Advanced OCR tools: adjust brightness and contrast, straighten curved text lines, correct trapezium distortions, reduce ISO noise and remove motion blur, split dual pages, crop images;
  • OCR scans (papers from scanner) to editable formats;

Steps to OCR Form with ABBYY FineReader

  1. Download and install ABBYY FineReader on your Mac or Windows PC;
  2. Click the Add icon to upload PDF or image for form OCR; Abbyy
  3. Use the tools as following for advanced OCR results.abbyyfinereader01
  4. Choose output as Word or Excel as needed to start OCR forms.


All these 3 tools are highly recommended due to its accurate OCR performance. So, if you need to OCR on a form, have a try on any one of them.

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