An easy way to raise text from books: OCR

OCR makes raising text from books or pictures easy, it works like magic to increase efficiency and productivity. OCR tech saves you time spent on raising text from print medias.

We have not mined gold but we have something of great worth. It is not necessarily for final year students, but for anybody that have business with lifting text from their textbooks and inputting it in their projects, books, publications, articles, assignments, etc. With what we have to share, all you need is a 5 Mega pixel camera for mobile or a scanner for desktop computers and PCs – it depends on what you can lay your hand on at the moment. (Get a camera that is good enough to capture texts on a book, and a smart phone).

After reading this article, you will be able to conveniently raise text from text books, use OCR, work less and convert more.

What is OCR?

OCR means Optical Character Recognition or Optical Character Reader. OCRs are used to read texts on an image and then convert them to texts in html (hypertext mark-up language) or rich text format, which can be copied and then used. OCR requires a scanner and a character recognition engine. Depending on what the user can lay hands on, a scanner or camera can be used, the input is usually the same, the recogniser is usually developed by the program developer and in most cases, these OCR engines can recognise over 40 font types.

There are desktop OCRs (OCR software designed for use on a desktop computer, laptop, etc.) and mobile OCR (OCR software designed for use on your PDAs and mobile). These OCRs are available on your app store and can be gotten on other third-party websites. Please beware of malware, spyware and virus – always scan files and packages from third-party websites.

How does OCR work?

There are basically three steps involved in optical character recognition.

First step involved

Scanning the page, or taking a clear shot of the page with a camera. Simply get your scanner and scan the page just like you do to pictures and other documents, or if you will be using a phone, take a very clear shot, if possible use bright light and your camera flashlight, since the image must be bright enough for the recognition engine to recognise the text, a dark image is a no – no.

While taking shots or scanning, you must make sure to erase every mark, circle, anything at all that might hamper the proper recognition of text. Strong advice, erase every pencil mark on the page and if possible, use a page without ink stains. Machines are not smart, sometimes they do not know what to ignore or eliminate. Remember, it is garbage in, garbage out.

Second step involved

Cropping, Tilting and text recognition.

Crop symbol
Crop symbol

Crop

Cropping

After importing (scanning or snapping) your image, you need to eliminate some texts, especially useless ones. This is the perfect time to do that. The same way you crop images for upload on Instagram and other social network is the same way you will crop the image you have imported. Just cut the unnecessary and that’s that.

Tilting

While cropping, you can straighten the image, and make sure it is upright. Some OCR programs do this automatically but if you have the option to do this on an OCR program, it is necessary and you should do it.

Text Recognition

After doing the above mentioned, hit the next button, or whatever means process – use your initiative. While the recogniser is working, you can watch it move the image and re-position it. Just allow it sometime to do its thing.

Final step involved

Editing, converting, sharing and export to your text editor.

Editing

You might need to correct some text after the recogniser gives it output. Due to ink and shaded, some texts might be misread and thus misinterpreted. This is a good time to edit the text before exporting and sharing it. You can always do this anytime, just do what pleases you.

Converting

Most OCR programs have options to convert the output (text) to different format. It totally depends on what you want. You can convert to word, pdf, rich text format, and the likes. It totally depends on your OCR program.

Share
Share converted document

Sharing

You can share it via Bluetooth or even as text on WhatsApp, messenger, etc. While sharing via Bluetooth, it will be in html (hypertext mark-up language) format. If this is your case, simply open the html with any html viewer or web browser on your PDA and copy all text.

You can select how you want to share the text, just like you would do for pictures and videos.

Exporting text

After copying all text (ctrl + A and ctrl + C) you need to paste (ctrl + V) it in your text editor (Microsoft Word, Kingsoft, Open Office etc.). After pasting, make sure to merge the text, by merging, the font will be changed to match the font type on your document, and also match the format (font size, font type, spacing, indexing, etc.) that you are already working with.

Read More, topics for you:

Top OCRs for Desktops, PCs and Notebook

[-or-]

Top OCRs for Android, iOS and windows mobile.

Comment your experience here and make sure to share with your friends. Locate the share button, its right below this post.

Tagged with: