Copying text from images has never been easier, thanks to the wonderful technology known as OCR (Optical Character Recognition). But before we go any further, you should learn why it is actually a difficult task for computers to recognize optical characters and why OCR is revolutionary.
The reason is that computers do not “see” images the way humans do. To a computer, an image is simply a graph where different colored pixels are plotted. However, with OCR, computers can “see” that the pixels actually form characters. Once the computer is able to read the character, it becomes a simple task for it to write it in a document.
Now we will take a brief look at how OCR works.
How Does OCR Work?
The entire process of OCR takes place in three major steps. They are called:
- Text Recognition
- Post Processing
During the preprocessing phase, the background and text are separated. The light-colored areas are treated as the background and removed so that only the dark-colored text remains. Afterward, the image is “cleaned” and any extra spots and lines are removed.
After preprocessing text recognition occurs which can use one of two techniques; pattern matching and feature extraction. Pattern matching simply tries to match the shapes in the image to known characters. It works well with clear fonts but doesn’t do well with handwriting.
The feature extraction method is more resource-heavy. It tries to match the features of the characters according to some rules. A simple example of such a rule is that two parallel lines with one line intersecting with them both are an “H” character. This technique is slower, but it can even recognize handwriting.
The final step is post-processing in which the extracted text is converted to a computerized file. It is also checked for spelling mistakes such as “tke” instead of “the”. These mistakes are then corrected and the output is provided to the user.
Steps for Copying Text from an Image
These are a few simple steps that you can follow to copy text from an image.
1. Search for an Image to Text Converter
The first thing you need to do is to open a browser and in your preferred search engine, type the following words: “Image to text”.
The search results should show you some tools as the top results. It can look something like this:
Just click on any of the top results, as all of these tools are very similar. You can check out multiple image to text converters and stick with the one you like best.
For our example, we will use the image to text converter by imagetotext.info. It is the top-ranked tool for this keyword, so its quality is guaranteed.
However, you can select any image to text converter, by checking a few things that are listed below:
- Is it free?
- Is the UI easy to navigate?
- Does it have many features?
From these three things, you should decide which one matters the most and then choose the image to text converter that satisfies you.
2. Input Your Image into the Tool
The second step is quite simple. You need to provide the image from which you want to copy the text to the tool. Now some tools only have one input option while others may have two or even three.
The image to text converter goes beyond that as it allows you to input images in four ways:
- drag and drop images into the tool
- browse your device to choose an image
- provide a URL
- import images from Google drive.
You can use the method that seems most convenient to you and input your image into the tool. After that, all you need to do is to confirm your decision to get the text from the image.
3. Copy/Download the Output Text
After you have inputted the image, the tool will take a few seconds to process it and extract all the text from it. The time can vary depending on your internet speed, server load, and the size of the image.
This Picture to text converter shows the image alongside the extracted text, so you can see if there are any mistakes. Usually, if the writing in the image is using a digital font, then there are no mistakes.
However, if the text is written in an unconventional font, then there is a chance that some characters do not get recognized correctly.
The extracted text can be copied directly to a document, or you can download it as a separate file. The choice is up to you.
Now that you have the text from the image, you are free to use it however you wish.
These were a few simple steps that detail how to use an image to text converter, to copy text from image.
Photo to text converters can reliably extract text from images if the font used is not too out of the ordinary (such as graffiti, cursive handwriting, or very “noisy” text).
They are freely available online, so you can utilize them whenever you like on any kind of device.