Free Giveaway – ABBYY Screenshot reader performs on-screen Optical Character Recognition


Ever wanted to edit or use some on-screen text from a PDF or any other source, only to find that for whatever reason you couldn’t do it? (say, the text was in fact an image, or the clipboard was disabled, or whatever reason).

If so, then check out AABBYY Screenshot reader, a nifty screenshot-to-text OCR conversion tool that is available for free for a limited time through the Christmas season.

This software lets you take a screenshot of anything on your screen, converts the screenshot to text, and then sends it as editable text to the clipboard, text editor, or the MS Office application of your choice. Supports multiple languages.

This program is very nicely done and can be extremely useful at those times where you have something staring in the face but refusing to be appropriated as text.


  • It is perfectly suited for the occaisional ad-hoc application of OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
  • Supports multiple languages: a ‘whopping’ number of them, in fact. Including languages wit non English characters.
  • Recognition quality: is excellent
  • Can take it’s own screenshots: even delayed-time screenshots
  • Can handle tables: both as input and output to Excel


  • Huge download (~155 megs); not sure why that is
  • The screenshot engine desperately needs a magnifying function.

The verdict: a very  nice program overall. If you need more extensive OCR for more than the occasional snapshot check out Freewaregenius’ previously published article: “How to extract text from images: a comparison of 10 free OCR tools”.

Note that the program will require online registration with a valid email address.

[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this program]

Go to this page to download (~155 megs).