OwlOCR offers simple optical character recognition of text in PDF files, images or on-screen and converts that to plain text. All conversion is done securely on-device - none of your images or files are sent to third-party services in the cloud as most applications do. This also means that the application will function behind corporate firewalls and in places without internet connectivity.

Only English language is supported with Language Recognition that may improve the results. If the application is used for documents with other languages, you should turn off Language Recognition. Please note that even in that case only the English alphabet is supported, e.g. German umlauts are not recognized. (Language support expansion coming in late 2020).

Please note that this application does not preserve the formatting of rich text like font size, bolding, italics, etc. The output of the OCR function is plain text that you may copy and then paste to your target use or application. You can also export to a PDF file that includes the OCR results and an invisible text layer. The OCR results can be corrected in-app before export.

- New in v3.4: Disable sound of the screenshot function, take up 20 screenshots with the multiscreenshot function, notifications when process completed.
- New in v3.3: Export searchable PDF files (remember to run OCR before exporting)!
- New in v3: Support for opening multiple images and/or PDFs for batch OCR jobs! Improved multithreading OCR performance in larger batches. Decreased peak memory usage.
- New in v2: Support for taking a photo or scan of document with your iPhone or iPad device (please note requirements:
- High quality text recognition performed on-device securely
- Input filetypes supported: PDF, GIF, PNG, JPEG, JPG.
- OCR page-by-page or batch OCR for a directory or a group of files
- Grab a screen area for instant OCR and result copied to clipboard
- Keyboard shortcut Cmd + F1 (configurable) for a single screen area OCR even when OwlOCR is in the background
- Keyboard shortcut Cmd + F2 (configurable) for multiple screen area captures
- 64-bit: macOS Catalina fully supported
- B&W and Color options for Menu Bar icon
- Customize if you want OwlOCR just in the menu or just in the dock, or maybe both
- Dark Mode supported

Pro Mode
- 3 week free trial automatically starting upon installation (no sign-up required!)
- After 3 weeks Pro mode can be extended with a lifetime license purchase

Features exclusively in Pro mode:
- Support for multipage PDFs and doing batch OCR on multiple documents at once
- Take up to 20 screenshots with multi-screenshot feature

What’s New

Version 3.5

Add support for dragging files or folders to dock icon to open then.
Add support for individual copying to clipboard when using multiscreenshot. This can be useful with a clipboard manager app.

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

DaneJB ,

Love this!

Have been looking for this app for awhile. Every feature highlighted on the website was important for me -- fast, on-device, and accurate. As another reviewer remarks, this is surprisingly hard to find! So far it has 100% accuracy for me extracting text from images. Definitely plan to upgrade to the Pro version.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review and great to hear the app is working well for you! As an independent developer there is nothing more gratifying than a happy customer. 🙏

Rrrrrech ,

I've had good results so far!

Using this OCR for a project and after two test pages have ended up with an error rate averaging six percent, which is quite good in my opinion! I'll definitely be using it more. The developer seems very responsive, and the logo's cute, which is also a plus. :)

Developer Response ,

Super stuff! Thanks a ton for taking the time to leave a review, glad it's working for you!

MacGizmo ,


Mediocre about describes every aspect of this app. It works, and I love how simple it is, but the results are just average at best. I found myself correcting a LOT of errors.

The app needs polishing.

Allow the user to hide the dock icon, otherwise there is no need for the menubar app icon. I realize this means making it a faceless background app, but having two bright orange icons in my GUI is just not going to fly, and I would rather not clutter my Dock.

Speaking of the menubar icon... a black & white version would be nice for dark mode. OwlOCR is literally the only icon I have that's in color.

Decent app, but I feel like it has a fairly long road ahead before it's truly a 5 star app. I gave one extra star for convenience, otherwise it's no better than Acrobat's built-in OCR capabilities.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for the input! I'm delighted to let you know that version 2.1. includes options for choosing between menubar | dock | menubar & dock. Also a black & white icon is included as an alternative to the coloured version. Both setting can be found in the Preferences of the application.


Tommi Urtti
893.5 KB

macOS 10.15 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. OwlOCR Pro - Lifetime License $8.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.