Today, it’s extremely common to come across images in various digital platforms such as social media, news sites, apps and websites. Images are everywhere and they present us with many benefits. For instance, images can display large amounts of information at once rather than having to display the same piece of text over and over again. Moreover, by displaying different pieces of text next to one another, we get the opportunity to create more interesting layouts for our websites and apps. That being said, images can also pose a major challenge for users who need to extract the text from them. In this article, we will be exploring some effective ways in which we can extract the text from images so that you can get an editable version of image’s text.
Why to extract text from images? Why creating editable version of image’s text?
Text editors like Word are the backbone of any professional’s digital workflow. Whether you’re a student preparing for a test, a writer who needs to draft an article or even an accountant who needs to keep track of your financial statements, most people rely on creating an editable version of their data. Even with the increasing demand for interoperability and image sharing, anyone from a small business owner with just one employee to a large accounting firm with several hundred employees will find extracting text from images/PDFs and scanned files is useful at some point. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the different features of OCR if you plan on staying competitive in today’s digital age.
What is Optical Character Recognition(OCR)? Why to use OCR?
OCR (aka computer vision) is the process of extracting text from images. Using OCR, we can detect whether there is printed text on an image and can then extract it so that it can be used for indexing or searching purposes. OCR platforms such as AlgoDocs can be a useful tool for individuals working in the fields of business, marketing, research and more. Platforms such as AlgoDocs are used in industries such as retail, pharmaceutical and finance. For example, when you upload an image of a printed receipt to a business expense management system, it will use OCR to extract the printed text so that it can be indexed for later reference. Overall, from business documents to school assignments and even personal hand writings, AlgoDocs make all of that process a lot easier than ever before.
Detecting Text in Images
Detecting text in images is the first step towards extracting text from images. This can be done by using two methods: Firstly, we can use edge detection to find out whether an image has a border or not. If it doesn’t, then we can conclude that the image is either printed on paper or on other materials like cloths. Secondly, we can use pattern recognition to establish if there are patterns present on the image such as a rectangular pattern. This pattern can signify identify whither printed text is existed on the image or not.
Extracting Text From Images With Python and OCR
In order to detect text in images and extract text from images, we need to use computer vision techniques such as image segmentation, thresholding, and edge detection. We can then use an OCR platform to extract text from images. Once we have the text, we can then store it on the computer or send it to other software for future use.
For example using AlgoDocs you can:
1) Extract Tables(AlgoDocs can easily extract all tables, even the ones allocated on multiple pages.).
2) Processing Low-Quality Scanned Documents(Thanks to the advanced AI-powered OCR engine developed by AlgoDocs team, that can handle low-quality images with as low dpi as 75( see Figures 1 and 2 for example).
Figure1. Low quality scanned image uploaded to AlgoDocs.
Figure2. The extracted table from the image shown in Figure1 using AlgoDocs.
3) Extract Handwritten Text/Tables( Similarly the used Intelligent Character Recognition functions allow to convert handwritten text into machine-printed text). Handwritten example is shown in Figure3, and the result of uploading the sample to AlgoDocs is presented in Figure 4.
Figure 3. Sample of a scanned handwritten text.
Figure4. The extracted table, using AlgoDocs, from the scanned image shown in Figure3.
4) Convert PDF Documents to Structured JSON Objects( AlgoDocs can extract the text and tables from images and PDFs and save it into JSON files).
Detecting text in images and extracting text from images can be challenging. For this reason, you must first decide whether you want to extract the data manually or use OCR platform. Once you decide to use platform, you can try AlgoDocs free subscription plan, it is forever free with 50 pages per month. You may check AlgoDocs pricing for paid subscriptions based on your document processing requirements.