Few years ago recognizing text in an image was a complex operation today with advancement in technology you can do it with free phone apps.

In practical terms, it is possible to recognize and extract text from a photo it is necessary to take a photo of text from a sheet of paper or book.From this photo by using a right application you can extract text using OCR technology, OCR is optical character recognition.

Let’s see here the best and free OCR apps for recognizing text from images and photos.
Although some of these apps are also available for iPhone and iPad, the selection was made based on tests done on Android smartphones (including Samsung Galaxy, Huawei, LG, HTC etc.).

1) Google Keep
The excellent application to take notes Google Keep includes the OCR technology to recognize text and characters in the photos.

Keep is able to maintain the formatting of the text as present in the image, even if very complex.
To change the text of the photos with Keep, touch the +to add a new note, choose to add by photo and then select a photo or image from the phone gallery you want to convert.

The text is extracted in a few seconds and made available for modification.
Compared to other apps, Keep has the advantage of being a product by Google.Therefore, it is easier to integrate with Google Drive and synchronize the notes on the Google account so these are available on every computer and mobile (even iPhone and iPad).

2) Text Fairy

Text Fairy is a free app for Android released in 2017 that works really well to extract text from images and recognize words written in more than 50 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, French, English and Hindi etc.

This app works in an excellent way especially to scan books and magazines with simple layout,  because it shows some difficulty in recognizing colored words.

To use Text Fairy you need to touch the camera icon to take a picture or the gallery to import an image.

Then adjust the section of the image to be scanned, indicate if the text is in one or two columns and choose the language.

The extracted text can be edited or copied to an editor such as the Office for Android etc.

3) Office Lens

This application is one of the best App released by Microsoft released for Android (and also for iPhone).

Although its main feature is the ability to scan and digitize documents, the app also comes with an OCR option that can be used for free if you connect a Microsoft account.

Office Lens is certainly one of the best applications when it comes to recognizing text from an image, without any problem in identifying even colored fonts.

In addition, it is also the best OCR application for Android OCR in recognizing handwritten text.
Of course it integrates closely with other Microsoft products such as OneNote and Office 365.

After installing and open, to use this application you must point the camera on the document you want to capture, take the picture, save it and then open the recognized text with Word .

4) Text Scanner [OCR]

Text Scanner is less popular but good for saving text taken from photographs.
Text Scanner supports more than 50 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, English and many others.

It also supports the extraction of handwritten text (though not perfectly) and has tools for magnifying and changing the brightness of captured text.

To use it, after opening the app, take a photo of the paper document or import an image from the gallery, you will immediately see the recognized text ,it can be copied wherever you want.

5) OCR Text Scanner

This is also not a very famous app, but that works well in recognizing words written in almost all languages, including English, German, Italian, and others.

The app is simple and automatic, works particularly well for documents, while it does not work well with handwritten notes.

However, the main flaw is advertising that appears often.

6) CamScanner

This app, available in a free version and paid version, is an excellent alternative to other OCR apps for Android, to recognize text on photos and various images.

Its best feature is that it can process multiple documents at once.
It is also one of the best document scanners.

In closing, I would like to mention that despite technological advances, no OCR tool is 100 percent reliable in recognizing text written on a sheet.

The results depend a lot on the language, the brightness, the quality of the scanned sheet and also the camera used.

It is always advisable to check the correctness of the recognition and compare it with the original document scanned.

Google Keep seems to be the most convenient app for digitizing printed documents, while Office Lens works better than others in digitizing handwritten notes.


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