How To Extract Text From Images (OCR) – Windows Only

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OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is cool – the thing that lets you analyze an image and recognize the text within the image. Something that you can do with Evernote. However what if you want to do it for some of your own images? Of course you can use Evernote or you can use JOCR.

A pretty straight forward and no fuss application. It does one thing and does it well. Download the application and install. Fire it up and you will be greeted by the main interface.

JOCR essentially allows you to take screenshots and then detect the text within the image, excellent for situations where you are copying from an image but you don’t want to type the text.

shotsjocr1

You can capture a region, a window or the entire desktop and then perform character recognition. Once you have captured the image just hit recognize and JOCR will attempt to give you the text from within the image.

copied

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recotext

It is pretty fast and the actual recognition time will depend upon the type of image you are trying to perform OCR on. The recognized text is placed on the clipboard and JOCR will open up a notepad file where you can paste the text and see how well JOCR fared. As you can see it did fairly well (just messing up Windows to IWindows in line 3)

Although JOCR is officially limited to reading screen grabs, however there is nothing stopping you from scanning a document, save it, open it up at 100 % and summon JOCR. It actually did a pretty good job when I opened this image and then took a screenshot of the window to read it.

fileshot

JOCR requires that you have Microsoft Document Imaging installed on your system. If you have Office 2003 or higher, chances are that you have it installed. In case it is not, you can do so from within “Add and Remove Programs” and then choosing to install “Document Imaging”.

mdiinstall

JOCR can recognize text in a number of languages ranging from Dutch to Hungarian to German to Russian. You would have to choose the language manually depending upon the type of characters you are going to be recognizing.

langs

Although the application has not seen updates since some 2 years, it does a pretty good job on both black and white as well as colored images and could be a time saver with your scanned documents or images.

Have you ever used an OCR application? Which ones do you know about?

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