JOCR is a little program that can capture an image from any part of the desktop and perform optical character recognition (convert images to text) on the contents.

It is free to download and use but it uses a resource provided with MS Office, and requires that Microsoft Office 2003 or higher be installed on the machine where it is used.

If you’ve ever wanted to work with text that is presented as an image JOCR may be what you’re looking for.

Note that JOCR is designed to capture text/image clips straight off the desktop, rather than being a full fledged document/scanner manager.

Here are some notes on this program:

  • Works remarkably well; OCR conversion is instant and the results are respectable (no OCR recognition is ever 100% accurate)
  • Can clip any area or window on the desktop, or the entire desktop.
  • Results are dumped into a notepad text file, where they can be edited and/or clipped.
  • Does NOT require JAVA (despite the name).
  • Extremely small footprint; very low on resources.

I’ve been looking for a freeware OCR program that does exactly this sort of thing. The only drawback with this is the MS Excel requirement; otherwise it is a very simple, straightforward program that works well.

Version tested: 1.0

Compatibility: Windows 2k/XP; no info on Vista. Windows 95/98/ME/NT4 supported but require additional controls found on the download page.

Go to the download page to get the latest version. The program home page.

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started
  • E

    Great site thanks for the links and software. all that I have down’d are fantastic. This can be down’d as part of a package deal from the link you listed. The package includes ‘JExplorer’ which so far is a nice two window file manager.

  • CT

    JOCR is Nice, JExplorer is WOW! Includes a Lot in a reasonably small package – Now if it was just ‘Portable’…

    Thanks Samer, and “E”!

  • cody

    i downloaded the JOCR but received an error message. IT said that the activex component could not create the object? what do i do about this can you help me?


  • Anonymous

    I wonder, Samer, what OpenOffice users might want to use instead to replace the (missing) MODI — Micorosoft Office Document Imaging — to make this one run.

    Or is there a comparable utility you, or any reader in the room, might have heard of since this March 2007 review?

    I’ve google ‘screen ocr’ and didn’t find a matching product. Maybe I should change glasses and stop drinking coffee in my cognac.


  • Liz

    I wish this program worked for me. I have Office 2007 installed, but it still says the ActiveX component is missing.

  • Frank

    free ocr “leave a reply” -logged

  • Max

    “OCR requires Microsoft Office 2003 or higher version” according to Everex software. Well this is not possible at least not without modifications (see below).

    Problem is: “JOCR requires Microsoft Office 2003 or higher version. If JCOR does not work, please manually install “Micorosoft Office Document Imaging” (MODI) that is included in the setup file of Microsoft Office. You can find MODI under “Office Tools” of the setup file.

    compare this to:

    “Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI) is a Microsoft Office application that supports editing documents scanned by Microsoft Office Document Scanning. It was first introduced in Microsoft Office XP and is included in later Office versions including Office 2007. It is no longer available in Office 2010. ” (Copied from

    See the problem? Although same article from wikipedia says it is possible to install MODI: “If running Office 2010 which lacks MODI, there are these alternatives (among others):

    * Follow Microsoft’s suggestions which includes an installation of only the MODI software from Microsoft Office 2007. (This installation process might also work with earlier versions of Office):
    * Install the Alterna-TIFF viewer: either ActiveX control (for IE) or browser plug-in (for other browsers):

    * Install Black Ice’s TIFF Viewer and plug-in:
    * Install Cartesian Product’s CPC viewer: either CPC View ax (ActiveX for IE) or CPC Lite pi (plug-in for other browsers):

    I don’t know if this would make it work. Only found articles on how to use OCR in Office 2010 by using OneNote. Not particularly fond of this OneNote thing though. I’ll give SimpleOCR a try thanks.

  • Max

    Consider using Free OCR 3.0 – I tried SimpleOCR and it couldn’t read all the text from my test b/w picture. Free OCR converted almost everything from same image. Maybe results vary, more extensive tests are needed.