Sometimes during work, there is a need to transfer the printed text to a particular device. Instead of doing the whole process manually and typing to transfer text to a computer or smartphone, there are various forms of OCR (optical character recognition) software that helps transfer text directly to digital form. We often equate OCR software with programs on a computer, but there are some Android apps that have the same feature.
Probably nothing in this context can be more practical than an application with which you can instantly convert printed text into digital form using a smartphone. Below we bring you the best Android OCR apps.
It is a great note-taking app, but it also has built-in OCR support. Tests have shown that Google Keep does an excellent job of extracting text and that there are many possibilities for editing it. The app also does a very good job when it comes to preserving the original text.
Here are quick instructions for extracting text in the Google Keep app:
- Add a new note and click on the “+” icon
- You can now select the “Take a photo” option to scan the document using the camera or select “Choose image” to import the photo from the gallery
- Open the photo, click on the three-point menu and select “Grab image text”. The text will be extracted from the image in a few seconds.
Perhaps the best thing about using the Google Keep app is syncing it with other devices, so you can use it to scan a document and later edit it on your computer.
Text Scanner (OCR)
In testing, the Text Scanner application is almost as close in quality to the Google Keep application. It supports over 50 languages and also has support for extracting text from a handwritten template. The application interface offers major scanning features such as zoom or brightness slider to capture text in the best possible way. Tests have shown that text extraction is at a high level, and even handwriting template extraction results have shown good results.
The shortest instruction for extracting text in the Text Scanner application would be: Click on the blue button to capture and scan the intended text, and an additional option is that you can import photos by clicking on the “Gallery” icon. The extracted text will then be displayed and you can now edit, copy or share it with other applications.
Text Fairy is another widely acceptable application that recognizes text in more than 50 languages. During the first launch, the application will ask you to download the language you want to use.
Tests have shown that Text Fairy recognizes plain text well, but it has been noticed that problems occur when the text has images or when it comes to color text and a handwritten template. Another drawback of this application is the process of scanning and extracting text, which takes a long time and has a large number of steps.
Short instructions for extracting text in the Text Fairy application would read:
- Click on the “Camera” icon to capture the photo, and another option is to import the photo using the “Gallery” icon
- Select the photo you would like to scan and click “OK”. If everything is done according to the instructions, the text should be extracted and it can be edited or copied.
Microsoft Lens is Microsoft’s attempt to enable a portable application with scanning and OCR functions on Android devices. The app has its own premium version but is also available for free by signing in with a Microsoft account. Login through it opens the possibility of getting 5 GB of free space on OneDrive and the ability to save the file in various formats.
In testing, the Microsoft Lens application proved to be one of the best for recognizing text from an image. There were no problems with color text recognition either. Excellent results were also achieved when scanning the handwriting template, and special advantage of the application is the integration with other Microsoft services such as OneNote or Office 365.
Here are brief instructions for extracting text in the Microsoft Lens application:
- Open Microsoft Lens and switch to “Actions”
- Now point the camera at the document you want to scan and press the “Text” button
- Cut out the image and click on “Continue”, and then you can click on “Copy” to copy and paste the text somewhere, or you can click on “Share” to share it with another application.
OCR Text Scanner
The OCR Text Scanner application has a simple interface and supports 55 languages. Tests have shown good results, and it should be mentioned that the results are not excellent as it can happen that the application occasionally omits a word or two.
The disadvantage of the application is that it does not have support for extracting text in a handwritten template. An additional disadvantage is the number of ads within the application, due to which the scan can be extended over time. So, if you regularly visit web pages of certain content when browsing the Internet from your phone (travel arrangements, clothes to buy, or online casinos – such as the best ones here – to wager), prepare yourself to close a pop-up or two when using the app.
Short instructions for extracting text in the OCR Text Scanner application are these:
- Click on the “Camera” icon to scan the document, and to import the document click on the “Gallery” button and then on the “Tick” icon
- If all is well, click on the “Tick” icon below to extract the text. Once extracted, the text can be very easily copied or shared with another application.
The main function of the Text Scanner application is to convert images to text. For scanning a printed page of text, the application has good results, but the same cannot be said for handwritten templates because testing has shown that the work is not the best in this segment.
It is important to know that the free version of this application does not offer offline conversion of images to text, which is a feature of its premium version without ads (ad-free).
Here is how to extract text in the Text Scanner application:
- Click on the “Camera” button at the bottom of the screen
- Place the phone’s camera on the text and click on the “Camera” button or select to import a photo from the gallery
- Crop the image if you want and click “Scan” to convert the image to editable text.
For the last, it should be added that there is no OCR tool that is completely reliable when it comes to text extraction. Text style, the inclusion of photos in it, language, or handwritten template are elements that can affect the quality of conversion, but with these applications, you will be able to do it in a very short time with good results.