Everybody knows that the technology for converting an image to text is Optical Character Recognition (OCR). But only a few know the working mechanism of OCR technology. So, if you are not one of those, this blog post will be ideal for you.
Here, we’ll explain what OCR technology is and how this technology has evolved over the years. But besides the concept and working of OCR technology, we’ll also share the step-by-step approach of extracting text from an image with the help of an online utility. So, if you are up for a similar discussion, let’s delve in.
What Is OCR?
OCR is a technology for converting an image to text and making the text editable. Since the goal of OCR technology is text extraction, the tools for such a technology are also known as the image to text extractors.
The image-to-text conversions in the early days had limited power. In fact, the old OCR systems could only extract text from one specific font. But thanks to technological advancement, that’s not the case anymore.
Now, the OCR technology has become advanced enough to extract handwritten text from pictures. However, the technology that works at the backend of handwritten text extractors is Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR).
How Do OCR Tools Work?
The light and dark patterns form the text in a digital image. So, the OCR technology works by scanning the light and dark patterns and converting those patterns into textual form.
However, since OCR technology has to recognize the characters in different font styles, some predefined rules work at the backend of OCR technology. This way, an OCR system can easily match the characters in the picture with the correct letters or numbers.
Steps to Convert an Image Into Text:
There are several ways to convert the typography inside an image into an editable form. For instance, some people try Google Docs or Microsoft Word to extract text from images, whereas others rely on dedicated applications.
But since this guide targets online image to text conversion, we’ll take assistance from a free online OCR tool here.
- To get started with the procedure of extracting text from images, first, open a browser.
- Then, type ‘Image to Text Converter’ and hit the ‘Enter’ key to let the browser load the results for your search query.
- As Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology has been available for a long time, the browser will bring several image to text applications. So, you will have to pick an OCR tool carefully because the quality of results depends on the tool you’ve selected. However, we have chosen the first result from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for this guide.
- After your web browser successfully loads the web page for the selected OCR tool, your next task is to upload the image file. For instance, you can upload the image file:
- From local device storage.
- From clipboard.
- Directly from the internet (via entering its URL).
- After uploading the image file, you will have to click on the ‘Submit’ button to let the tool process the extracted text.
- Pressing the ‘Submit’ button will instruct the tool to perform the above-discussed operations on your uploaded file. And within a few moments, you will get the extracted text.
- Generally, you can save the extracted text by copying it to the clipboard or downloading it in a document file. So, pick any result-exporting option from the available methods.
From recognizing the text from one specific font type to extracting text from handwriting, OCR technology has come a long way. The algorithms that used to work at the backend of old OCR systems may have become more advanced. But the base of advanced OCR engines and old OCR systems is the same.
OCR engines work by detecting and scanning the typography inside an image as light and dark patterns. So, detecting light and dark patterns is the key to the text extraction ability of an OCR engine. However, if you want to understand the step-by-step mechanism of the image-to-text extraction procedure, read the above discussion.