A few weeks ago, at work your colleagues have entrusted you with a task: you have to copy several pages of a book to your computer, using a word processor.
In addition, as if the assigned work was not demanding enough, they asked you to change the text of some pages.
You are rather worried: you think it is a huge job and you will never be able to meet the deadlines.
Do not worry, do not despair! See that you’re wrong: you do not know that you can greatly simplify your work, thanks to the use of technology?
How do you say? Do you think I’m making fun of you?
Not at all, I would never allow myself: there are several tools that offer scanning of a document and optical recognition of the characters.
Do you wonder what you could do with it?
Well, the answer is quick: you need to edit a scanned text.
The optical character recognition tools we are speaking of, in fact, are able to convert the scanning of a written page of a book into editable text.
So, in short, what I suggest you do is scan the text and then make the change only for the affected sections.
Ultimately, using an OCR program is much easier and faster than manually copying the various pages of the book!
Do you want to know what programs and tools do we recommend? Then you just have to keep reading this we. We wish you a good read.
Programs to edit a scanned text
If you’re in the office or at home and need to get text from pages of documents, you can rely on some solutions to install on your Windows or MacOS computer.
In the next lines we will recommend some software to install on your computer that will allow you to edit the text of your scanned documents.
An interesting program for the OCR analysis of scanned documents is TopOCR. This software for Windows is paid (costs $ 4.99) but you can download an evaluation version completely free of charge.
Connect to the official site at this link and click on the button above Try it. Then click on the icon with a camera symbol to download the topocrdemo.exe file.
Then double-click on the file and then click on Yes in the user’s control window. Then click on Next> I Agree> Install> Finish to complete the installation procedure.
Start the program now via its desktop icon and import the document on which to perform OCR analysis. To do so, from the left window, click File and then Open, selecting the PDF file.
The image will be analyzed immediately, giving you a preview in the right window. If the analysis does not start, click the OCR button in the right window.
To save the extracted text, from the right window, click File and then SaveAs. However, this function is not available in the demo version.
Adobe Acrobat Pro (Windows / macOS)
Among the programs you can use to edit the text of a scanned document, our choice falls on Adobe Acrobat Pro. This is a paid software, but it’s also available in a free trial version, will be useful for you to perform many operations on your PDF, including that of OCR, ie text recognition.
You can download Adobe Acrobat Pro from this link on both your Windows computer and MacOS. Then click the Go button and sign in with your Adobe ID account.
Then download the installer for your Windows operating system or macOS. After downloading the file, double-click on it to perform the automatic installation procedure.
Then start the program through its icon and from the menu bar at the top click File> Open, then selecting the scanned PDF file on your computer. Then select the Edit PDF entry from the right sidebar to start the OCR analysis.
Wait a few seconds for the analysis process to complete. The text will now be editable in all its aspects: you can delete some text or add it again or correct errors.
When you have finished making your changes, click the top Save button (symbol of a disk) to keep the changes you have made.
App to edit a scanned text
If you are always on the move and need a solution within your smartphone, then I would be happy to know that on your mobile device, Android or iOS, you can download one of the many apps that perform an OCR function of the scanned text. Read on to find out what I think are the best apps to do this.
FineScanner PDF (Android / iOS)
This application was developed by ABBYY, a company famous for its scanning software. You can download FineScanner PDF for free, either on your Android device (via the Play Store ) or on your iPhone / iPad (via the App Store ).
After downloading the application through the links that we have provided, you just have to open it, so as to see its operation together.
Once opened, you will see a presentation of the application, at the end of which you will be invited to take advantage of the discount to buy a subscription.
If you do not care at the moment, close the window by tapping the arrow pointing to the right.
Then tap the red icon with the symbol of a camera and consent to the messages requesting access to the permissions of your device.
Frame now the page to be scanned and tap the shutter button. Now tap the preview icon to view the result. You can set the Original, Black and White, Grayscale or Color filter type, or set clippings or rotate the image. When you’re done, tap Save.
To extrapolate the text from the image, tap the icon with a T, next to the preview of the document. If you are using the free version, you will see a message showing you how many OCR scans you have available.
Tap Try to set the language and type of output format. Then tap on Recognize the text and wait for the end of the process.
Next to the preview of the document you will now find a new icon, which will allow you to view the result of the analysis and then modify the text of the scanned document.
Adobe Scan and Adobe Acrobat Reader (Android / iOS)
After downloading and installing the application, you will be presented with a login page when it opens. You can use your Facebook or Google account or your Adobe ID.
After logging in, you will be asked for permission to access the camera of your device, at which request you will have to consent.
Now frame the document with the camera and wait for the automatic acquisition activation. A blue area will appear which will highlight the document to be acquired.
At this stage, try to keep your device as steady as possible, so as to make a good scan.
As soon as the image has been acquired, you will see a preview, which will be editable using the tools provided. Then tap Save PDF to confirm the scan and save a copy on your device.
The document will then be available in the Home Screen of the application and, if you wait a few seconds, you will also see the complete OCR analysis of the document.
Then tap the Open button in Acrobat to view the text of the analyzed document. When you tap this button, the document will be opened via another application, Adobe Acrobat Reader.
After the document has been opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader, tap the ☰ icon on the top left and select the Export PDF item.
You will be asked, if you do not have it, a monthly subscription to take advantage of the export of PDF files in a fully editable Word, Excel or RTF format.
Online tool to edit a scanned text
If you do not want to install any app or software, what you have left to do is rely on some online tool that will perform an OCR recognition on the scanned document.
We will then indicate in the next few lines, some Web services that could be for you. You can also read our guide in which told about best OCR websites.
The first Web service that I recommend to recognize the text of a scanned document is Online OCR. This free service is available through the official website at this link.
After opening the link that we have provided you with your favorite browser, you can start to scan OCR. First, click on the blue Select file button and select the file of the scanned document from your device. The supported formats are PDF, JPG, BMP, TIFF and GIF.
After attaching the file, you will need to select the language of the text; then select it from the drop-down list. Many languages are supported, it’s up to you to select the correct one.
If for example the document is in French, I invite you to select the item French; while if the language is English, select the English item.
The result of the text extraction can be downloaded into a file. You can then choose between the Microsoft Word docx, Microsoft Excel xlsx or Text Plain txt format. After you have also selected the output format, click the Convert button on the right.
Wait a few seconds, so that the OCR analysis can recognize all the text inserted in the document. You can then immediately preview the result, using the box below or download the text document directly to your device by clicking on the Download output file button.
Another useful service that allows you to perform an OCR analysis on documents is Convertio. This Web service is available for free for only 10 pages.
However, you can request more scans, registering an account and making a payment of a figure that will depend on the number of pages you need to analyze.
However, this service is complete than the one I mentioned earlier. In fact, it allows the importation of documents also from cloud services and URLs, in addition to the fact that you can associate multiple languages during the analysis, in case the document should present within it terms in different languages.
If this online service teases your curiosity, you can reach it through this official link. After opening the page, locate the red box and click on the icon of how to import the document you prefer.
You can select the file from your computer, from Dropbox, from Google Drive or from a URL. Many input formats are supported; just by way of example, you will be able to use TGA, PGM, PBM and classic PDF, JPG or BMP formats.
Then select the language of the text from those shown in the drop-down lists. You have four language fields, but if they are not enough, click the More Languages button to add more language fields.
Finally, select the output format of the document among the many listed and choose whether to perform OCR analysis on all pages or on some specific page numbers.
Resolve the CAPTCHA and click the Convert button or the Google Drive or Dropbox buttons if you want the analysis result to be automatically uploaded to your cloud.
When the analysis is finished (which will take very little time), click on the green Download button, near the document you had attached.
If your document has images and text, the document you download will present the editable text, including all the images that were present.
PDF to Word Converter with OCR (Android / iOS)
If you are looking for a free way to edit scanned text on your mobile phone, then PDF to Word Converter with OCR is the solution you need. It is available to download for free on both Android Play Store and App Store. Unlike the previous apps, it won’t let you directly edit the text in scanned PDFs or photos, but you would need to convert a scanned file to Word first.
The PDF to Word Converter offers free OCR conversion for unlimited number of files and it is ads free. The only downside is that it has a certain waiting time. You can always upgrade to fast conversions with an one-time payment, no monthly or annual subscriptions, which makes it a real budget-friendly app.
You can choose between many different options to convert scanned documents. You can upload a file from your mobile device, standard Cloud storages (Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, etc), Gmail attachments (iOS only), or by adding/taking a photo of the document.
The conversion is performed online, requires internet connection, but it won’t drain the phone’s battery or CPU speed in the process. After you upload a PDF file, text will be extracted from the scanned text image thanks to OCR technology. You will receive the Word (.docx) file which you can open in MS Word or other similar apps to edit further.