Deciphering text from images can be a real pain. When text is presented as an image or in some other format that cannot be selected, learning and working becomes difficult. The only solution is to get those eyes and fingers to work and start typing – or so?
Optimal Character Recognition, or OCR, is the process of converting printed or handwritten text from media such as scanned documents or photographs into plain text.
While this is prone to errors, depending on the clarity of the text, using OCR to extract text from images can save you hours of repetitive work. One use case for OCR is when you are a college student who needs a specific page from a textbook. If a friend sent you a photo of a page, you could use OCR to extract all of the text from the image so that it is easy to read and copy.
In this article, let’s take a look at three of the best online OCR tools for extracting text from images, none of which require software or plugins to download.
OnlineOCR is one of the easiest and fastest ways to convert an image or PDF file to several different text formats.
Without an account, OnlineOCR.net will allow you to convert up to 15 files to text per hour. Registering an account gives you access to features like converting multi-page PDF documents and more.
OnlineOCR.net supports converting from PDF, JPG, BMP, TIFF and GIF formats, outputting them as DOCX, XLSX or TXT.
OnlineOCR.net can recognize text in English, Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian languages. , Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Moldovan, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish and Ukrainian.
The conversion process requires three simple steps. You upload a 15 MB file, select the language and output format and click the “Convert” button.
Regardless of the output format selected, a plain text preview of the conversion appears in the box below the link to download the file in the format you selected. This helps prevent downloads from being wasted on extraction, which may be inaccurate.
NewOCR currently only offers text extraction from image files, but supports several other cool features that many online OCR providers lack.
To start using NewOCR, simply click the Select File button, select the image you want to extract text from, and then click the blue Preview button. This will bring up a preview of your image and some additional options.
Unlike most other online image to text converters, NewOCR actually allows you to install multiple OCR languages. This can be quite useful if you do not know what language the text of the image is in, but have a good guess and want to get the correct translation of the plain text.
If your image is skewed to one side, you can also dynamically rotate it. When you have applied the options you want, you can click the blue OCR button to extract the image text.
From here, you can download the extracted text in TXT, DOC or PDF format, or send it directly to Google Translate or Google Docs for further editing.
Last but not least, OCR.space is definitely one of the most reliable options we’ve found, and should help you with almost any image-to-text conversion operation.
OCR.space is one of the best OCR tools that supports WEBP file format. Besides this, PNG, JPG and PDF are also supported. Also, you don’t need to download the file – you can install a remote link to it if it’s available anywhere on the Internet.
Other niche features include auto-rotate, receipt scanning, table recognition, and auto-scaling OCR.space is one of the few online OCR tools that supports the output of files as searchable PDFs (with visible or invisible text), and you can even choose from two different OCR engines for the best extraction.
All you have to do is upload or link the file, click the Start OCR button! button and then a preview of your results will dynamically load on the same page. If you chose to output as a searchable PDF, the Download and Show Overlay buttons are also available.
One of the most interesting and unique features of OCR.space is that it can output your extraction in JSON format. This JSON will have fields that include each word in the text and their coordinates in the image itself. This is a very important feature if you are a programmer trying to programmatically extract text from images
With the above three web-based tools, extracting text from just about any crisp, legible image should be a breeze. Even if you know how to quickly type text with multiple monitors, you do not need to struggle with decoding text images yourself. OCR was created for a reason, and these websites will help you make the most of it!
If you have any other tips for choosing the best OCR tools or services that you would like to share, or if you need help using one of the above, feel free to drop us a message in the comments below.