Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process of converting text captured in an image into a text document. This procedure is rarely flawless since little irregularities in the image, think of a newspaper scan, may cause the OCR software to make mistakes. Hence, spell checking is an indispensable step in completing any OCR job.
Unfortunately, most free OCR services do not provide an OCR spell checking feature. In this article I am going to introduce the best spell checking tools for post-processing OCR texts. This includes alternatives for existing tools that do not provide internal OCR spell checking.
Most OCR services will allow you to export the result to plain text. For further processing you can upload to Google Documents, which also comes with an internal spell checker. Unfortunately, the spell checker is very basic and doesn’t allow you to select languages or add words it’s missing.
SpellJax is an online spell checker. You can paste your text and have it check the spelling. Misspelled words are underlined in red. A left-click on the word opens a box with suggestions, but you can also enter your own correction or > OK the word in question.
An alternative to SpellJax is SpellCheck.
Firefox comes with an internal spell checker that you can use to your advantage. Saikat wrote a very good article on How To Spell Check With The Firefox Dictionary.
Briefly, the Firefox spell checker is enabled by default and can be triggered under > Tools > Advanced > General > Check My Spelling As I Type. Misspelled words are underlined in red and right-clicking on them will provide suggestions from the dictionary. You can select > Add to Dictionary to teach the dictionary a new word.
You can also add new dictionaries. Right-click into a text box with more than one line, select > Languages and > Add Dictionaries… from the menu. This will take you to the Firefox dictionaries and language packs page. You’ll find more information about using the Firefox spell checker on this Mozilla page.
The Firefox spell checker comes in handy when you use an online OCR tool that presents the result in a text field, as for example Free OCR does. Firefox will instantly mark misspelled words and you can go ahead and correct them.
For a more detailed review on Free OCR and two more tools, read my article 3 Online OCR Services To Convert Scanned Docs To Text.
The best solution of course is to use an OCR tool that comes with its own internal spell checker. TopOCR is one of them and it’s definitely top notch. It delivers a full-featured text editor that is a charm to work with. In addition, it has a built in spell checker that supports 11 languages.
Before you let the OCR do its magic you need to preset the language under > Settings > Language in the Image Window to the left. Per default the spell checking feature is turned off. In the Text Window go to > Other and put a checkmark infront of > Spell Check. Then go ahead and edit the text to your liking.
Saikat has previously reviewed the best OCR software in this article: Top 5 Free OCR Software Tools To Convert Images Into Text. Let me just mention that Simple OCR also comes with a spell checker. However, don’t bother, it’s a pain.
After extracting text from an image with Microsoft Office Document Imaging, you export the text to Microsoft Word. Here you can use the internal spell checker. The great advantage is that you can choose between many different languages and teach new words to the various dictionaries. So if you happen to own a copy of Microsoft Office, I absolutely recommend it for spell checking your OCR texts.
An obvious alternative to Microsoft Office is OpenOffice, which essentially comes with the same features as its commercial competitor. However, while OpenOffice does offer full featured spell checking, it does not offer OCR.
Which OCR spell checking app do you recommend?
Image Credit: mandiberg