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Extracting text from an image might not be a common concept. However, it is used more often than you think. This conversion or extraction process has countless applications, which is why it is popular. 

In this post, we will focus on how this extraction takes place. There are multiple ways to do this on different and even the same devices. We will talk about each and every one of the ways and explain all of them individually. 

If you think this is an unimportant process or a waste of time, we will also fix that approach of yours. We will show you how this is important and is being implemented in various fields, industries, and even in daily life. So, stay tuned.

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Common Applications of Text Extraction

In the following, we have prepared a list that shows a few common applications of text extraction. 

  • With the help of text extraction, you can convert hard copies of documents into soft copies.
  • The digitization mentioned in the previous point can also be used for academic purposes. You can convert your handwritten notes into digital notes. 
  • Image to text conversion can be used for data entry. For example, the data from a simple receipt or bill can be entered into the required software using this technology. 
  • You can take a picture of an interesting banner or poster and extract the text from that image. This can be useful for social media people like influencers and activists. 

These are some common uses of this technology or extraction process. There are many more as well. But instead of going into intricate details, we will jump to the main topic of our article.

Quick Ways to Extract Text from Images

For the sake of detailed explanations, we have shortlisted some tools and techniques that you can use to extract text. Some of these methods are device-specific, while others can be used on all platforms. 

1. OCR Tools

OCR is a technology that is used in most text extraction tools. It works in the backend to help the tool understand the characters present inside images. After this identification, the real process begins. 

There are two types of OCR text extractors. The first ones are the tools that simply convert images into text. The second type of OCR tools are the ones that are designed for specific images. For example, a tool might be designed to read a receipt for a company. These tools extract text but also show you the exact sections. So, in the receipt example, the name of the owner and billing segment would have different sections.  

However, the second type of tool is rare and is not commonly used. This type of tool is basically common in huge firms. So, for this section, we will talk about the tools that are more commonly used. 

Here are some steps that you can follow when using a standard text extractor:

  1. Go to an image to text converting tool’s webpage.
  2. Insert or upload your image via mentioned ways. 
  3. Some tools start conversion as soon as the image is uploaded. In contrast, others require users to click on a button or clear a captcha verification. 
  4. After the conversion takes place, the extracted text is shown to you in an editable format. 
  5. Download the resulting text or copy it.

In this way, you can extract image-embedded text and make use of it as per requirement.

2. PDF Readers

This is not 100% image text extraction, but is still relevant to our topic. Text extraction is basically from file formats that cannot be edited. Images are not the only files that don’t allow text editing. PDFs are also there with them.

PDFs are files that often have a great deal of textual information, but they cannot be altered. You can use PDF to text converters to extract text from these PDFs. Or a better way would be to use PDF readers. These are software that allows direct editing of a PDF file. 

A good example of such software is Adobe Acrobat. Using this, you can easily manage PDF files. This is extremely helpful in professional or official matters. 

3. Google Lens for Android

Until now, we have talked about text extraction from either browser-based tools or downloadable desktop applications. Proceeding, we will talk about text extraction using other devices (mostly mobile devices). First, we will discuss Google Lens

This is an OCR application that can be used on Android devices. This is a text extraction technology that can read characters present in images. After that, it can search the contents of the image online. 

In this way, Google Lens has provided users with the option to search using text and images. In other words, this text-extracting technology goes beyond just simple extraction. You would be surprised to know that Google Lens is used 8 Billion times a month.

Using this tool is quite simple:

  1. Download the Google Lens and Google Photos Apps. (Most Android phones have it pre-installed).
  2. Then, go to Google Photos and select the image that you want to convert.
  3. Click on the Lens button. 
  4. From there, you will get multiple options. You can choose any action that you want. 

These options mean you can also copy the text inside images instead of making it a Google search. This tool is an innovative medium. However, it is restricted to a single type of device. This limitation often comes in the way of users. 

4. Live Text for iOS

Live Text is similar in function to Google Lens. However, this time, we have brought an iOS exclusive instead of Android. This is a built-in feature of iOS devices. This feature works perfectly on most devices, and using it is also quite straightforward. 

Here is how you can access this:

  1. Go to the camera app and point it at something with text. 
  2. A yellow icon of live text will appear on the side. Click on it.
  3. After clicking on the icon, you can edit, copy, or search for that text on the web. 

This feature can also be accessed by going to the photos app and opening an image. For this, you don’t have to click on anything. You just have to tap and hold the text, which will get selected just like normal text. 

For further details, click here.

Important Tips for Extracting Text from Images

As you may have noticed, the first text extraction method is the most well-rounded method. However, it doesn’t mean that it provides 100% accuracy every time. Even if an instance where these tools provide inaccurate results is low, it is still there.

So, to remove all the inaccuracies and doubts, you should follow some steps. Below are some great tricks you can apply to enhance the efficiency of text-extracting tools. 

  • Always compare the results with the original image and make changes if needed.
  • Adding to the previous point, always ensure that special characters are extracted properly. 
  • Sometimes, numbers like 1 or 5 might get extracted as I or S. Look out for such inaccuracies and fix them.
  • Try to choose clear images. These assist the tools in performing their function with ease. 
  • If you are converting handwriting into text, try to write clear and segmented characters. 
  • Before using a text extraction tool, study the supported formats. If your desired image has one of those formats, then and only then choose that tool.

These are some general tips that can help you elevate the precision of your text extraction. If you want absolutely flawless results, you will have to follow them.

FAQs

Given in the following are some commonly asked questions related to our topic. Check them out if you have some problem understanding any concept.

1. Which device can be used to extract text from images?

As mentioned above, text extraction can be done on most devices but using different methods. Here is a compatibility list that might help you:

  • Image to Text Converters (All Devices)
  • Live Text (iOS devices)
  • Google Lens (Android Devices)
  • PDF Readers (Mostly Desktop)

You can use any one of these 3 devices for text extraction.

2. What is the fastest way to extract text from images?

All the methods discussed in the above article are pretty fast. But we think that using an image to text converter is the fastest and the most accessible method.

3. How do I extract text from multiple images?

You can insert multiple images in a text extraction tool at once. Many tools of this nature provide this feature. However, if you want to convert a sizable bulk of images, then you will probably have to pay for a premium tool or subscription.

Final Words

Text extraction is a process that can take place in multiple ways. Some of these methods have limited features, while others are more versatile. We picked the best and most popular methods and explained them to you.

Now, it is up to you which one you choose. All of them are efficient methods. The main difference in most of them are the devices on which they take place. 

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