There are times when you want to extract text from images. For instance —
- You found an image with a quote, and you want to quickly copy the quote
- You want to extract mobile number or email form a business card
- You want to edit a document but without rewriting it from the scratch
- You want to extract text from a write-protected PDF file
- You want to lookup for the text from a pamphlet
Extracting text from an image is done with an OCR software (short for optical character recognizer). The program takes an image file (like jpg) as input and returns text (that was present in it) as output.
While there is no shortage of OCR apps for Windows and Android smartphones and even a chrome extension. But, if you are looking for something that is quick, free, works on every device, and of course, highly accurate, then look no further than – Google Keeps.
If you not already know, Google Keep has a built-in OCR reader and it’s pretty good. But unfortunately, not many people are aware of this. Although, it’s better than all its competitors.
While I was looking for good OCR reader, I tried all the popular options like – CamScanner, Evernote, Text Fairy Android app, Onenote, OnlineOCR, Project Naptha Chrome extension etc. However, surprisingly, I got best results from Google Keep.
This is funny, not only because a free app is working better than its paid alternative but also because the OCR feature in Google keep is just a side product. However, in order to use Google Keep for extracting text out of the image, you need internet access since the image processing is done on the Google server. So let’s see how to do it.
Extract Text From Images
If the image is on your computer, then open the web version of Google Keep. Upload your image as a note, click on three vertical dots below your image and select grab image text option. And within a few seconds, it’ll automatically fill the text in the body of the current note.
Install Google Keep the app from Google Play or App store if it’s not already there. Next, open the app and create a new note by tapping on the camera button. Now, you have two options, you can either take a picture of a document or select an image from your device memory.
Choose any one of that, and once the image is uploaded, tap on three vertical dots, and tap on grab images text option. And there you go, the screen will load for a few seconds, and the image’s text will magically appear in the body of the note.
After testing many popular OCR readers, I found Google keep gives the best result. Also, it’s free and available for both desktop & smartphones. So go ahead and start using it, not just for its OCR, but also because its note-taking feature is remarkable.