Google Drive now has a feature that lets you convert scanned images and PDFs to text. It is a painless process that will save you a lot of typing if in case you need to get the text from scanned documents. All you need is a Google Account and of course the image (that contains the text) to upload.
In a nutshell, the process to convert the image (containing text) to text is:
- Upload the Image to Google Drive
- Open the Image in Google Drive with "Google Docs"
Before you jump with excitement, here are a few thing to take care of:
Scanning the documents:
- Google Drive will be able to read whether the image is from a flat-bed scanner, from a digital camera or from a smartphone, provided the resolution of the file is not too bad, there is good contract etc.
- If you are clicking images from digital camera or smartphones, make sure that there is good light source. Darker images will be harder to recognize by the OCR.
- If your image needs some retouching, edit the image either on the phone or computer to improve contract etc.
- Go to https://drive.google.com
- Upload the image to Google Drive by simply drag and dropping.
- Right-Click on the image and select "Open With", then select "Google Docs"
- The image will open in another tab
- Once processed, you should see the image as well as the extracted text below.
- Edit texts if required.
- If you need only the text, you can remove the image.
- Download the file as Microsoft Word document (.docx).
File size limitations
- The maximum size for images (.jpg, .gif, .png) and PDF files (.pdf) is 2 MB.
- For PDF files, only first 10 pages is searched when searching for text to extract.