Image recognition: an overview of the best programs

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Image recognition: an overview of the best programs
Image recognition: an overview of the best programs

Digitization of paper documents has many benefits for both individuals and businesses. It allows you to reduce the space allocated for filing cabinets. In addition, digital copies can be saved on different media.

To digitize, you will need to use OCR (optical character recognition) software tools. Such software scans documents to make text readable by a computer. After that, you can convert them to formats supported by Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

Optical character and object recognition software is becoming more of a necessity than an entertainment utility. OCR creates searchable, editable text from printed documents, as well as photos or books, scanned PDFs.

Image recognition occurs in several stages. Depending on the object, they use different algorithms that allow you to identify data and search for similar digital copies from open sources or an integrated database.

OCR relevance

OCR is used for two main purposes: archiving documents and editing them. For this, papers (receipts, business cards, reports, internal orders) are usually processed by a scanner, and OCR software creates searchable PDF files of the desired piece of text.

Such applications usually convert a printed spreadsheet into an Excel file or a paper document into an electronic one that can be edited and used later on a PC. Powerful OCR software can also convert printed text into HTML files. They can be immediately posted on the site for public access.

Program features

When choosing an OCR application, you need to decide if you want it to run automatically, interactively, or in combination with other software. When working offline, the utility starts working immediately after scanning the document. Just a few seconds after processing the paper, the program produces the final result.

Operating principle
Operating principle

When the software is running in manual mode, you can use tools to improve image quality or sharpen. In addition, the functions of blocking individual fragments of the page that are not needed during operation are included. There are programs that also have built-in editors.

In most applications, you can choose between automatic and manual mode. This allows you to pick up a list of necessary tools and utilities to make the text readable. Image recognition usesa wide range of settings, based on the type of objects located in the photo. The more complex the graphic, the more resources it will take to identify it.

How identification works

Image recognition is based on a system of complex algorithms. They are used to search or versify a specific object, including a person.

Biometrics is used to identify and authenticate a person using a set of recognizable and verifiable data that is unique and specific to a particular subject.

In the process of facial biometrics, a 2D or 3D sensor "captures" its contour. It then converts the individual lines into digital data using a special algorithm before comparing the processed objects with those stored in the database. According to scientists, this is an exact copy of the process that occurs in the human brain when processing graphic information.

These automated systems can be used to identify or verify the identity of people in just a few seconds based on their facial features: the distance between the eyes, the bridge of the nose, the contour of the lips, ears, chin. This image recognition can also be used in security systems.

Algorithms can even search a large group of people and in unstable environments such as weather and poor lighting conditions. Proof of this can be seen in the performance achieved by Gem alto's Real Time Face Identification System (LFIS), a cutting-edge solution based on years of work by scientists in the field of biometrics.

IPhone X owners have already become familiar with facial recognition technology. However, Apple's Face ID biometric solution was heavily criticized in China in late 2017 for failing to distinguish between some Chinese faces. The scanner program integrated into the operating system was later finalized. At the moment the problem is completely solved.

Of course, there are other signatures that identify a person: fingerprints, iris scanning, voice recognition, digitizing palm lines and studying behavior.

They are mainly used to secure online payments in an environment where cybercrime has become widespread in recent years. The following is an overview of software that is popular and allows you to convert an image to the desired format.

1. Nuance OmniPage Ultimate


  • individual setting systems;
  • high speed;
  • recognition accuracy.


  • high price;
  • difficult to understand for novice users;
  • paid updates.
Quick application
Quick application

If you're serious about scanning and OCR, then take a look at Nuance OmniPage Ultimate. The software contains many features that exceed your expectations, and although the price is relatively high, it is still in the affordable category for most small businesses that purchase such under a commercial license.

Even if you're scanning cash, you can convert it to any kind of digital file you need to work. And it all works very fast.

Nuance's scanner software is renowned for its accuracy. Trusted by the world's largest companies, including Amazon, Ford and GE, it lets you create custom workflows so your documents are automatically delivered to the right place in the right format based on your needs.

If the Ultimate edition is too expensive for you (30 thousand rubles), try the cheaper version of OmniPage Standard at a price of about 10 thousand rubles. While the standard package doesn't include as many input, output, and workflow options, it still offers a good set of features for most users who need an OCR solution.

2. Google Goggles


  • completely free;
  • modern processing algorithms;
  • high speed.


  • facial recognition accuracy is low;
  • ranking results is wrong in most cases;
  • finds a lot of similar objects.

Internet service is popular all over the world. Google is known for creating the best search tools available. Each of the settings has a large number of items.

With their help, you can set the necessary parameters for processing the request. The tool searches Google Goggles for objects that are similar to the ones youuploaded. Then, using filters, you can select the most suitable options among the results.

This free tool provides an excellent data processing system. It's easy to use but doesn't have any real analytics. This does not make it possible to study the individual parameters and features of each object.

However, the service is constantly improving. Google Goggles is being actively updated by developers. Alas, the system still does not receive improvements in the field of identification of specific physical parameters.

In terms of recognition, the search tool does a great job with inanimate objects and logos, as they have more similarities. Google Goggles for Android and PC comes completely free. It is possible to install the service on iOS.

3. Amazon Recognition


  • convenient interface;
  • quick processing;
  • ability to compare characteristics.


  • is more focused on handling inanimate objects;
  • no Russian interface;
  • looks for single objects.
Online service
Online service

Rekognition is an image recognition service from Amazon. With this software, you can detect objects and faces in pictures on the Web, as well as compare the results.

Amazon Rekognition is powered by deep learning technology developed by computer vision scientists to analyze billions of images daily for Prime Photos. Face recognitionworks poorly in this program so far.

The software uses neural network models to detect and label thousands of objects and silhouettes in images. However, it can only analyze images that are published in bulk. This means that if you want to find your own, designed logo, you first need to add thousands of images related to this object to the network. The algorithm does not recognize single instances.

4. Clarifai


  • unique data processing system;
  • high speed operation;
  • free for now.


  • system is still being tested;
  • processing images on specific servers;
  • no global search.

Clarifai is one of the most accurate built-in APIs (editable open source packages) for image recognition. The utility can label, organize and study images and videos using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The face recognition technology in the program works well.

Clarifai offers a free API that allows users to search for any data and images they need to test how powerful the tool is.

5. Ditto


  • ideal tool for commercial companies;
  • convenient search system;
  • search through social networks.


  • search area is small;
  • only works with well-detailed objects;
  • manyfeatures still under development.

Ditto is an image recognition tool optimized for social media. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it works only through public portals. They are becoming more and more popular as 3.2 billion pictures are posted on social media every day.

Ditto's image recognition software helps brands find and tag scenes and objects in photos people share on popular sites. This is a fantastic tool that is great for companies. However, the search coverage area is very small. There is no connection to geography. This does not allow you to determine where the most common matching images are found.

6. GumGum


  • brand search;
  • large coverage on request;
  • no analogues on the market.


  • only works in demo mode;
  • Not all functions work correctly yet.
Unique Processing System
Unique Processing System

GumGum is the first company to use banner ads. She has developed a new online image discovery tool. This technology itself can receive and analyze social media data, so there is no need to separately collect information from each source.

While the technology looks attractive, the tool is still fairly new to the market and has yet to be launched. Recognition of graphic images is quite fast. However, while there are manyerroneous results.

7. LogoGrab


  • a popular tool for companies;
  • powerful data processing system;
  • many settings.


  • searches only logos;
  • high price.

Founded by ex-Google employees, LogoGrab realized that brands needed to get more information from the web about their products. They created a state-of-the-art image detection technology that allows companies to find photos with their own logo.

The technology is powerful enough to find even parts of a particular picture. The program for scanning and recognizing images has many additional tools. They allow you to set more precise settings during operation.

Brandwatch and LogoGrab recently partnered to develop a platform ideal for social media. Their joint patented technologies are world leaders in image and video search.

8. VeriLook SDK


  • easy development environment;
  • frequent updates;
  • best security system.


  • developer only;
  • no basic interface.

The module is based on face recognition technology and is intended for developers and integrators of biometric systems. The utility is widely used. The workbench allows you to quickly develop applications using algorithms that provide fast and reliable identificationfaces.

The software is constantly updated. The VeriLook Standard SDK can be easily integrated into a customer's security system. The integrator has full control over SDK data input and output.

This software includes a device manager library that allows simultaneous capture from multiple cameras.

9. IBM Image Detection


  • unparalleled;
  • used in many areas;
  • trainable algorithm.


  • high price;
  • Developers only.

Technology helps brands understand the content of images. For example, the software can recognize food, find human faces, determine the approximate age, gender, and detect similar images on the Internet.

Organizations can also "train" software by creating specific algorithms to find, for example, a particular type of dress in a retail outlet, identify tainted fruit in a warehouse, and more.

This image recognition application is mobile enough. Depending on preferences, the working algorithm can be changed.

10. Abbyy FineReader 14


  • one of the most popular programs;
  • convenient interface;
  • Russian language support.


  • expensive license;
  • requires a powerful computer for fast processing.
Popular program
Popular program

Digital product helps companies manage documents alreadyfor a long time, and this can be seen in the latest version of the AbbyyFineReader 14 software. This is a comprehensive solution for both small businesses and ordinary users. There are different types of licenses to choose from.

You get all the tools you need to scan paper documents and create a complete digital copy. In addition to OCR and converting it to PDF, formats supported by Microsoft Office, or others, the program can also compare results, add annotations, comments, and more.

If you need to convert a large number of papers at once in batch mode, Abbyy FineReader 14 can do it too. The software has a reputation for being one of the best OCR utilities out there, and you can take advantage of the free trial to see how well it does.

11. Readiris


  • more convenient than many identical programs;
  • has the largest number of tools;
  • affordable price.


  • powerful computer required;
  • no demo mode.
Convenient interface
Convenient interface

Readiris has a user-friendly interface with many useful features and settings. If you run a small business or need a large amount of digitized documents and are willing to pay for it, then this is the best program for your needs.

It seems that the developers of the utility have collected all known tools in one place. Watermarks, comments and annotations - everythingsupported by this software.

It is also one of the fastest and most user-friendly OCR programs for text recognition on an image, which has surpassed many well-known brands in popularity. Documents are promptly processed and stored.

Some options such as 138 language support and PDF password protection require an enterprise grade package. The most budget option is the home version. It costs no more than 2 thousand rubles.

12. TopOCR


  • unique processing system;
  • high speed operation;
  • affordable price.


  • can only align text;
  • the program is demanding on computer resources.
Lots of settings
Lots of settings

Nearly any OCR software these days can deliver a high level of accuracy. However, there are also problems at work. For example, when the scanned images are not clear or jagged.

To solve these problems, TopOCR was developed, and the utility copes with the task better than many competitors. The developers claim that the program uses no less than three OCR engines to smooth and remove unnecessary elements in order to align letters and convert them with the highest level of accuracy.

The downside is that this app only focuses on OCR and doesn't provide other features.

TopOCR offers a free 30-day trial on the Windows platform. Another plus is that the complete packagehas an affordable price, only 800 rubles. The image text recognition program also has the function of translating the document. All additional options are selected when installing the application.

13. "Google Drive"


  • free utility;
  • continuous updates;
  • automated system.


  • no face identification;
  • text must be of high quality.

Whether you use Google Drive as an individual or as a business, you can take advantage of its OCR capabilities. In fact, everything turns on automatically.

Any PDF file or picture you upload to Google Drive is scanned to text. The utility is quite easy to use. Image recognition from Google is done entirely online. However, the utility does not have additional filters and settings. You can't disable the feature either.

If you use the Google Drive app for Android, you can scan documents directly from the utility using the camera on your smartphone. There is also a normal mode of operation via a PC or laptop.

For individuals, Google Drive offers free storage of approximately 19 GB of files. There is a possibility of expansion up to 100 GB (offered through the One package) for 100 rubles per month. If necessary, Google Goggles for a computer can be connected. This allows you to activate the advanced search mode. Integration also happens automatically using one account.


The market is flooded with OCR programs that can extract text from images and save you a lot of time that you could spend retyping a document.

Apps of this type really optimize the work. However, good OCR software needs to do more than extract text from printed documents. It should support layouts, text fonts for easy data processing. Only through this will the work be effective. However, this requires serious computing power.

Besides this, more and more software has begun to appear that goes further and offers the identification of objects and the search for similar results in various sources. Many technologies are still far from perfect, however, with the creation of neural systems, it has been possible to improve work efficiency many times over.

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