I am looking for software that helps me to transcribe scanned documents. I am aware of two solutions, GenScriber (Windows, Linux) and Transcript (Windows). Is there something like that for Mac OS X? It should offer a split screen view (source and input area), basic image manipulating options (e.g. for enhanced contrast and rotating), and CSV export.

4 Answers 4


There aren't any that are native to the Mac. But there are a couple of online ones that may work for you.

Scripto is a free open source tool written in PHP for enabling community transcription of document and multimedia files. It runs under WordPress, Drupal or Omeka (3 content management systems).

FromThePage An free open source online tool written in Ruby that allows volunteers to collaborate to transcribe handwritten documents.

Both have development areas at github. I believe they both have split screen views. I can't tell you about the other options.

The other thing you can do is use a Windows emulator on your Mac, and then run GenScriber or Transcript. For example check out CrossOver, Parallels, Guest PC or VMware Fusion. All are relatively inexpensive.

  • 2
    Also there is Oracle's Virtual Box which is free which does the same thing as Parallels etc mentioned by +lkessler
    – Colin
    Nov 21, 2013 at 8:32
  • There is now PlayOnMac available as an emulator on the Mac, it is free and very easy to use and both Transcript and Genscriber work fine with it under Mac Sierra and Mac High Sierra. Les has dropped the Wine wrapper version of Genscriber but it still works if you run it in any of the Wine apps.
    – Colin
    Nov 4, 2017 at 7:55

I can provide you with a GenScriber version that will run in X11.

If you want to give it a try, I would be willing to make any adjustments needed to ensure success.

  • 6
    Welcome to genealogy.SE! I assume you are the author of Genscriber? Thank you for joining this this discussion. I am sure that a version that works on a Mac will be of great benefit for genealogists using this platform.
    – lejonet
    Nov 22, 2013 at 18:38
  • Hi Les Hardy, has it been a successful endeavour to port your software for Mac OS X?
    – lejonet
    Aug 3, 2014 at 20:54
  • A wine wrapped version of GenScriber is available now.
    – lejonet
    Apr 1, 2015 at 17:37

A little late, but I finally built GenScriber for macOS.

I have the download available on my website. Expect bugs. Don't use it with serious data until we have finished testing.


If/when you find bugs, please let me know.

  • Can we have a link to the Mac version? There is only Linux and Windows shown in the menu on your site.
    – Colin
    Nov 22, 2021 at 8:04
  • I'll be happy to give it a try on Mac OS Catalina/Big Sur/ High Sierra Nov 22, 2021 at 19:21
  • Les I am still running Mojave on my old Mac Book Air (the latest that can be installed) and it does not run saying that it must be Catalina or later so unfortunately I can't test it for you. If you can recompile for Mojave (the last OSX that allowed 32 bit apps) that would be good as there are a lot of people who still use it.
    – Colin
    Nov 23, 2021 at 7:43
  • Colin, the download above now works in Mojave. I built in 64 bit. Might be able to build 32bit if needed.
    – Les Hardy
    Nov 27, 2021 at 14:13
  • Les, runs on Mojave but on exit get an error message 'unable to save user ini'.
    – Colin
    Nov 28, 2021 at 8:52

Transkribus (introductory video) consists of a desktop application (Linux/Mac/Windows) and some cloud services. It includes advanced tools like handwriting and structure recognition and is available for free (it is funded by research grants from the European Union).

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