Tesseract is a great and easy to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool with support for several languages.

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Install tesseract package with your package manager. English language data will probably be installed automatically. To install other languages, look for tesseract-ocr, tesseract-data or tesseract-langpack (depends on the Linux system).

# For Debian/Ubuntu, installing spanish language data
sudo apt install tesseract-ocr-spa

You can also download the language data manually from https://github.com/tesseract-ocr/tessdata_best and copy the files to Tesseract ‘tessdata’ folder (folder path may vary, but is usually one of these: /usr/share/tessdata or /usr/share/tesseract/tessdata).


Usage is very simple, just type tesseract, specifying the input image, the basename of the output file and the text language (with -l). If you don’t specify a language, it will search for english text.

tesseract image.jpg output-text -l spa
  • You can replace output file basename with - to use standard output.

You can check which languages are installed with tesseract --list-langs. Language data are usually located inside /usr/share/tessdata.

By default tesseract creates a text file, but you can create a searchable PDF from the image:

tesseract image.jpg outputfile -l spa pdf

For more info about tesseract usage, check its man page.

Test with this online terminal:

If you have any suggestion, feel free to contact me via social media or email.