Friday, August 24, 2007

Free OCR Program

I required an OCR scan on a peice of paper we had lost the electronic copy for today. Most OCR software is pretty expensive, and all have varying results. There didn't seem to be a windows open source solution on sourceforge so I had a look for freeware, expecting to get something with a 30 day trial that writes TRIAL TRIAL GIVE ME MONEY all over your document, however I was surpised to find Simple OCR, seems to be completely free. To scan my document, I used the scan to JPEG feature on our Canon 3170 photocopier, which splits each page up into a JPEG file and sends to my email, I saved these to a folder. I then opened Simple OCR, did a machine print read, added all of the JPEGS (hold down shift and add all of them), ok'ed the preview, then clicked convert to text, it did it's thing then split my screen into two and showed me everything it wasn't sure about - neat, makes up for it's downfalls by admitting them. I went through, much like Microsoft Word's spell check, and it highlights the original word in the image, and it's translation. A few errors, but it's better than typing out the whole thing - or paying lots of money! Then it was a matter of saving it as a word document, and fixing up the formatting.

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