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Use OCR To Extract Text From Image & PDF Files


OCR, which Is an abbreviation of Optical Character Recognition, Is a technology used to Identify text In Image files. It can then translate It, by extracting the text Into an edible form and save It to a digital document. Whether It's at home or at your workplace, sometimes there Is the need to only utilize or edit the text contained In the Image, hence In this tutorial, I will show you how to use OCR to extract text from Image & PDF files.


So what exactly Is the purpose of using OCR to extract text from Image or PDF files? Well, as an example, let's say you have quite a number of Images, and wish to use only the text that they contain for a school project. Rather than physically typing It, you can use OCR to export the text Into a file, which you can edit, copy & paste and so forth.

There are many OCR services on the Internet that do the job well, but If you're working with a sensitive Image containing Identifiable details, do you really trust publishing It online? Nether do I. As such, I will demonstrate how to do It, by using a neat little tool named FreeOCR that can be downloaded via this reputable website. So without further delay, let's rip Into this tutorial.

Step One:

Once you've downloaded FreeOCR, It must be Installed on your computer. Here's a visual of what to expect the moment It's executed.


Step Two:

Now you need to remove the default text that's on the right pane of the tool. Click on the Text tab, and then hit Clear Text Window as shown below.


Step Three:

You now have to navigate to the directory of the file that you want to extract It's text. Hit the Open button at the top of the window.


Step Four:

For the purpose of this article, I will use an Image file. This was actually the Image that I was using for a guide on this blog. When you've made your choice, click Open.


Step Five:

Although not shown, the Image has loaded Into the tool. It's time to extract the text. Click on the OCR tab, and then hit Start OCR Process.


Step Six:

It will now begin to extract text from the Image file. Here's my Image that was loaded In the tool.


Step Seven:

And here's the result when the tool finished the extracting process. As you can see on the right pane, It's extracted and saved the result In plain text. Compare It with the Image above, and you'll find that the only thing missing, Is the word Finish (next to Cancel). A job well done Indeed.


Step Eight:

To make It easier to work with, there's a few options to save It to a text file. I've simply selected RTF, by clicking on that very button.


Last Step:

I've opened my file and I can now edit the text, copy & paste It, change the font size and so forth.


Final Thoughts:

This was a simple demonstration, on just how effective FreeOCR Is In extracting text from the Image file. It can do the very same with PDF files, but It's beyond the scope of this article to document a tutorial.

FreeOCR comes to very good use, If you have multiple Image or PDF files containing a significant amount of text. Rather than physically having to type It, the tool will extract It In a matter of seconds. Moreover, It's totally free to use.



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