Comparing the OCR Engines Available in UIPath

Basics

UiPath has a drag-and-drop interface for building RPA bots. One of the built-in activities is called “Read PDF with OCR.” Using it is as simple as dragging it into your flow and choosing one of the six OCR engines that UiPath has built integrations with.

About the OCR Engines

  • Google OCR – This actually uses the open source Tesseract OCR Engine, so it is free to use. Also, this processing is done on the local machine where UiPath is running.
  • Google Cloud OCR – This requires a Google Cloud API Key, which has a free trial. More details here.
  • Microsoft OCR – This uses the MODI OCR Engine, which is also free to use, and the processing is done locally like Google OCR.
  • Microsoft Cloud OCR – This uses the Microsoft Computer Vision API, which is also free to sign up for. Details here.
  • Abbyy OCR – This requires you to install Abbyy FineReader on your local machine and purchase a license. Details here.
  • Abbyy Cloud OCR – This requires a subscription. Details here.

My Experience

  • Google OCR – This is easy to use because it’s built into UiPath, but I found that it is the slowest option. Multi-page documents can take upwards of 30 seconds to get through.
  • Google Cloud OCR – This option is fast and accurate. I was able to create an API key and get it working with UiPath pretty quickly. I did have to turn on billing to get the API key to work, but they give you 1,000 pages per month for free, which was more than enough for what I was doing.
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