I remember how frustrating it was, in the past, to have to transcribe the text in an image by hand. Fortunately, the development of technology has made it possible to perform this operation in a few seconds and with a few simple clicks. If these tools for extract text from images had been available a few years ago, they would have earned hours and hours of manual transcription. Especially when it was necessary to copy long texts from images during the course of studies.
In this article I would like to show you how to extract text from images, recommending 4 tools for OCR. In order to compare the validity of these solutions, I wanted to test them by trying to copy the text contained in an image with all 4 applications. The proposed methods are compatible with both Windows and MacOS. Here is the image I used in all 4 tests.
Extract text from images, 4 tools for OCR
Microsoft OneNote one of the most used tools to take notes on your computer. available for both Windows and MacOS and, among its many functions, it also offers the possibility of using the OCR tool. You can join OneNote from this link by logging in with your Microsoft account.
Extract text from images with OneNote a very simple operation.
- Open a new file in OneNote.
- Insert a new image into the OneNote notebook (Insert -> Image).
- On Windows, right-click on the image and then select Copy text. On Mac, instead, right-click on the image and then select Alternative text.
In the first case the text contained in the image will be copied directly. In the second one, instead, you can choose the text you want to extract. Here is the final result obtained with OneNote.
Another convenient and excellent solution to extract text from images Google Drive. Many users are not aware of the potential of Google Drive. It provides many useful tools and most of them are also simple to use.
Here are just the steps to follow on Google Drive (need to have a Gmail account).
- Access your Google Drive account via this link.
- Load the image from which you want to extract the text (just drag the image inside the browser).
- After loading, click on it with the right button and select Open with -> Google Documents.
A new Google Doc file containing both the original image and the OCR text extracted from it will be created automatically. You can copy the text to your liking, modify it or whatever. Compared to OneNote, Google's solution also recognizes titles and words in bold or italics. Here is the result obtained with Google Drive.
If you prefer not to install any software on your computer to do this, then the free service Online OCR could be for you. Besides having a simple to use web interface, it allows you to translate text into other languages, or to automatically create a Word and Excel file.
Here's how to use Online OCR.
- Access the official Online OCR site.
- Select the button Select file and upload your image.
- Select the language in which you wrote the text and then the format in which you want to convert the image. You can choose between Word, Excel and formatted text.
- When everything is ready, select the button Convert to proceed with OCR conversion.
At the end of the conversion you will be able to copy the text directly from the box below or download the relevant file on your PC. This is the final result.
In case you are viewing an image in your browser and would like to extract the text, then I suggest you use Copyfish. an extension for Google Chrome ready to serve you whenever you need it.
You will not need to download the image and then upload it to some OCR service. Copyfish will allow you to select the image through the integrated tools and propose the OCR text.
- First install Copyfish in your Google Chrome browser.
- Now access the page containing the image from which to extract them in text.
- Click on the icon of Copyfish present in the toolbar and select the portion of the image that interests you.
Copyfish will begin to process the text and will also offer you an English translation. You can also decide to copy the text, capture another portion of the image or rework the one already captured. Here is the final result.
In this article I wanted to show you what I think are the best tools to extract text from images. In order to better compare the services, I tested the same image with all 4 software, so you will be able to judge the final result yourself. Furthermore, the tools are all free, so you can try them for free and decide which one best suits your needs.
I'd like to know if you know of other valid tools to extract text from images for free and in simplicity. If you would like to share your experience with us, you can do so by leaving a comment at the end of this article.