Monday, January 16, 2012

Free OCR - Optical Character Recognition (online service)

Free OCR is a free, obviously from it's name, online service that can convert scanned documents into editable text. This can save you the time it would take to retype the original document. It takes a scanned image of text and converts it to a real text file.

Free OCR will accept documents in PDF, JPG, GIF, TIFF or BMP format. It will accept documents up to 2MB in size, which is pretty big.

Free OCR worked just as well as a commercial OCR software that came with my scanner, with the same amount of errors (minimal) and time frame. PDF files worked the best, with the least amount of issues and errors. You still need to check over the converted document for errors, as no OCR system is 100% accurate.

The fact that it is web based also means that you don't have to install anything on your computer and you can use it from any system or web browser.

This is a great way to digitize papers, articles, and memos into an editable format. It really comes in handy when you can't find, or can't get access to, the original electronic file.


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