click here info about readiris OCR software, includes free demo download. (I got readiris free with HP printer/scanner. I find it’s ok, not great, sometimes it’s quicker to retype than fiddle with the software!)
If you don’t care who reads your stuff, there’s free OCR reading at click here - but I’m not recommending it!
The January edition of PCW had a free copy of ABBYY FineReader Version5.
I've installed it and found it excellent (was using Caere's Lite version previously which came with my Agfa 1212u some time ago); however, you really need to download the upgrade as well, which is pretty massive and which, fortunately, my son downloaded for me on his broadband connection and delivered on a CD-RW.
It's very comprehensive, can read up to 17 languages and has pdf facilities.
It is normal for OCR to be include with a scanner as mentioned earlier. If you did not get one I can certainly recommend ABBYY as others have done. Been using for some time. Now up to version 7, and rarely makes a mistake.