Optical character recognition (OCR) is an AI-based pattern recognition technology that detects text within an image and converts it into an editable digital document. OCR applications will assist you if you do need to make digital data editable, such as receipts, invoices, or bank accounts, which are normally in image format.
Many tools, thankfully, allow you to remove text from photographs using OCR technology. There is a medium for converting pictures to text on a computer, tablet, or the internet.
Procedures for Converting Images of Text to Actual Text
OCR programmes translate typewritten/printed text (pdfs, jpgs, etc.) scanned or captured photographs into machine-encoded/computer-readable text. If the initial picture is crisp and simple, these methods would work better.
Option 1: Upload the file to bDrive Advantages: It’s private, quick, and it normally operates on papers that are more than one page long.
Cons: Doesn’t read blurry text as well as most readers, and it can take a long time to process.
- Open bDrive, press the gear button, and pick “Upload settings…Convert text from imported pdf and image files” from the drop-down menu.
- Upload the file by selecting “data” from the white arrow next to “Create” in the red box at the top left of your browser.
- Pick your file from the list. It’s possible that there will be a lag between when it says it’s finished and when the paper appears on your bDrive list.
- At the top of the text, a portion of the original image file will appear. To see the text, scroll down. On longer and/or fuzzier papers, certain parts can take a long time to load.
- If you want to upload image text files to bDrive without converting them in the future, switching off the OCR option you enabled in phase 1.
Option 2: Use a free online OCR converter Advantages: Reads fuzzily written text more efficiently.
Cons: Can’t be used for confidential material, which just works on one-page documents (it says max file size is 5 MB but it would not convert more than one page of a 1.5 MB pdf).
- If your paper is longer than one page, open it in Adobe Acrobat and split it into single-page folders.
- Go to http://www.onlineocr.net/ in a browser window.
- To import the file, follow the instructions. Once you’ve loaded the file, you’ll need to type in the Catpcha code before clicking the “Convert” button.
- The text will be shown below. It’ll have to be copied and pasted into your new folder.
This post will include a list of OCR resources that can be used to remove text from photographs on a variety of computers. Depending on the requirements, one of these tools should suffice.
1. Use the internet to convert photographs to text.
Many OCR tools are available online that will allow you to extract text from images on any computer. To use this app, all you need is a browser and an internet connection (on both PC and mobile). I tried many online OCR resources and found that New OCR produced the best results for all of the photos I used. It’s a totally free service that’s still really easy to use.
- Simply choose the picture from the Choose File menu and upload it.
- Choose a new OCR file
- After that, select Preview, and then OCR to process the file.
- OCR software has been updated.
- The extracted text will appear in an editable text box below, where you can copy it or save it as a TXT, Doc, or PDF file.
- OCR software is available online.
In my experience, the tool accurately extracted the text and copied the format and spacing. It does not, however, recognise fonts or text sizes, so the text is all plain.
Text extraction is supported in up to 122 languages, and text can be extracted from JPG, PMG, PGM, GIF, BMP, TFF, PDF, and DjVu files.
2. Extract text from images using Google Docs
You won’t need any other tool to extract text from images if you already use Google Docs for document creation. On the web edition of Google Docs, you can import an image and extract text from it using the built-in OCR technology.
- Here’s how to go about it:
- Sign in to your Google Drive account.
- To upload your image, click New and then File Upload from the toolbar.
- Upload the document to Google Drive.
- After the picture has been uploaded, right-click it and choose Google Docs from the Open With menu.
OCR in Google Docs
That’s all there is to it; the image will open in Google Docs with the extracted text directly under it.
Google Docs, for example, attempts to detect font size, shape, and even colour for each word. It also adheres to the rules of formatting and spacing.
While it performed perfectly with the majority of the images I checked and correctly extracted text with small formatting errors, one of the receipt images was completely screwed up. The font size and colour were drastically different from the photograph, resulting in a rather unappealing result. Fortunately, by selecting all of the text and selecting a default font, such an error can be easily corrected.
Google Docs had the best text extraction that closely resembled the picture of all the OCR software I tried.
3. Use Windows to convert images to text.
Many OCR applications are available if you prefer to transform images on your Windows PC. Easy Screen OCR is a fantastic Windows OCR programme that extracts text accurately. It’s a little (7MB) utility that runs from the machine tray. You may either take a new screenshot or upload an image file to retrieve text from.
To use it, pick Image OCR from the context menu of its icon in the device tray.
Windows-based OCR apps
You’ll see a little window pop up where you can drag and drop the picture to get it processed automatically. The text you’ve extracted will appear in a new line, where you can copy it.
OCR on a Screen Made Simple
Although the method is extremely effective at extracting text, it does not take into account formatting or fonts. You’ll get plain text with the default font size and spacing. You can’t save the text to a book, but you can copy all of the extracted text using the Copy icon.
Unfortunately, the Easy Screen OCR free edition only allows for a small number of free scans; for extended access, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro subscription. If you’re searching for a fully free OCR tool for Windows, you can give FreeOCR a shot. It’s very fine, but I found that while extracting text, it made a few small errors. It does, however, fit offline, so it may be exactly what you need.
4. On Android, extract text from pictures
There are numerous Android apps that allow you to translate photos to text. Not only that, but all Android phones have built-in cameras, so you can read text when on the move. My favourite Android OCR software is Text Scanner, which allows you to retrieve text from images when offline. It also provides free unrestricted scans in a variety of languages.
The only big downside is the free version’s annoying advertising, but you can do it without an internet connection to stop them and it works offline. You can also switch to the pro version to get rid of the commercials and speed up the loading time.
A button in the top-right corner of the app allows you to pick photographs from the album, while a button in the bottom-right corner allows you to take a text shot with the camera. Upload the screenshot using either of these methods, and the software will automatically process and display the extracted text. To compare them, use the buttons at the bottom to move between text and picture.
Android Text Scanner with OCR
Without any mistakes, Text Scanner extracted text from all of the photos I sought. However, unlike most other OCR resources, it used default fonts and did not attempt to replicate the formatting. You still won’t be able to save the collected text in a special document file, because you’ll only be able to copy or share it.
5: Use a Chrome plugin for OCR.
If you want to remove text from web images in particular, a Chrome plugin will support. Copyfish and Project Naptha are two extensions I like for this reason. My preference of the two is Project Naptha, which automatically selects all text inside photos on the site.
You don’t have to do anything; simply add the extension, and any picture you encounter on the internet will become selectable. When you come across a picture with text inside, hold down the left mouse button to pick and copy it. Of course, the extraction isn’t flawless, but it performed well for the photos I used. If you like, you can also have it translate chosen text.
OCR Project Naptha
Copyfish is a much safer choice if you choose to search and transform photos on request. After downloading Copyfish, you can open a tool to pick the position of the text you want to remove by clicking the extension button. Copyfish can copy an image of the highlighted region into its interface until the area has been picked, and then use OCR to extract text.
Chrome expansion Copyfish OCR
A dedicated button can be used to copy the extracted text. You may also use a button to open the text directly in Google Translate to translate it. Make sure the file is open in the highest possible resolution for the best performance, as Copyfish merely takes a snapshot of the image, so higher image quality can result in more precise extraction.
6. On a Mac, convert images to text
To be honest, there aren’t many decent OCR resources for macOS. You’ll have to pay for a decent OCR app for Mac if you want to use it. Readiris is one of the most powerful OCR applications for Mac OS X, but it is much more. It’s a full-featured PDF creator and editor with sophisticated text extraction capabilities from PDFs and photographs.
The tool comes with a 10-day preview version that allows you full access to all functionality. If you like the tool, you can upgrade to a pro edition based on your requirements. Readiris can extract text from images/PDFs stored on your computer, as well as take screenshots of any image and extract text from them.
Take a look at Readiris.
You can also annotate PDFs, add voice notes, split/merge PDFs, add watermarks, save scans online, convert text to audio, and many more. Readiris is well worth the money if you need both an OCR tool and a PDF manager.
Picatext is also worth a look if you’re looking for a less expensive OCR option for your Mac. You can strip text from saved files or new screenshots for only $3.99. The extracted text is instantly copied so you can paste it anywhere, and you can also use the default font.
7. Use an iOS OCR programme.
Scanner Pro is one of the best document scanning and OCR applications for iOS. The majority of the app’s features are free, but you’ll need to pay $19.99 a year for the Plus premium to include the picture to text conversion feature.
The app’s primary feature is to read paper documents and store them as perfectly formatted PDF files. You will remove text from such scans with its pro subscription. The free edition checks documents but adds a watermark to them.
Scanner Pro is a programme that scans documents.
Another intriguing aspect is its text search, which allows you to look for photographs based on text contained inside the image. This covers any scans or PDF files you’ve shared with us.
If you’re looking for a more straightforward and free OCR app for iOS, English OCR is a good option. It allows you to either take images of documents to process or import photos from your computer’s storage. Many of the app’s features are free, but you can upgrade to the pro edition to remove the advertisements.