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Tesseract OCR vs Tesseract.js: What are the differences?


In this article, we will compare Tesseract OCR and Tesseract.js, two popular optical character recognition (OCR) technologies. Tesseract OCR and Tesseract.js both provide tools for extracting text from various sources such as images or scanned documents. However, they have some key differences that make them suitable for different use cases. Let's explore these differences in more detail.

1. Tesseract OCR: Accuracy and Performance Tesseract OCR is a powerful OCR engine that provides high accuracy and performance. It has been developed and optimized over the years to achieve excellent results in recognizing characters and extracting text from images. Tesseract OCR can handle complex layouts, various font styles, and different languages. It is widely used in many applications, including document processing, data extraction, and text analysis.

2. Tesseract.js: In-browser OCR Tesseract.js is a JavaScript library that brings the power of Tesseract OCR to the web browser. It allows developers to perform OCR tasks directly in the client-side, without the need for server-side processing. Tesseract.js leverages the hardware capabilities of modern web browsers to process images and extract text in real-time. This makes it ideal for scenarios where immediate text extraction is required, such as web-based document scanning applications or user interactions that involve OCR processing.

3. Tesseract OCR: Standalone Software Tesseract OCR is a standalone software that needs to be installed and configured on a computer or server. It provides a command-line interface and APIs for integration with other software systems. Tesseract OCR can be customized and fine-tuned to meet specific requirements, such as improving recognition accuracy for specific fonts or enabling support for new languages. It requires more technical expertise to set up and manage, but it offers flexibility and control over the OCR process.

4. Tesseract.js: Easy Integration Tesseract.js, on the other hand, is a lightweight JavaScript library that can be easily integrated into web applications. It comes with pre-trained OCR models for various languages, eliminating the need for manual training and configuration. Tesseract.js provides a simple API for accessing OCR functionality, making it accessible even to developers with basic JavaScript knowledge. This ease of integration allows developers to quickly add OCR capabilities to their web applications without much setup or configuration.

5. Tesseract OCR: Language Support Tesseract OCR supports a wide range of languages, including popular languages like English, Spanish, French, German, and many others. It offers extensive language packs that can be installed to enable OCR for specific languages. Tesseract OCR also supports script and character recognition for languages with non-Latin or complex writing systems, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic.

6. Tesseract.js: Browser Compatibility Tesseract.js is compatible with most modern web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. It leverages advanced web technologies like WebAssembly and WebGL to execute complex OCR algorithms efficiently in the browser environment. However, due to the limitations of running resource-intensive tasks in the browser, Tesseract.js may not perform as well as the standalone Tesseract OCR in terms of speed and accuracy for large or complex OCR tasks.

In Summary, Tesseract OCR provides high accuracy, extensive language support, and flexibility through its standalone software. On the other hand, Tesseract.js offers in-browser OCR with easy integration, making it suitable for real-time text extraction and web-based applications.

Decisions about Tesseract.js and Tesseract OCR
Vladyslav Holubiev
Sr. Directory of Technology at Shelf · | 1 upvote · 47.9K views

AWS Rekognition has an OCR feature but can recognize only up to 50 words per image, which is a deal-breaker for us. (see my tweet).

Also, we discovered fantastic speed and quality improvements in the 4.x versions of Tesseract. Meanwhile, the quality of AWS Rekognition's OCR remains to be mediocre in comparison.

We run Tesseract serverlessly in AWS Lambda via aws-lambda-tesseract library that we made open-source.

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Pros of Tesseract.js
Pros of Tesseract OCR
  • 2
    Graph Recognization
  • 5
    Building training set is easy
  • 2
    Very lightweight library

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Cons of Tesseract.js
Cons of Tesseract OCR
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 1
      Works best with white background and black text

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    What is Tesseract.js?

    This library supports over 60 languages, automatic text orientation and script detection, a simple interface for reading paragraph, word, and character bounding boxes. Tesseract.js can run either in a browser and on a server with NodeJS.

    What is Tesseract OCR?

    Tesseract was originally developed at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Bristol and at Hewlett-Packard Co, Greeley Colorado between 1985 and 1994, with some more changes made in 1996 to port to Windows, and some C++izing in 1998. In 2005 Tesseract was open sourced by HP. Since 2006 it is developed by Google.

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