Online OCR tool

runs as Online Service
screenshot of OCR Terminal

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. What if that picture actually contains a thousand words? If you plan to do anything useful with those words, you'll need an optical character recognition (OCR) tool to help change the pixels into text.

Even though you can "read" what it says in your image file, your computer's not quite so well equipped. With an OCR tool, the shapes on your screen are translated into text that your word processor or spread sheet tool can actually use. There are OCR tools that you can buy, and even some that you can grab for free. OCR Terminal is an online service that brings the wonders of OCR technology to you without your having to do anything, other than sign up for a free account.

Once you're set up, all you need to do is to upload your image file, including PDF files. They'll do the hard work of converting your text and returning it to you, as an unformatted TXT file, or an RTF file that attempts to maintain some of the original formatting. Or if you prefer, they will email you the results instead.

Whenever you use an OCR tool, you need to remember that you'll want to do a sanity check on that text that's returned to you, since there are a lot of complications that can come up in the recognition and translation process. but face it: proofreading your text is a lot faster—and easier—than having to type it all in, one character at a time.

OCR Terminal is a free online service. If you've got a recent web browser, you can probably use it.

Download OCR Terminal

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