OCR - From Print Image to Text

OCR-FreeIt can be so helpful to have many of the family print documents converted to a text form, especially one that can be edited. It is another way to ‘SAVE’ the family information by making in text form.

Examples include obituaries, those newspaper copies that are kept in file folders. If you have it as a scanned image and then convert using OCR (Optical Character Recognition), you now have another saved copy of that document.

Yes, you can also just type out an article (transcribe it) but using OCR, can prove to be much faster. The main drawback is if the print image once scanned is very light or has many specks throughout it. The OCR does not know if a speck is the letter ‘i’ or a ‘?’ or a period. Of course you still need to proof the finished text to make sure it is correct. OCR-font-samplesThe darker and clearer an image is the better the OCR works.

There are several free OCR software applications to use. One titled ‘Free-OCR‘ is very basic and easy to use. Right in front it has you upload the image at a time you want in text form. Then it asks you to put in captcha code numbers / letters (to stop any scammers), then press ‘send file’. It will transform it into text, taking a few moments and then above the completed text appears. You can ‘SAVE’ it to your computer by highlighting it the text, then a copy/paste of the text and place in an open document on your computer (can use MS Word, Works, or any document software you have). Save that giving it a title and it is done. It really does it very quickly.

OCR-exampleAnother method is if you have a PDF (portable digital file) and want it into text format. Using PDF-OCR free software, you can complete that conversion. It has a Windows and a MAC version. Besides converting the PDF it can also convert JPEG, GIF, PNG, PICT and BMP images.

These converting to OCR can also be done if you locate a newspaper article from an online digital newspaper site. Select the article, save it and then upload it to one of the OCR programs. With the variety of technology, it is good to place your research in different formats.

Google in OCR to find several other free software programs that are OCR to convert to text. Read over each and select what works best for you.

Related FamilyTree.com genealogy blogs:

Go From Image to Text



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