Take a Picture of Handwriting And Convert to Text – Android Apps

Everything is going digital these days, even currencies. While most companies, and students are increasingly using their smartphones to scan and send and receive important documents, what about handwritten notes? How do you turn your handwriting into digital notes?

Not all apps come with OCR technology that truly converts the handwritten text in the images to digital text. What if you wanted to copy a phone number from a handwritten note? Typing is so boring! Why type when there is a better way?

Today, we will take a look at two productive apps that will allow you to convert your handwritten text and notes into digital text using advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology.

Android Apps to Convert Handwritten Notes to Editable Text

1. Office Lens

While One Note is a fully functional note taking app, Office Lens does one thing, and it does it very good. It is a scanner app that will quickly take a snap of your text and turn it into digital text.

Note: You will have to download One Note, to use the OCR feature of Office Lens.office lens

You can scan notes, whiteboard, and handouts using the powerful scanner function that it comes with. Whiteboards can be tricky because usually, there is this glare which makes the image difficult to read and process, but Lens has a special option just for that. Let’s find out more.

  1. Open the app and point your camera towards the text. It comes with minimum settings and opening the app will directly open the scanner, so you can quickly take a snap.
  2. The app will detect the area where the handwritten text is located and scan it. You can manually center the app and adjust the focus if you want.
  3. Take an image of the area and it will ask you where you want to save the scanned copy. You can save it in Word, PowerPoint, and One Note.

Because Office Lens is a Microsoft product, it integrates tightly with other Microsoft products like Office 365 suite. If you use Microsoft 365, you need this app. No matter how complex, Office Lens simply works right out of box. You will have to sign in or create an account first.

Office lens comes with 4 different options: Document, Whiteboard, Photo and Business Card. For each of this setting, the app will adjust the brightness and contrast settings to increase visibility and accuracy. Choose of the above option depending on what you are trying to convert.

office lens options

It is a great tool to scan and store all your notes, handwritten or printed, in an easy to use and searchable way. Office Lens is probably the most powerful image to text scanner available on the Android platform.

2. Text Scanner OCR

Another high quality image to text OCR scanner that comes only second to Office Lens reviewed above. We often see website URLs and phone numbers printed on newspapers, magazines and visiting cards. Using an app like Text Scanner OCR can simplify the process of calling a number or entering a URL to open a webpage.

Text Scanner OCR is one of the fastest image to text scanner in the PlayStore. When you launch the app, it will directly open your camera. After you grant the necessary permissions, you can begin scanning notes and documents.

  1. Point the camera towards the board or handwritten note you want to grab text from.
  2. Take a picture and wait for the app to process the image. Like Office Lens, you can manually adjust the focus.
  3. The app is actually faster than Office Lens when it comes to processing images. It will now present the text.

text scanner ocr

You can now save the text and share it with others via social media for file apps that you have installed on your Android phone.

The app is ad supported, so you will see banner ads after the image is processed. It can be a little annoying for some, but this is how the developer, hard at work, is supporting himself.

In the settings, you can choose from different sound types to play an audio when the image is captured and you can also choose vibration alert.

One thing that I missed is the ability to manually edit the text. While I tested the app several times and it worked perfectly well, I would have liked the ability to edit the text to make additional notes or in case the app fails to process some parts accurately.

Wrapping Up – Convert Handwritten Notes from Images to Text

Office Lens and Text Scanner OCR, both work amazingly well when it comes to scanning handwritten notes, whether on a piece of paper or whiteboard. We found Office Lens to be better because it integrates with Office 365 out of box, and because it is ad free.

Office Lens also works better in different settings like whiteboard, business cards and documents because of its ability to adjust brightness and contrast.

On the other hand, if you don’t use Office 365 just want a quick and easy way to convert image to text, Text Scanner OCR works great. It just works and you don’t need OneNote or anything else. So, in the end it really depends on your usage and purpose.

Let us know of any other app that works with handwritten text. Which app do you use and why?

About Gaurav Bidasaria

Gaurav is a tech enthusiast who loves talking about new technologies and gadgets. He dropped out of CA because he found the work boring and monotonous! When he is not following crypto and blockchain tech, you can find him binge-watching Netflix or making travel plans.