With today’s technology extraction of text from an image has become extremely easy. There are many image files with an extension such as JPG or JPEG which have text on them and sometimes there is a need to extract the text.
This can be achieved in two ways:
- OCR Software (Freeware/Shareware)
- OCR Online Converter
OCR Softwares – OCR is Optical Character Recognition. There are many softwares which can perform the task of converting Image Files to Text effortlessly. The use of such softwares can save you a lot of time and energy in typing. Some of the softwares available are freeware i.e. free to download and use, while others are shareware i.e. you have to pay for using the software. Some softwares are available on trial basis i.e. you can use the software for a few days but if you want to keep using it after the trail period is over then you have to purchase it from the company. A few softwares are given below.
- FreeOCR– FreeOCR is a free Optical Character Recognition Software for Windows and supports scanning from most scanners and can also open most scanned PDF’s and multi page Tiff images as well as popular image file formats. FreeOCR outputs plain text and can export directly to Microsoft Word format. You can click on the LINK to go to the download page.
- ABBYY FineReader – When it comes to Optical Character Recognition, ABBYY FineReader is one of the best. Loaded with features, ABBYY FineReader makes extracting text from all kinds of images fast and easy. Despite extensive list of features, ABBYY FineReader is simple to use. It can extract text from almost all kinds of image formats such as PNG, JPG, BMP, and TIFF. ABBYY FineReader can also extract text from PDF and DJVU files. You can either have all of the text extracted, or choose only some specific sections. Use the Save option to choose the output format, and ABBYY FineReader will take care of the rest. There are numerous output format supported, such as TXT, PDF, RTF, and EPUB. The output text is perfectly editable, and text from even the most content intensive documents is extracted flawlessly. Other features include extensive language support, numerous font styles/sizes, and image correction tools for files sourced from scanners and cameras. Click on the LINK to go to the download page.
- Microsoft OneNote – OneNote is an feature rich application. Using OneNote to extract text from images is ridiculously simple. If you use the desktop application, all you have to do is use the Insert option to insert the image into any of the notebooks or sections. Once that’s done, simply right click on the image, and select the Copy Text from Picture option. The entire textual content from the image would be copied to the clipboard, and can be pasted (and hence, edited) anywhere, as per requirement. Whether it’s PNG, JPG, BMP, or TIFF, OneNote supports almost all major image formats. However, OneNote text extraction capabilities are quite limited, and it can’t deal with images having complex textual content layouts such as tables and sub-sections. So that’s something you should bear in mind. Click on the LINK to go to the download page.
OCR Online Converter – There are a few websites which can perform OCR by uploading the image files to their website. The output file is normally in Text format (.txt) or Microsoft Word format (.doc). A few websites which can perform this process are given below.
- Easy PDF – Easy PDF website converts image files to text. It also has a lot of options for converting files between different formats.
- Free Online OCR – This is another website where you can extract text from image files. A simple user interface and easy to use.
- Unlimited uploads
- No registration required
- Keeps your data safe and secure
(all your files will be removed from the server)
- Based on Tesseract OCR engine
- 122 recognition languages and fonts support
- Multi-language recognition
- Mathematical equations recognition
- Page layout analysis (multi-column text recognition)
- Selection of area on page for OCR
- Page rotation: clockwise/counterclockwise 90°, 180°
- Different ways to display and process the resulting text
- Download as file
- Edit in Google Docs
- Translate using Google Translate or Bing Translator
- Publish online (Pastie.com or Pastebin.com)
- Copy to Clipboard
- Supports poorly scanned and photographed pages
- Supports low-resolution images
Input file formats
- JPEG, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP, PBM, PGM, PPM, PCX
- Compressed files: Unix compress, bzip2, bzip, gzip
- Multi page documents: TIFF, PDF, DjVu
- DOCX, ODT files with images
- Multiple images in ZIP archive
Output file formats
- Plain text (TXT)
- Microsoft Word (DOC)
- Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
- Online OCR – This is another website which performs OCR to convert image to text effortlessly and this is my personal favorite too. A simple graphical user interface (GUI) and fast conversion makes it my favorite. Its completely free but the only drawback it has is that you can convert only 15 images to text in an hour, so if you have converted 15 images in just 10 minutes then you have to wait for another 50 minutes to convert the 16th image to text. However there is a solution to this problem, you can register on this website and pay for converting more that 15 images, if you want to convert the 16th image to text within that hour. Also the max upload size for any file is 15mb.
- Upload file: Click on the ‘Select File’ button and browse to the file on your computer. Upload the file.
- Choose language: Select the desired output language from the drop down list from “2 Step – Select language and output format”. Also select the output file format from the next drop down list.
- Convert: Click the convert button to perform the action.
- Download: After the conversion is completed, you will get a download link on the page. Click on that link to download the output file and save it on your desktop or laptop.
Supports 46 recognition languages
English Afrikaans Albanian Basque Brazilian Bulgarian Byelorussian Catalan Chinese Simplified Chinese Traditional Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Esperanto Estonian Finnish French Galician German Greek Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latin Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Moldavian Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Tagalog Turkish Ukrainian
Supported input formats
PDF (All types of PDF files including multi-page PDFs) TIF/TIFF (Multipage TIFFs supported) JPEG/JPG BMP PCX PNG GIF ZIP files containing the above types of files can also be uploaded.
Supported output formats
Adobe PDF document Microsoft Word document Microsoft Excel document RTF document Text Plain
All the softwares and Online OCR converters which are mentioned above are extremely good but as far as I am concerned Online OCR had the highest accuracy when it come to conversion from image to text.
You can try out all of the above to decide for yourselves.