AI software like LaMDA is pretty impressive but we’ve been using AI for years without even realizing it. One perfect example of this is OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tools that let us digitize printed documents. While there’s something to be said about the elegance and appeal of paper books, it’s hard to beat the convenience and shareability offered by digital formats.
Back in the day, we had OCR programs that you needed to install on your PC. These were quite pricey to buy on their own, but were usually included as part of your new scanner.
Nowadays, as expected, everything has moved to the cloud – OCR tools included. Here are 3 of these that you may find useful next time you wish to digitize a document or even a book.
What is Image-to-Text Conversion?
Image-to-text conversion is the process using which text is extracted from a digital image by using optical character recognition (OCR). OCR is the technology that is used to recognize text inside a picture and then extract it. Image-to-text converters use OCR to extract text from an image and convert it to an editable format such as .doc or .txt.
There are quite a few varieties of these tools. Some work online and you have to upload your image to them. Others work on smartphones, letting you take a picture of text, which can then be automatically converted.
These tools are typically used when a digital copy of a document is unavailable. Taking pictures of the document and then converting it into a digital document using an image-to-text converter is a quick way to make one.
3 Best Tools to Use for Image-to-Text Conversion In 2022
Imagetotext.info is an online tool that can extract text from images. It is a free tool and does not require you to register and log in.
Using this tool is just as simple as well. It has an intuitive user interface and a straightforward design. You can figure out how to use it almost immediately.
Clicking on the upload option will open the file explorer in windows, which you can use to navigate to the image that needs to be converted.
Another option is to provide the URL of an image, and the tool will automatically find it from the web and extract the text from it.
Once you have uploaded a picture or provided its URL, you can press the “Submit” button. After a few seconds of processing, all the text from the image will be written as plain text. You can copy this text directly or you can download it as a file.
- Multiple language support
- Multiple image formats are supported
- Easy to use
- Annoying Advertisements
- Requires captcha
Ocr.best is another free tool that you can use for image-to-text conversion without creating an account.
The interface is easy to use and you can figure out how to use it in one look. There is a text guide on the same page that tells you step by step how to use this tool.
It operates in a similar manner as the previous tool in this list. You can either upload an image from your local hard drive or drag it into the input box. There is no URL bar, which means that you can’t use images on the internet for image-to-text conversion.
Once you are done uploading an image, it will automatically be converted to text. The output text will be shown in another box below the input box.
You will have a few options related to the output such as deleting it, copying it, and downloading it as a .doc file or as a .txt one.
- Can upload multiple images at once
- Easy to use
- No advertisements
- Occasionally fails to convert image to text
- Small inconsistency in results
Easypdf.com (sporting the slogan “easy, anonymous, no limits”) provides an image-to-text converter. Their tool is free to use and does not require any registration.
Following the trend of popular tools, it has a simple user interface as well. As soon as you land on the page, you will see an input box with a symbol for uploading documents inside it. You can click on the symbol to upload an image from your local hard drive, or you can import a file from either Google Drive or Dropbox.
You then have three options related to the format of the results. You can receive the results in the form of a Word file, a .txt file, or an Excel file. Unfortunately, there is no preview of the results and you can only see them once you download them.
- Easy to use
- No advertisements
- No preview of results
Digital versions of documents are more useful as you can edit them easily, which is not the case with their physical versions. This is why image-to-text converters are used to efficiently convert them into a digital format. Which one of these tools is the best? I guess that depends on your personal needs and is a matter of choice as much as anything else. If you do try them out, let me know what you think in the comments!
I will get around to trying them out–just not for bit of time though.
No worries. I hope you find them useful when you do 🙂
A friend told me about another way to do image-to-text conversion. It’s what I use when doing research and don’t want to type out large chunks of text.
From Google drive select New > File upload. Open the uploaded image with Google Docs. It will show you the image at the top with the converted text below it.
Oh, wow! Didn’t know that – many thanks for the tip. I’ll try it out for sure!
printed text to computer text. Isn’t what we need BOTH-AND: The printed book for the sensuous-emotional-mindful experience of engaging with the letterpress type on rag paper and even writing all over it with a pen and lovingly admiring it on one’s bookshelf, BUT ALSO the dgitized verson for search (find the 13th to last occurrance of “teaspoon” in a 1,000+ page book). My dissertation sponsor and his wife’s life work is largely with one 1,000+ page book, Robert Musil’s “The man without qualities’. He got it digitized, I presume on a university kurtweil machine by a graduate student or secretary? Imagine reading a Gutenberg Bible versus Bible-gateway and also having Bible-gateway on your PC next to you on your resolute desk. (versus reading the Bible on your cellphone while strap-hanging on the IRT)
Yes, indexing and searching for something in a 1000+ page book is not the easiest of tasks 🙂