In the daily world of writing, you may have encountered such a situation: when you have a printed material or a wonderful part of a book, you want to extract the content, but you don’t want to copy it with pen or paper. Manual codeword to solve, what would you do? A more elegant method is that you can use OCR software to quickly convert pictures to text.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) refers to the process that use electronic devices (such as scanners or digital cameras) checking characters printed on paper, determining their shape by detecting dark and light patterns, and then using character recognition methods to translate the shapes into computers text.

That is, for printed characters, the text in a paper document is optically converted into a black and white dot matrix image file, and the text in the image is converted into a text format through the recognition software for the word processing software to further Edit processing technology.

Therefore, in today’s article, I have compiled 4 text recognition tools that are worth using on different clients. I hope that some of them can help you improve efficiency.


1. OneNote

OneNote is included in the Office component. It is a cross-platform note-taking software launched by Microsoft and is also an Office series software. It can be used to record text, images, and video and audio.

By sharing a notebook, you can add and edit notes at the same time with other people in other locations, or just keep everyone in sync and have the latest information. You can also take your OneNote 2010 notebook with you to view and edit from any computer with an Internet connection or some mobile devices.

Click Office software such as Word or Excel on the desktop. Then select the location where the file is opened, and you can open all the folders stored by the software in Office. Find OneNote.exe. Double-click to open it, and you can use it.

Compared to similar software such as Evernote, it is more like a drawing board. You can move the content or pictures in the notes at will.

With the help of the super practical function of picture and text recognition in OneNote, you can get twice the result with half the effort while studying and working! When there is text in the picture that needs to be typed out or used, you can use the text recognition function of OneNote!

Use the built-in image recognition function of the software-“copy text in the picture”. You can complete the picture to text.

Select the picture what you want to recognize. Right-click the mouse, and select “Copy text in picture”.

In the blank space of the note, use the shortcut key Ctrl + V to paste, and you can see the recognized text content:

After testing, it can only make the part of the content in the picture scan to text, and some text will be recognized incorrectly.

OneNote is divided into two versions, exe and UWP. When using the UWP version of OneNote, sometimes the right-click “copy text in the picture” option is missing.

Here is a solution. Click the “…” button in the upper right corner of the software, and select “Settings” in the expanded menu.

Click “Options” to enable the “experimental features” in the OneNote preview, and then restart the software.

2. ShareX (Windows-PC side)

ShareX is a very powerful sharing tool. As long as it is a free and open source program, you can upload the shared content to a free service on the Internet. Or personal cloud space, etc., as many as 20 different services. It can also be assigned to FTP, and can also define unsupported spaces and so on.

Enter the download website and click download to save this software on your computer.

Strictly speaking, ShareX is not a pure OCR tool. On the contrary, it is more appropriate to call it a screenshot tool. But in terms of OCR function, it is also significantly better than most tools.

ShareX has the following advantages: completely free; rich in features.

ShareX is a composite tool that takes screenshots as the starting point and can select a series of continuous actions. You can choose to upload after screenshot, save after screenshot, add watermark after screenshot, or scan QR code after screenshot.

Of course, you can also select to convert pictures to text after screenshots, so that it becomes an OCR tool.

ShareX function introduction:

The ShareX function is so exaggerated that it has a built-in screenshot function. It also supports the interception range of rounded squares, ellipses, triangles, polygons, etc. There is also a screen recording function, which can output pictures into dynamic GIF files.

After the screenshot, there are settings for various actions, including watermark, border, annotation, copy to clipboard, print picture, archive, save as new file and upload picture. These functions are quite practical and can be widely used.

Most functions and shortcut keys can be customized. For example, you can configure it to automatically add a watermark (or other effects) after pressing the shortcut key to take a screenshot, automatically upload it to imgur, and then automatically shorten the URL of the image that can be shared. Then automatically copy the link to the clipboard and automatically send the tweet at the same time.

In addition to screenshots, ShareX can also share the text in the clipboard or upload files to various services. Then, it has some other functions.


If you usually use text recognition less often and don’t want to install software specifically for your computer, you can consider using text recognition tools on the web.

1. OCR.Space

OCR.Space is an optical character recognition tool that deserves a special introduction and is truly amazing to me. It is a truly free online text recognition website and contains many advantages.

At present, most OCR tools are limited by several drawbacks: only supporting image recognition; limited free times; supporting fewer languages.

And the OCR.Space to be introduced here, can deserve to be called Best Free OCR. It has the following advantages:

Support multiple formats: support JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF, URL, etc. as input.

Multiple languages ​​supported: 20+ languages ​​such as English, Chinese, French, German, etc. are supported.

Free: OCR.Space is free for unlimited times.

Because of its power, many other OCR tools use it as an API for secondary development and packaging into tools.

The use of OCR.Space is very simple, just upload PDF and pictures directly. You can also paste their link, and then select the language you want to recognize. Other options are default. Just click Star OCR!

Click “Select File” to open the image or PDF file that needs to be recognized locally. If the recognized image comes from the Internet, you can also paste the link corresponding to the image below.

Depending on the recognition content, the “Language” can be modified. There are many languages ​​supported for recognition, including simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, Japanese, and Russian.

Before starting to recognize, you can also choose different “OCR engines” according to the complexity of the picture content. If you are recognizing complex pictures, you can use OCR Engine2, and the recognition time will increase accordingly.

2. NewOCR

NewOCR is a free online OCR (text recognition) service. NewOCR can analyze the text in the image file you upload. It currently supports JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PDF, DjVu and other formats, and then converts the text in the image Converted to text that you can easily edit on your computer.

It can be unlimited uploading, no registration, multi-column text recognition, supported for 122 languages, and you can choose to download .doc, .pdf and .txt when outputting text.

NewOCR features:

No upload restrictions;

No registration required to use;

To ensure data security, all files uploaded by users will be deleted from the server and will not be retained;

Based on Tesseract OCR engine;

106 recognition languages ​​and font support;

Supported file formats: JPEG, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP, PBM, PGM, PPM, PCX;

Unix compression, bzip2, bzip, gzip;


DOCX, ODT files with images;

Multiple images in ZIP archive.

Output format: plain text (TXT), Microsoft Word (DOC), Adobe Acrobat (PDF).

In addition to uploading files to convert pictures to text online, the website also provides free OCR API services, allowing programmers to use these APIs to customize and develop more convenient OCR recognition tools. Currently, 20 pictures are supported for free. If you want to recognize more pictures, you need to pay to use.


Microsoft Office Lens

Office Lens is a scanner tool launched by Microsoft that supports iOS and Android. It can convert the captured content (such as paper documents) into electronic documents, such as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, etc. It can also make the notes on the whiteboard or blackboard scan to text, just like magic.

You can easily find important documents or business cards anytime, anywhere, scribble ideas and take photos for future reference. You will never lose your receipt again, and you won’t have to search through a large number of post-it notes!

1. With the help of whiteboard mode, Office Lens trims and removes glare and shadows.

2. With the help of document mode, Office Lens can perfectly trim and color pictures.

3. Pictures can be saved to OneNote, OneDrive or other cloud storage.

4. The business card mode can extract contact information and save it to the address book and OneNote. This feature is most suitable for business cards in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. Support for more languages ​​will be launched soon.

5. Choose to convert the image to a Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx) or PDF (.pdf) file, and the converted file will be automatically saved to OneDrive.

When you convert the image, click “Filter” to add a filter effect to the image.

This App does not seem to have a text recognition function, but when you export a picture to Word, you can find that the file contains the picture before recognition and the text content obtained after recognition.

If you use OneDrive on your computer, you can save the exported Word file to OneDrive, so that it will be automatically synced from your phone to your computer so that you can edit it on your computer.

Write at The End

In addition to the scenarios mentioned at the beginning of the article, OCR software actually has a wide range of uses, such as encountering content that is prohibited from copying when browsing the web, and receiving text messages from others in the form of screenshots.

With the advancement of science and technology, more and more OCR software appears. Some tools used to make their debuts for free and were all the rage, and then began to introduce paid versions. The free version is just like scraps, which is terrible.

Whenever we need text in PDF or image for editing or translation, at this time, it started to give us a headache, and violent copying would cause a lot of format confusion. In the end, we had no choice but to re-enter it again. Re-entering can be considered for smaller ones, but it is prohibitive for larger content.

Whenever encountering PDF documents and text pictures in work and study, it will be very headache. Repetitive and unobjectionable work makes people feel tired. As OCR technology matures, more and more people are considering using OCR to solve PDF and image text recognition problems.

In the past two years, OCR tools have emerged one after another, but there are very few that can truly stand the test. Most of them are gimmicks that take advantage of the market and draw benefits.

This article introduces 4 tools to convert pictures to text that are worth using from three aspects: computer, web and App. You can choose the right tool according to your needs and use scenarios.

Tags : convert pictures to textoptical character recognitionscan to text

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