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Tesseract is an open source text recognition (OCR) Engine, available under the Apache 2.0 license. It can be used directly, or (for programmers) using an API to extract printed text from images. It supports a wide variety of languages.

Tesseract doesn’t have a built-in GUI, but there are several available from the 3rdParty page.


There are two parts to install, the engine itself, and the traineddata for the languages.

Tesseract is available directly from many Linux distributions. The package is generally called ‘tesseract’ or ‘tesseract-ocr’ - search your distribution’s repositories to find it.

Packages for over 130 languages and over 35 scripts are also available directly from the Linux distributions. The language traineddata packages are called ‘tesseract-ocr-langcode’ and ‘tesseract-ocr-script-scriptcode’, where langcode is three letter language code and scriptcode is four letter script code.

Examples: tesseract-ocr-eng (English), tesseract-ocr-ara (Arabic), tesseract-ocr-chi-sim (Simplified Chinese), tesseract-ocr-script-latn (Latin Script), tesseract-ocr-script-deva (Devanagari script), etc.


If you are experimenting with OCR Engine modes, you will need to manually install language training data beyond what is available in your Linux distribution.

Various types of training data can be found on GitHub. Unpack and copy the .traineddata file into a ‘tessdata’ directory. The exact directory will depend both on the type of training data, and your Linux distribution. Possibilities are /usr/share/tesseract-ocr/tessdata or /usr/share/tessdata or /usr/share/tesseract-ocr/4.00/tessdata.

Training data for obsolete Tesseract versions =< 3.02 reside in another location.


If Tesseract is not available for your distribution, or you want to use a newer version than they offer, you can compile your own.


You can install Tesseract and its developer tools on Ubuntu by simply running:

sudo apt install tesseract-ocr
sudo apt install libtesseract-dev

Note for Ubuntu users: In case apt is unable to find the package try adding universe entry to the sources.list file as shown below.

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Copy the first line "deb bionic main" and paste it as shown below on the next line.
If you are using a different release of ubuntu, then replace bionic with the respective release name.

deb bionic universe

Debian packages

Raspbian packages

Ubuntu packages

Ubuntu ppa

RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux, Fedora, openSUSE packages

See Installation on OpenSuse page for detailed instructions.



  1. Download AppImage from releases page
  2. Open your terminal application, if not already open
  3. Browse to the location of the AppImage
  4. Make the AppImage executable:
    $ chmod a+x tesseract*.AppImage
  5. Run it:
    ./tesseract*.AppImage -l eng page.tif page.txt

AppImage compatibility

Included traineddata files


For distributions that are supported by snapd you may also run the following command to install the tesseract built binaries(Don’t have snapd installed?):

sudo snap install --channel=edge tesseract

The traineddata is currently not shipped with the snap package and must be placed manually to ~/snap/tesseract/current.


You can install Tesseract using either MacPorts or Homebrew.

A macOS wrapper for the Tesseract API is also available at Tesseract macOS.


To install Tesseract run this command:

sudo port install tesseract

To install any language data, run:

sudo port install tesseract-<langcode>

List of available langcodes can be found on MacPorts tesseract page.


To install Tesseract run this command:

brew install tesseract

The tesseract directory can then be found using brew info tesseract, e.g. /usr/local/Cellar/tesseract/3.05.02/share/tessdata/.


Installer for Windows for Tesseract 3.05, Tesseract 4 and Tesseract 5 are available from Tesseract at UB Mannheim. These include the training tools. Both 32-bit and 64-bit installers are available.

An installer for the OLD version 3.02 is available for Windows from our download page. This includes the English training data. If you want to use another language, download the appropriate training data, unpack it using 7-zip, and copy the .traineddata file into the ‘tessdata’ directory, probably C:\Program Files\Tesseract-OCR\tessdata.

To access tesseract-OCR from any location you may have to add the directory where the tesseract-OCR binaries are located to the Path variables, probably C:\Program Files\Tesseract-OCR.

Experts can also get binaries build with Visual Studio from the build artifacts of the Appveyor Continuous Integration.


Released version >= 3.02 of tesseract-ocr are part of Cygwin

The latest version available is 4.1.0. Please see announcement.


Install tesseract-OCR:

 pacman -S mingw-w64-{i686,x86_64}-tesseract-ocr

and the data files:

 pacman -S mingw-w64-{i686,x86_64}-tesseract-data-eng

In the above command, “eng” may be replaced with the ISO 639 3-letter language code for supported languages. For a list of available language packages use:

  pacman -Ss tesseract-data

Other Platforms

Tesseract may work on more exotic platforms too. You can either try compiling it yourself, or take a look at the list of other projects using Tesseract.

Running Tesseract

Tesseract is a command-line program, so first open a terminal or command prompt. The command is used like this:

  tesseract imagename outputbase [-l lang] [-psm pagesegmode] [configfile...]

So basic usage to do OCR on an image called ‘myscan.png’ and save the result to ‘out.txt’ would be:

  tesseract myscan.png out

Or to do the same with German:

  tesseract myscan.png out -l deu

It can even be used with multiple languages traineddata at a time eg. English and German:

  tesseract myscan.png out -l eng+deu

Tesseract also includes a hOCR mode, which produces a special HTML file with the coordinates of each word. This can be used to create a searchable pdf, using a tool such as Hocr2PDF. To use it, use the ‘hocr’ config option, like this:

  tesseract myscan.png out hocr

You can also create a searchable pdf directly from tesseract ( versions >=3.03):

  tesseract myscan.png out pdf

More information about the various options is available in the Tesseract manpage.

Other Languages

Tesseract has been trained for many languages, check for your language in the Tessdata repository.

It can also be trained to support other languages and scripts; for more details see TrainingTesseract.


Tesseract can also be used in your own project, under the terms of the Apache License 2.0. It has a fully featured API, and can be compiled for a variety of targets including Android and the iPhone. See the 3rdParty page for a sample of what has been done with it. Note that as yet there are very few 3rdParty Tesseract OCR projects being developed for Mac (with the only one being Tesseract, although there are several online OCR services that can be used on Mac that may use Tesseract as their OCR engine.

Also, it is free software, so if you want to pitch in and help, please do! If you find a bug and fix it yourself, the best thing to do is to attach the patch to your bug report in the Issues List


First read the documentation, particularly the FAQ to see if your problem is addressed there. If not, search the Tesseract user forum or the Tesseract developer forum, and if you still can’t find what you need, please ask us there.