How to Copy Text from Scanned Documents Using Online OCR Tools

Optical recognition technology combines hardware and software systems that turn physical documents into machine-readable text. 

OCR technology is one of the most efficient ways of analyzing text from a page. This technology can also detect printed or handwritten text characters inside digital images.

This technology can benefit students who have to scan text and take notes for learning regularly. Moreover, this tool can be convenient for data entry operators and writers. But how does this technology work, and what kind of platforms provides it?

This article will elaborate on how to copy text from scanned documents using online OCR. We will also share features and usage of some online tools to provide a quick demonstration of how online OCR works.

What is the Technology behind OCR?

Optical character recognition technology transforms any scanned text (be it in the form of an image or a PDF etc.) into editable text. It is not just limited to hard-form images; you can also extract text from infographics and screenshots.

This technology is dependent on both hardware and software elements. For example, in mobile applications, it often requires the use of the device’s camera.

The scanner produces a raster pic which is nothing but a collection of black and white sections. These black and white sections depict the position of the text on the page. In other words, the black parts are the characters and letters whereas the white part is the backdrop. 

OCR separates the letters from the image and transforms them into words. Eventually, it formulates words to make sentences and phrases to present the original text in editable form.

How Does OCR Copy Text from Scanned Documents?

An OCR tool is dependent on both hardware and software resources. The goal is to analyze a physical or scanned document and convert it into an editable, shareable digital copy. But the whole image-to-text conversion goes through a step-by-step process mentioned below.

  • Image Pre-Processing

Image processing is the very first phase of optical recognition. In this step, the OCR tool converts the document’s physical shape into a picture to show it as a recorded image. The purpose is to align the picture by bordering its sides and corners accurately.

After aligning the image, the tool separates the text from the page by differentiating between the bright and dark regions.

  • Character Recognition with AI

Artificial intelligence’s influence improves any hardware technology’s ability to act like a human. In OCR, the AI technology recognizes characters by following these two approaches.

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition technology is trained to understand languages, numbers, special characters, text formats, and handwriting. 

So, the pattern recognition compared the characters it scanned from the document to its taught database to find an accurate match.

Feature Recognition

In this type of recognition, OCR uses a rule-based algorithm for specific character properties to identify characters and letters. 

For example, if OCR wants to recognize characters, it will focus on their features like crosses, curves, and lines. This type of recognition is efficient in identifying handwritten text accurately. Moreover, it assists in recognizing mathematical equations accurately.

  • Post Processing for Text

Post-processing is the final stage of optical recognition, where artificial intelligence identifies and corrects any flaws before presenting the final output. 

In this process, we can also teach AI a glossary of terms that may appear in the final output. In this way, AI limits the output to a specific type of font and format. It also prevents any unwanted changes in vocabulary.

3 Suggested Tools for Copying Scanned Text from Documents

We have recognized and learned about the working of OCR technology. Now let’s talk about some online tools that can help you copy text from scanned documents and images.

  1. Image to text by Prepostseo
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Prepostseo.com is an all-in-one platform for writing and editing solutions. This platform provides an accurate and free online OCR tool that allows scanning more than one image at a time. The ideal feature of this tool is that it supports various image formats.

It is efficient enough to scan text in 30 different languages. It can also recognize mathematical equations, which can greatly assist students and educators. 

You can directly upload an image or paste a link to the image and the tool will automatically load it for scanning. Once the image is scanned, you can copy the text or download it in editable format.

  1. Image to text PDF.online
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PDF online is a platform that provides a wide range of converters. Among these numerous utilities, it offers an efficient image-to-text conversion service with its online OCR converter.

This online tool provides decent image-to-text conversion without asking for account registration. You can add multiple photos and select the text format for direct conversion.

Even though the tool is free to use, it limits language selection options. Moreover, it’s not very accurate in recognizing special characters and numeric values.

  1. Image to text
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Image to text is an online platform that precisely does what it says in its name. This tool’s features and interface provide a user-friendly experience along with the free image-to-text conversion.

You can upload an image, paste an image link, or drag & drop an image file on the interface to copy text from it. The tool will scan the image for text within seconds and present your results as an editable text file.

With multiple languages and format support, this tool wins the versatility for every data entering category. The tool is available online and for smartphone applications for easy access.

Conclusion

Optical recognition technology is one of the most efficient and useful products of artificial intelligence. This technology first came out in the early 90s, but it was not as efficient and accurate as it is in today’s modern era. 

Nowadays, OCR technology can recognize more than just letters and numbers. Moreover, it has drastically improved to present results within minutes.

In this article, we explained the working and functioning of the OCR technology with the help of AI and how you can copy text from an image using online OCR tools. We hope this article was informational enough to help you learn about the working of OCR technology.

Steve
Steve
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