I used Pleco on iOS to recognize the characters in the table of contents of a book. The font was a simulation of handwriting, so I was quite surprised at better than ninety percent accuracy. Although, irritatingly, it attempted to recognize 汉字 in the Arabic page numbers.

But the OCR feature has disappeared from the app (and I have a philosophical objection to buying a feature I already bought).

Meaning of text on a picture mentions two online tools. One failed miserably, and the other has a long-expired SSL certificate which I am not willing to bypass.

I've seen things saying that Google Translate can do it, but that they have somehow made it only work on Android devices.

For small samples, I just use the iOS handwriting recognition, but I'd like to put sentences from a book into Anki.

  • In pleco There is a button to restore purchases. There is also a developer that does respond to questions!
    – Ludi
    Dec 11, 2017 at 9:17

3 Answers 3


I use command line tesseract chi-sim or cuneiform when I need to do that. The picture has to be high enough resolution or you will get a lot of errors.


You can try tencent cloud link or baidu cloud link if you're able to code a computer program. And aliyun also host third-party OCR APIs.


I was intending to try the command-line options mentioned by Pedroski, but I stumbled on Cisdem PDF Converter OCR

Does a better job than Pleco with worse image quality.

And the vendor of Pleco says they have licensed the same engine for their next major upgrade. Turns out that the one I used before wan't Pleco (though I am not sure what it was). So I went ahead and bought the Pleco add-on.

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