Before the year 2000, we probably couldn’t think of what it would feel like to see a 4K video or high-resolution images. Nowadays, these things are pretty common. We wake up in the morning with the alarm app on our smartphones, we read the news on our tablets, and edit our documents on our laptops. That said, what happens when you need to extract text from a picture? How to convert an image to a text document? Let’s find out down below.
How the Image-To-Text Converter got created?
Nowadays, we can do pretty much everything with computers and the internet. Saving, editing, or erasing a document can be performed with just a couple of clicks, and if you want to share it, you can easily do so. However, there is just so much you can do with text editing programs. At some point in your life, you might need to work on a text, the only problem is: the text is trapped in an image file! What can you do? You will be happy to know that a couple of years ago, a program called Image-to-Text Converter was invented. It was taking cues from a reading technology that was used for blind people in 1914. Originally developed by Emanuel Goldberg, this technology was improved and could convert texts into telegraph codes.
A few years later, the technology was developed further under Kurzweil Computer Products Inc until it was successfully able to generate computer text from the physical-printed text. Xerox then bought the previously mentioned company and started to sell this technology with the name ‘Scabsoft’. A couple of years later, this technology was developed even further, so it could translate the text on a picture to generate a text that you can edit on your computer. Since then, this type of file converter can be easily found online for your convenience.
Types of Image-to-Text Converters
There are four types of Image-to-Text converters, categorized by the way they function:
- OCR or Optical Character Recognition — scans one character at a time
- Optical words Recognition — scans one word at a time
- Intelligent Character Recognition — a learning machine that can analyze a text by targeting one character at a time
- Intelligent Word Recognition — a learning machine that can analyze a text by targeting one word at a time
The Application of OCR
The OCR or Optical Character Recognition is not only applicable for the blinds’ reading but also in various types of technologies such as:
- Data entry
- Automatic number plate recognition
- Passport recognition
- Traffic signs recognition
- CAPTCHA’s anti-bot systems
Text Recognition Systems
At the beginning of the development of a text recognition system, there are two types of algorithms used to develop the software:
This technique was the first algorithm created for this text recognition technology. The latter makes use of images of a printed text and then stores pictures of the various characters to compare them. This process is also called pattern recognition. This algorithm works best with typewritten texts and is not suitable for texts that contain new fonts that aren’t supported.
This algorithm came after the Matrix Matching technique. Feature extraction makes use of features of the characters or alphabets like lines, loops, or line intersection. Therefore, this technique is much better and is the one currently used for Image-to-Text converters of our era.
How does it work?
The process of converting images to text is divided into 3 steps:
To begin with, every image uploaded into the program will be prepared to make the conversion process the most accurate possible:
Binarization = making the text clear by turning the picture into black and white.
Despecfle = clearing the noise of the picture.
Line removal = identifying all the lines and marking which do not belong to the characters of the text.
Zoning = identifying columns or chunks of the text.
After the pre-processing, the identification system will establish the baseline of the image’s text. Each character will be analyzed and transformed into text one by one.
This is the revision process that will establish the linguistic procedures:
- Lexical Restriction, the words from the conversion process are compared to the lexical database. If any word does not match with the lexical database, it will find a similar word and replace it.
- Application-Specific Optimization, when special documents are scanned, the program will shift its settings to match with the type of document.
- Natural Language, is the process that makes use of a language model to enhance the accuracy and natural flow of the text.
What are the best Online Image-to-Text Converters?
Image-to-Text converters can be found easily on Google. Here are a few options that we think will satisfy you:
This online Image-to-Text application is free, easy, and applicable to almost every type of file. It can convert images to PDF, DOC, HTML, etc.
This tool is one of the easiest to use to convert images to text from different types of files, including JPG, JPEG, JIF, JFIF. The results are usually a .txt file.
A free online service, which can convert your images to editable text. Free of charge, easy-to-use, we highly recommend this one.
Pdfdu is very efficient and applicable for many types of image files, like JPG, PNG, or TiFF. You can also scan documents and save them as pdf via this online program as well.
All in all, this technology is absolutely useful for everyone looking for an easy way to edit text on a picture. You can just take an image file in the converter and wait for the text to be delivered to you. Let’s hope this will be helpful for your work.