It’s hard to remember a day when you didn’t take a screenshot or take a photo of a document. We often do this so that later on we will use this image or screenshot to record it properly somewhere like in the Excel sheet or some Word document. However, it is often ignored because we don’t get time to type the information in the image.
This laziness has already led to an invention where you don’t need to type manually; rather images will be converted to text instantly. The technology used to make this miracle happen is called OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
What is OCR Technology?
According to IBM, OCR is a brilliant idea to save time, cost, and resources as it helps in data extraction automatically within seconds. Previously it was mainly a hardware-based technology when camera quality wasn’t that good. You would have seen specialized scanners like:
- Barcode scanners at shopping malls,
- Digit scanners are often used by metering,
- Handheld document readers,
- Text reader pens etc.
These were all the early examples of hardware that had OCR technology. But now we have high-quality cameras on our phones, tablets, and laptops. That camera can easily be used as a scanner and data extractor using OCR technology. And that’s what we are discussing here.
Online OCR – Image to Text Converters
As we discussed, we have a camera that can take clear pictures of texts and data. OCR technology can be used to convert images into text. You can get thousands of apps for mobile, desktop, and tabs that can offer you the free facility to convert images to text.
But I always prefer web-based solutions for various reasons:
- Don’t need space to install
- Don’t have any data privacy issues.
- It won’t steal your data.
- You can use it on any device.
- You can access it on the go anytime anywhere.
- It won’t be using cameras or microphones without letting you know.
That’s why I keep and recommend minimum applications on your laptops and mobile phones. And that’s why I recommend using online solutions rather than apps.
So, here I’ll be shortlisting the top 5 online tools to convert images into text. These tools can be a great help for students and professionals alike.
I’ve shortlisted these tools because they are a bit more advanced tools that are not just basic OCR but use AI and NLP to go the extra mile. With AI and NLP, they try to suggest a word even if it is not readable due to poor scanning. And you get readable text, not just scanned text.
These top image-to-text converters can find even handwritten text in an image and convert it into text. While conventional image-to-text converters won’t bother to do that. They have a set of fonts and if the text matches that font, they can read and convert it. Otherwise, they will fail.
Let’s discuss these magical tools one by one:
1. Image to Text Converter by Prepostseo
Prepostseo offers a bunch of tools apart from the image-to-text converter. Now talking specifically about its online image-to-text converter tool, its UI is pretty simple and elegant. With basic knowledge of the internet, everyone can use this tool. No extra or unnecessary steps are involved in the process to make it complicated.
Simply upload, or drag the document and convert the text into an image in just one click. It takes a few seconds because it uses AI and NLP to detect, analyze, and convert text into correct English or other supported languages like Spanish, Dutch, Russian, and Portuguese.
Reasons to Love:
As I mentioned earlier, there are several reasons to fall for this image to text converter. The first one is “convenience”. You can:
- Drag & Drop Document,
- Import from URL
- Import from Google Drive, and
- Best of all, you can simply Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to paste the document here directly from Clipboard.
Another reason is that it allows 3 image submissions simultaneously to its free users while the limit extends to 30 if you have signed up for the premium plan.
You might not have heard much about this tool, but it’s another online image-to-text converter tool that is almost equally useful as Prepostseo. The UI of this tool is cool yet conventional, making it easy to use for ordinary users with no technical background.
ImageToText.info is a fast yet light tool that you can use on the go. It’s a specially designed tool for the job. If your objective is to scan the image and convert it into text, then bookmark this tool and use it anywhere, anytime.
How to Use ImageToText.info?
The steps are almost similar you will upload the document using any step of your choice like uploading directly from the computer, from Google Drive, from the URL, or simply dragging and dropping the document into the box. Once done, click on the “Submit” button and the magic spell has started working. In just ten seconds the image would have been converted into text.
- UI is easy to use and easy for the eye.
- Supports multiple options to import documents.
- Support multiple languages.
- Fast to load and fast in processing.
3. Picture to Text by i2OCR
It’s another online image-to-text converter that you can bookmark. It is a less popular yet handy tool to bookmark. It doesn’t have a conventional design, which may confuse new users, but still, they tried their best to make it the easiest one to use by explaining the three basic steps.
- In the first step, you select language, which is an extra step, not found in other tools.
- Then in the second step, you import scanned documents from the URL or your device by browsing.
- In the 3rd and last step, you fill in the captcha and then click on the “Extract Text” button.
As this tool doesn’t use AI and NLP, it will simply match patterns and extract text without caring for the meaning. That’s why I won’t recommend this tool if you are scanning handwritten or poor-quality images. It’s fast and accurate if you are scanning a good-quality image in familiar fonts.
4. Free Online OCR
Free Online OCR is almost similar to i2OCR. This online image-to-text converter is a bit slower than i2OCR, yet it has an extra feature that you can’t find in any of the above-mentioned tools.
Free Online OCR shows three steps like i2OCR but these steps are different. In the first step, you upload the image while in the second step you choose the output. This is the feature I was talking about. It doesn’t show the text instantly but it exports the output in the file. This feature was added to maintain the formatting of the scanned document.
In the last step, you simply click on the giant-sized “convert” button to start the process. As I mentioned, it’s a bit of a slow tool because it uploads, detects, and analyzes text and then converts it into the desired file, which sometimes takes time.
5. Pic to Text by Soda PDF – OCR PDF Online
Soda PDF is one of the popular choices for its powerful PDF tools and even this OCR PDF Online is basically designed for extracting text from image and converting it into a PDF file. The most lovable thing at Soda PDF – OCR PDF Online is their UI. Not steps, no 1,23.
How does it work?
Simply One button does all.
- You click on Choose File button to browse and upload from your computer
- You can also click on Down Arrow to choose the file from Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Once the file is selected, the same button becomes a progress bar that shows uploading and converting progress.
- As the conversion is complete, you will be directed to an Online PDF editor where you will see uploaded and converted PDFs with editable text.
The best part is that it keeps the formatting even in the background. For example, if you upload a poster, it will not only detect text but it will separate the text from the background, and it will be like you can edit a scanned poster’s text. But it’s not always correct because they have complicated the technology, and that’s why the text is often not detected properly.
Now you have read about my top 5 choices in online tools to convert images to text using OCR. Every choice has something unique and powerful to be in the top 5 list. You can choose from any of these five as per your usage and requirements. For general use, Prepostseo is best as it has AI and NLP embedded in its OCR which brings the most accurate output.