Tuesday, 2 December 2008

2. Scaning for free - TopOCR

These days scanning software usually comes with the scanner. If you want top of the range software that will perform good character recognition on poor quality photocopies you will need to pay a lot of money for good software such as OmniPage.

However, if you simply want to convert some plain layouts into standard text that you can copy and paste into Microsoft Word, so you can highlight it, have full access etc., then one simple solution is TopOCR. This is wonderful no-frill software (actually, that is a bit of a disservice as there are quite a few frill) that will take an image and turn it into editable text. So maybe it is a pdf or a photograph of a page (you can even use your camera as a scanner) then there are no problems.

So, why pay for the more expensive software? The answer is simple - if the layout is a simple block of text, there is not a problem for the low/no cost solutions. But if there is are columns, or complex layouts, this cheaper software may struggle to make sense of it. For example, if there are two columns, it may read straight across the page, ignoring the column gap in the middle.

Unfortunately in the example above, which was a screen shot of files in a folder that I wanted as text, it did not like the small size. But I have had reasonable success when the text is a lot bigger. The first three were as follows
Colours2.ppt --- :olours 2.ppt
02chapter1-4.pdf --- 12chapted -4.pM
3_2_5AssessmentMaterials.pdf ---- 1_2_5AssessmentMateriak.pd~


Keywords: scanning, TopOCR

1 comment:

Dyslexia Resources said...

Great recommendation. Please share some other free/share wares to try. Thanks. Dyslexia Resources