Tag Archives: ocr

How to OCR Text on the iPhone

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This app amazed me so much that I had to get Kat out of bed to help me record this video while she was here visiting. She had the flu, but was still extremely impressed with how well Prizmo can capture text and display it beautifully on the iPhone. It really is THAT good.

Prizmo lets you scan and recognize text documents, business cards, bills, and whiteboards, then share the results across your computers and with other people through the Cloud. I used it to scan a document that Kat had written for a speech she gave at Gnomedex. The volunteer team got together and surprised me with a very cool LEGO gift which Kat presented. She had her speech printed out, so I decided to use Prizmo to capture it and save it in my phone for posterity.

It… worked. I’m not sure how to explain how good this really is, folks. The scanned text is crisp and clear. Once I white-balanced it, I was actually shocked into saying “OH!” It was even more awesome and perfect.

There are several features included with this app:

  • Input Options: iPhone’s camera, import from the Photo Album, copy/paste from other apps.
  • Image processing: rotation, crop, perspective correction, white picker.
  • Highly accurate OCR technology in 10 languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.
  • No Internet connection required for image processing and performing OCR. No confidential data sent.
  • Text-to-Speech available through In-App Purchase: 35 high-quality voices in 10 languages for reading scanned texts.
  • Many Export Options: copy the recognized results as a text, send scanned documents and vCards using iPhone’s native mail application, Dropbox & CloudApp integration, text translation (Google Translate)…
  • Document Viewer
  • Stylish UI, with full support of Retina display

If you are busy, you need something like Prizmo in your arsenal.

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Free Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

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What would you call a guy with OCD in need of OCR? I guess you’d call him Chris Pirillo, since I do occasionally have a need to use Optical Character Recognition. OCR is software that can take a graphic and turn it into text. For instance, I have an email that I printed out. If I scan it into my computer, it’s going to be an image. But by using OCR, I can turn it into text.

Free OCR is a resource submitted by Jan that works extremely well. I scanned the email into my computer and saved it as a .jpg image. On Free OCR, I uploaded the image and chose a language (English, of course). Within a few seconds, my image was processed, and the text appeared in a box. Now I can easily copy and paste that text into any program or application that I want.

Believe me, there will come a time when you will need some help from OCR, whether or not you have OCD. Do yourself a favor and bookmark Free OCR now, so that you can find it easily later on.

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Scanning Documents with OCR

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – I received an email the other day from someone wondering why documents they scan into their computer rearranges the text and doesn’t retain formatting. Well user-whose-name-I-can’t-pronounce, what you’re asking about deals with OCR.

OCR, or Optical Character Recognition software allows you to scan a document and edit it. If the OCR software isn’t very good, then it probably won’t retain the layout that the original document had. You are probably using whatever software came with your all-in-one machine, and I don’t know what brand that is.

The problem is, you’re not really going to get really good OCR software unless you pay virtually hundreds of dollars. Probably the best I know of is OmniPage. OmniPage Professional 16 is the fastest and most precise way to convert high volumes of paper, PDF and forms into files you can edit and search.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any open source or cheaper software titles that are on the same level with OmniPage. Do you? If you use something that works just as well, without the price tag, I’d love to hear about it. I’m sure that user-whose-name-I-can’t-pronounce would love to hear your suggestions, as well.

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