Tuesday, 2 August 2011

How to... convert scanned text to an editable document... JPEG or TIFF to .doc

Doing a favour for a friend at work, she wants a story book producing with images and only has hard copies of the types text and painted illustrations.

I have scanned in all the images but there are 3 pages of text so currently trying out OCR software to convert the scanned text (jpeg/TIFF etc) into an editable format .doc or .pages

There were some online advice pages suggesting that Microsoft Office Document Imaging software does this, but I only have Office for Mac. According to my tech guru @jhothersall advises that the PCs in school do have this software, but school is a 51 mile round trip and I'm still recovering from over doing the decorating mid pregnancy, so glued to the sofa for the afternoon!

I stumbled across http://www.betterocr.com they offer OCR facilities, free and budget versions. The paid options between 99c and $1.99 offer proof reading which is great for projects when you are to busy or too slapdash to do it yourself. Normally that would be me, but I have summer holidays to occupy and this book task is a freebie so not wanting to incur any extra costs on this trial just yet. I am currently position 98 in the queue so will wait and see how successful this service is, and come back with a recommendation...

...well, I let the batch run and completely forgot about it until this morning, but all three jobs are complete and save a couple of formatting and spelling issues (to be expected as the original was not in great condition) the results are great!

Absolutely worth doing, it has saved me time and effort copy typing, and for the cost of the other services I would certainly use again to trial their proof reading.

Better OCR get a big thumbs up from me!

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