Friday, December 27, 2013

Convert Text To Digital By Taking A Photo - 'English OCR' - iPhone - App Review



Wouldn't it be amazing to take a picture of text on a paper and convert digitally - just with that photo, and the no need to retype that text.  There are many apps that claim they can do this - many of which don't turn out that great - or at all.

So I put app; English OCR by New Mobile Way Inc. to the test. English OCR makes it quite clear that for this 'magic' to happen, it'll need your help and you will need to follow the guidelines as best you can.


To get the best results, you'll need a clear, in focus, as bright as you can (without any camera flash) shot of the text. You can then cropped the text to really eliminate any but the text you want to convert.

To use the app is simple. Just like a camera. To get good results, is difficult. In my testings, English OCR can work - but you really need to follow the guide lines they give you, which are:

- Picture should be taken in bright environment, normally if your iphone flashed (in auto mode) it means this picture might not be good for OCR even with flash. Try take pictures under daylight or bright light.
- Picture should be cropped to exact rectangle just include target texts, OCR engine will take every thing inside as text to recognize.
- Picture should be clear to identify characters, usually shaking or dark environment is the reason for ghosting image.
- Avoid to deep fold target document, as mentioned above, OCR engine will take every thing inside cropped rectangle as text to recognize.

In my testings, there were some results of pure random gibberish.  And some results were pretty accurate, with some minor flaws, or a inaccurate letter or two in a word. Also the amount of text you can convert is limited. It'll only really be about a small paragraph, or sentence.  And since there was always some flaw and the format of the text didn't keep, in all honesty, it would be quicker for me to just retype all the text, then sit there and edit through it all after.

So in conclusion, English OCR can work. Under perfect circumstances. But, you may still not get a perfect result. And you may still need to reformat the text. (Eg: paragraphs, ect...).   So my advice is - if you are looking for an app with this ability - definitely give English OCR a shot. It is pretty great. There is a free version of the app and a paid version; English OCR Pro (Priced at: $4.99). Try out the free app and see how the results go for you.


1 comment:

  1. Very informative, thanks for sharing. Here is another nice article about how developers can recognize text in photos in Android device using Aspose.Ocr for Cloud. Here is the code and other details: http://www.aspose.com/docs/display/ocrcloud/Recognize+Text+in+Photos+on+Android+device

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