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Evernote OCR Review, How-To Guide and Troubleshooting

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Evernote OCR is a machine learning software that accurately scans and retrieves printed data or text handwriting from PDFs and images. It can recognize 30+ handwritten and typewritten languages. But like any other OCR software, Evernote has some drawbacks. For example, you can't select and copy the extracted text. Also, Evernote sometimes takes hours to extract OCR texts. So, what can you do to avoid these complications? Simple, get an Evernote OCR alternative for mobile and desktop use. But first, let's find out how Evernote OCR works.

Part 1. How to use Evernote OCR on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android

First and foremost, Evernote OCR (Optical Character Recognition) recognizes and extracts texts on mobile or PCs on its dedicated apps. Besides PDF, you can extract texts from JPEG, JPG, PNG, and GIFs. But if you want to copy or select the text, I'll recommend a more powerful Evernote OCR alternative in the next section.

Impressively, searching for image texts on Evernote is a straightforward process. First, you need to import a folder with the image you want to search on Evernote "Notes." Then, type a text in the file that you wish to OCR. This can be the name of the file or the embedded texts. Evernote will automatically search and highlight the text on the image or PDF file. As said before, you can't copy or select the text.

Advantages of using Evernote OCR

Cross-platform support on mobile and PCs.

Free OCR with 60MB monthly uploads.

Scan and recognize texts in images and PDFs.

Annotate images and PDFs with drawings, arrows, texts, and so on.

Disadvantages of using Evernote OCR

The recognized text can't be copied or edited.

The software is prone to crashing.

Files must be indexed on Evernote to recognize texts.

Part 2. The Best Evernote OCR alternative

As you've seen, the Evernote app isn't the best software to OCR your PDF documents. Therefore, use Wondershare PDFelement to scan and retrieve texts from PDF files. Unlike Evernote which can only search and highlight texts, PDFelement lets you select, copy, and edit PDF texts. You can edit the PDF file with new texts, links, image overlays, watermarks, headers/footers, and more.

In addition, PDFelement lets you annotate the OCR file with annotations like shapes, arrows, drawings, and more. You can also highlight and add comments or e-sign to your PDF file. What's more, you can batch convert PDF to PPT, Word, Excel, EPUB, Image, or Text.

Below is how to scan and extract text from PDF with PDFelement:

Step 1 Upload your PDF files.

upload file on evernote ocr alternative

Install and run PDFelement for Mac/Windows and then click the OCR PDF tool to browse and add a PDF file. You'll also see other PDF editing tools for combining, converting, compressing, and so on.

Step 2 Set OCR language and other settings.

choose language on evernote ocr alternative

After choosing a PDF file, you'll see an OCR pop-up dialog. Here, you can set the OCR language as English, French, German, Chinese, and other 20+ languages. You can also set the scan option and page range. PDFelement will automatically scan your PDF file and make the texts searchable and editable.

Step 3 Edit the OCR file (optional).

edit ocr on evernote ocr alternative

Now open the Edit tab to customize your extracted PDF texts with texts, comments, images, links, annotations, and so on. You can also highlight a text and add feedback or comment.

Step 4 Convert and export OCR.

convert ocr on evernote ocr alternative

Do you want to export your OCR file to a different file format? If so, click the Convert tab and choose the output format. Remember that you can batch process PDFs with this OCR converter. And there's that!

Advantages of using PDFelement OCR

Batch OCR PDF files.

Edit PDF with feedback, annotations, texts, etc.

Convert PDF to Excel, Word, PPT, or Image.

Runs smoothly on Mac, Windows, Android, or iPhone.

Disadvantages of using PDFelement OCR

Doesn't support image files.

Wondershare PDFelement watermark on free outputs.

Part 3. FAQs about Evernote OCR

1. Does Evernote do OCR?

Yes. Evernote uses Optical Character Recognition to scan and recognize texts on images and PDF files. However, you must add the files that you want to scan on Evernote "Notes" to make them searchable. In addition, you can't copy, select, or edit the recognized and highlighted texts, which is a shame.

2. Can Evernote search PDF text?

Evernote PDF can easily scan and recognize texts in your PDF files. However, sometimes Evernote OCR PDF may fail to recognize texts. This only happens if your PDF file has handwritten texts. Other than that, Evernote smoothly scans PDF texts.

3. What happens if Evernote OCR can't scan my image files?

Before adding and scanning an image on Evernote OCR, make sure the picture format is compatible. This OCR software only supports PNG, JPG, JPEG, and GIF images. Any other format won't appear on Evernote search results.

4. How do I make a PDF searchable in Evernote?

The thing is that Evernote only reads PDF texts. So to ensure your PDF is searchable, open it on your PDF reader and select the text. If the text is selectable or editable, the PDF file will likely show up in the Evernote search. But if it's not selectable, it means your PDF has scanned image overlays. In that case, you may need Evernote Premium or another PDF software like Wondershare PDFelement.

5. How accurate is Evernote's OCR?

The good news is that Evernote OCR is very accurate. It can quickly recognize typewritten and handwritten texts in 30+ languages. But to avoid any complications, make sure the handwriting is neat and clear. Also, avoid unnecessary spaces between words.


Evernote OCR is definitely an excellent free OCR software. It accurately scans handwritten and typewritten texts on PDFs and image files. But the fact that it doesn't make the text editable and searchable is a serious drawback. So, get the Evernote OCR alternative in PDFelement.

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