Many a times we are required to scan a document (an image file, basically) and edit it. This could be relatively easy if it were a small document or it could be tedious and time consuming if the document were long.
Therefore, we need a software of some kind that can convert images into editable text files. This would allow us to avoid the lengthy process of having to type out the entire document and then edit it. In this article, we will discuss how to edit a scanned document.
Optical Character Recognition is a technology that allows us to convert image files into word files. This technology has been around for quite some time now and only gets better day by day. The name itself implies that the technology is used to recognise characters from a document. Let’s explore how this is done.
How does OCR work?
Broadly speaking, there are two major methods in which OCR works. They are as follows:
Pattern Recognition: This is a fundamental way of recognising characters. The input character is read and is compared with all the characters stored in the database. The one that matches the input character is then selected and is processed and provided as the output. The major drawback of this method is that if the input character itself is not clear, then the output will not be proper.
Feature Recognition: To counter the above mentioned disadvantage of the pattern recognition technique, the feature recognition method was introduced. Here, instead of comparing the whole character, the strokes or features of the individual characters are compared. This ensures that the correct character is recognised. In this case, even if the input quality is low, the output is fairly accurate. That is why this method is the most widely used method in OCR software.
How to use OCR
OCR is a technology and cannot convert anything by itself. Therefore, certain tools have been developed which harness the power of OCR and do the actual conversion work. They are called OCR tools. There are many OCR tools out there available for free. Also, there are two kinds of OCR tools, one that are available online and the other which have to be downloaded. We will look at both of them.
Online OCR tools
There are a lot of online OCR tools. A simple google search will provide you with a host of OCR tools that are available for free. Let us examine one of them.
http://www.onlineocr.net/ (opens in new tab) is one such free tool. Visit the website and use the on-screen instructions to convert the JPG Files to Image Files.
Downloaded OCR Software
There is a lot of downloaded OCR software that can be used for the conversion process too. The major advantage of downloaded OCR tools is that it does not require an internet connection to work. Again, there are a lot of free OCR software available but to avoid confusion let’s focus on one software namely JPG to Word Converter (opens in new tab). Alternatively, use this link (opens in new tab).
After the completion of download, install the software on your PC. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) of the software is not that difficult to operate. Below is an image of the GUI of the software.
To convert, open the file to be converted from the software. After opening the screen will look something like this:
Next, select Word as the desired output format:
Then click on the save button. The file will be converted and opened in Microsoft Office.
This software can scan files from a scanner too and also provides you the best security features including password protection and watermark.
You can find the video tutorial of this software on YouTube at [Link]
Always remember that the output quality and accuracy of an OCR converter is as good as the input file quality. So if the input file quality is not good, the output file will be not be good and will not represent the input file properly.