Tips: OCR

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Okay, so the first tip is OCR or optical character recognition. Now, I've mentioned this in passing in earlier lessons, but it deserves a bit more of an in depth look. Your personal methods for translations may vary, but chances are, you've had to, at some point deal with files like PDF file, or, say a scanned document, or a hardcopy, or an image or any other form of document that didn't contain text per se, but just an image of the text. So how can you insert your text into your CAD program or into Word? How can you get text from these examples? Well, one solution will be just to see what is on the scan documents.

They're hard copies you know, in your hand and just write them out by hand. But if you're dealing with document of several thousand words, then rewriting everything in the original language. Just so you can rewrite in the target language seems like a colossal waste of time. So luckily, there exist technology that can come to the rescue. And this technology is called once again OCR or optical character recognition. Now, this recognizes characters and displays them as words onto a document for you.

Obviously, the quality will only be as good as a program and the better the program usually the more it costs. I'm not exactly sure how the technology works behind this. But in essence, you can have an image or a scanned copy of a of a hard copy or scanned documents, etc, etc. And this is able to parse through and identify words and letters in your particular language and convert it into text. Now, once again, some of these programs work very well, some less so. I've tried a couple of the free options out there.

But now for me Personally, I've switched to a paid one, which is one I recommend for anytime people ask. And it's called online OCR dotnet. Here's an example of the website as you can see, and how it works. You can choose the source language of your document here, it's Italian. So say I have a document with Italian writing on it, or an image of a document or scanned or however it is. And then I say I want the output to be in Microsoft Word.

Usually that's what I work from. So I asked them to spit it out in Microsoft Word. And then here I can say which page numbers if I because since I pay per page, so here I can limited the number of pages, you know, maybe I only need the first two pages out of 100 page document. So anyway, once I've made my choices, then I just select the file and it uploads and then I click on convert right under that and it spits out the file with a converted text. Hopefully, most of it's correct and usually if it's a clear scan or clear copy of the document. Then, as I said, this program tends to work pretty well for me.

Now you do have to pay for this program. But as you can see the prices aren't too bad. These are the prices as of this recording. They've gone up a bit since I first started using it because I think if I remember correctly, when I first started 300 pages were like 1595. Anyway, either way, it's still pretty cheap. I know I get to quite a few hundred pages at some point.

So I usually, I think I buy by the 300 pages, I think, although I could probably buy the 500 or more. But anyway, if you're starting out, you can just pay 495 which isn't much at all for 50 pages and see how it goes for you. And it might also depend on your language, your source language, etc, etc. But regardless, for me, this works quite well.

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