There are so many ways which allow you to perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition), in case you are not familiar with OCR, have a look at this definition –
“Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping system in an office, or to publish the text on a website. OCR makes it possible to edit the text, search for a word or phrase.” Read more…
Why is OCR required?
OCR can be useful in so many scenarios, let me enlist some of them –
- You are reading a PDF file, and want to copy the text from it.
- You come across an image file which has some text on it, and you want to use that text in some of your other word/text file.
- You are attending a lecture, and you want to keep the stuff written on whiteboard, simply use your mobile phone camera to take a picture of it, and later perform the OCR on it to get the text.
Mentioned above are simple examples where this OCR technology can be useful. And as I said earlier as well, there are so many Free tools to do this job for you. However suppose you are reading a PDF file which has a table in it, the OCR tools already available will help you to get the text from that table, but if you want to export the same table in MS Excel, these tools might not be very useful. Here comes in picture the Desktop application we are talking about, ABBYY Screenshot Reader. This awesome Desktop application is available for free (for a limited time, as a free gift on the Christmas, yeah I am late, so grab your free copy soon).
Working of ABBYY Screenshot Reader –
Once installed on your computer ABBYY Screenshot Reader can be accessed from the system tray.
Now, simply click on the system tray icon and you come across an interface as shown below –
The above screenshot clearly indicates the drop down menu for Type of Capture, Language, and Send (i.e. in what for do you want to extract the text), have a look at the image below, this has different screenshots which show every drop down menu individually.
Select the type of ‘Capture’ and the type of ‘Send’ and extract the way you want the text. This application works perfectly fine, most of the features here are generic types, and however the one which says ‘Table to Microsoft Excel’ is awesome. All the options work perfectly fine. Other available tools generally force you to download an individual file depending upon your choice (.txt, .rtf or .doc), but this one gives you option and allows you to instantly get what you want.
List of features for ABBYY Screenshot Reader (also the reasons why I call it best) –
- Completely offline application, no internet connection required to work, generally the well-performing OCR tools are online.
- Supports text extraction in multiple languages.
- Allows you to extract text in different ways, and make it ready to use by copying it on the clipboard.
- People who need to do lot of OCR pretty often, this is the best tool one can have, as wide range of options to import text allow saving loads of clicks and time, makes you more productive.
Talking about the program size, which is pretty huge, around 150 MBs to download, in my opinion, 150 MBs is justified to a great extent looking at the way the tool works and number of options it provides. So, if you too want to try ABBYY Screenshot Reader, download it as soon as possible before the Free offer ends. Try it out and share your views about it with us. In case you don’t want to download a huge program and your OCR usage are less, you can select a tool from this list of Free OCR tools.