I recently was faced with situation where I had a hardcopy of a typed document where there was no editable or electronic version available and I needed a way to access and edit the document without completely retyping it.
It was at this point I started to think in terms of OCR (optical character recognition). OCR is software that has the ability to take typewritten (and sometimes handwritten) text and convert it to a digital version that can be electronically stored and edited. In my case, I did not want to install software on the computer, and started to think even further outside the box. I wondered, are there any online OCR services on the internet?
As I have said before, “if you can think of it, someone has done it”… There are quite a few OCR services out there that I tried and the one I am settling with is called Online OCR… Online OCR is a free service in a “Guest mode” (without registration) that allows you to convert 15 images per hour.
I was able to take the hardcopy of the document, scan it to a PDF file, upload the PDF file to Online OCR where the text in the file was read and subsequently converted to an editable Microsoft Word document. What sold me on Online OCR was that Online OCR managed to convert the document and retain the formatting (fonts, table, etc…) to near perfection.
Online OCR’s conversion process with recognize 32 languages and can handle up to 8 different input file formats and produce 6 different output formats:
- PDF (All types of PDF files including multi-page PDFs)
- TIF/TIFF (Multipage TIFFs supported)
- ZIP files containing the above types of files can also be uploaded.
- Adobe PDF
- MS Word 2003/XP
- MS Excel 2003/XP
- Html 4.0
- Text Plain
GEEK BONUS AREA