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Doug Bowen-Bailey headshot wearing CIT shirtAdvice for Digital Immigrants

by Doug Bowen-Bailey
CIT Webmaster

Turning Images to Text ~ Make Print Documents Editable

Have you ever had a situation where you had something in print and wished you could make it a document you could edit?  Or that you could easily capture notes from a meeting on the white board and then work with them digitally?
There are a variety of apps that allow you to do just that.

Getting Image or PDF Files

The easiest way to capture image files is with your cell phone.  It is as simple as taking a picture and using your built in camera app.
Here are a variety of apps you can use:

Optical Character Recognition

Once you have an image file, you need to convert the images into text.  To do this, apps use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read the image.
Both FineScanner and Cam Scanner have OCR built into their app.  Office Lens is also able to do this on a Windows phone.  Here are two other options:

Google Docs

If you have an image or PDF, you can upload it to you Google Drive and then open it with Google Docs.
Click here for a description of how this process works.

Online OCR

Another free option is Online OCR. With this free site, you upload an image or PDF document and choose to have it returned to you as a Word, Excel, or text document.
Click here to try it out.
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To create this, I used the Notes app on my iPhone to scan the document and upload it to Google Drive.
Picture of page from CIT Proceedings
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Heres’ what the original scan looks like:

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After taking 30 seconds of formatting, this is what the document looks like.