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Turn scans/images into searchable documents for free

Ever had to read through pages upon pages of printed material to find just a few small pieces of information? In school I often found myself having to read through entire chapters of dry useless information just to pick up a few morsels of pertinent text to to answer a question or verify some facts. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to search any printed text, find some key phrase/word and read surrounding text to understand the needed context? There are several free OCR document services available and I found them extremely useful when doing research or homework. Here’s how:
[step 1] Grab your printed text pages and scan them. The result can be a bunch of images or a large PDF whatever your scanner gives you will work.

[step 2] Go to OCR Terminal. Log into Google Documents (you’ll need a free Google account) and click Upload->Files…

[step 3] Be sure to check the box stating “Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents.”

[step 4] When files have been uploaded, they will be searchable Google documents even if the source was a a scanned image or PDF made of page scans.
That’s it.

August 5, 2009

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2 comments found

Comments for: Turn scans/images into searchable documents for free

  1. Jorge

    Awesome! I have tons of scanned science papers in pdf form. None of them are searchable. This is a huge time saver, now I can convert them all to searchable pdf and my staff can effortlessly search an entire repository of these files to find what they’re looking for.

  2. Post author: 
    David Vielmetter

    Psst students, you know those eReserve documents your professor keeps assigning? OCR Terminal will let you turn them into searchable documents…just FYI.

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