How to read text from an image using OCR.

Learn how you can use OCR technology to transform text from image files into editable PDF documents.

It’s possible to scan documents into many different formats, including images. And because image files are easy to share, they can come in pretty handy sometimes. But if you need to copy text from an image, you’ll face a challenge — you just can’t do it.

Luckily, you may be able to turn an image into an editable text file and avoid re-typing the entire document. Let’s find out how to read text from image files using OCR technology.

What is OCR?

Optical character recognition (OCR) is a technology that can scan uneditable files, identify the text elements on the page, and use the scanned data to produce an editable text file, like a PDF. OCR can do this task in two different ways.

Some PDF editing software solutions can read through image files and recognize character shapes. They will then reconstruct the image as a PDF file. In the best-case scenario, they can even identify and reproduce the original font.

Certain scanners can read text on physical documents and automatically turn them into text files. You can easily turn paper documents into PDFs without re-typing all of the text.

Turn images into text with OCR.

You can use OCR to scan text from image files in multiple ways. The easiest method is to use a PDF editing application. Many modern apps have OCR features and can read through image files in seconds.

Another workable option is converting an image to a PDF. Some PDF converters have OCR functionality and can also read and convert text. Not all converters can do it, but it’s worth a try.

Finally, you can use an OCR-capable scanner or scanner app if you have the original paper document. This way you can save time and turn physical documents directly into machine-readable PDFs.