Extracting text from the images, also called optical character recognition (OCR), is a procedure of reading text from an image. Imagine you took a picture of someone’s phone number from a paper or board, and now you want to send it via a text message. What will you do? You will write the number by reading it from the image you just took. Otherwise, you can’t send the number in pure text form. By reading the image, OCR processes the images and automatically extracts the text, numbers, etc. Here we introduce some of the best apps for extracting text from images in Android.
Use of OCR Technology
The OCR technology is now very accurate, and it can read hand-written text from an image with outstanding precision. Another great use of OCR is in writing mathematical equations. Writing mathematical equations has always been a tedious and time-consuming job. With the help of OCR, you can write the equation on paper or using a stylus on a computer, and software will extract it and show it in a standard printed form. Finally, you can capture text from any object like address board on the road and find the location using the map, translate or share with someone. Let’s go to the top 4 text extracting apps for Android phone.
1. Google Lens
Google Lens is a high-quality text extracting app from Google equipped with artificial intelligence. Apple has a live text option in the latest iOS version for iPhones. Following the suit, in the latest Android 12, Google Lens is integrated into Google Photos and Camera. When you open an image or screenshot with text in Google Photos, a small pop-up message appears at the bottom, “Copy text from image,” or “Search inside screenshot,” etc. If you tap the notification, Google Lens will run an analysis and show you the result at the bottom with various options.
Google Lens is also available in the camera, where you can extract text right there. When you open the camera on your Android phone, slide the options, go to Modes, and find the Lens in the list. Tapping it will open the Google Lens for you, using which you can take a photo and run the text extracting process. Alternatively, tap on the file icon to open the gallery and select the image from which you want to extract the text.
If you cannot see the text extracting options in Google Photos or camera, then you can install Google Lens app from Google Play store. Moreover, Google Lens is also integrated into other Android apps like Google Keep Notes, and you can utilize text extracting services there. Google Lens offers a variety of services related to text extraction.
- Translate: You can translate the extracted text into another language of your choice.
- Text: You can copy the text or listen to it.
- Search: You can run a Google search with the extracted text.
- Homework: If the extracted text is a question for your homework, Google can search it online.
- Shopping: You can look for items related to the extracted text if it is the brand’s name.
- Places: You can search for places with the extracted text if it is the name of a place.
- Dining: If you have extracted the text, which is a restaurant’s name, you can search for its menu, etc.
2. Microsoft Lens
If Google Lens is not available on your phone or you do not want to use, then Microsoft Lens is the best alternate option for you. This is one of easy to use and best image-to-text apps. Firstly, you need to download the app from Play store and provide necessary permission to access your camera. After giving access to the app, you will see a screen informing you regarding the app’s privacy policies which you can read and understand.
Run the app and it will open the camera to capture the image. There is a list of items below the camera’s capture button. Scroll the list and choose “Actions,” and while “Actions” is selected, find “Text” from the submenu that appears near the capture button. Now Microsoft Lens will extract text from the image. You can see the recently used photos or browse the stored images for text extraction. If you want to capture an image, press the capture button. Microsoft Lens will take you to the next screen, where you can adjust the area of the picture. Now press “Continue,” and Microsoft Lens will start processing the image and show you the extracted text once finished. You can copy the extracted text or share it with someone. Microsoft Lens offers text extraction services in multiple languages.
The following is the detail of all the options offered by Microsoft Lens.
- Whiteboard: Use this mode if you want to scan hand-written text and sketches on a whiteboard or similar surface.
- Document: If you want to scan a page with small words (written or typed), use this mode.
- Actions: The following options are displayed under the “Actions” mode.
- Text is to extract the text from the picture.
- Table is for extracting printable table from your picture.
- Read will read aloud the text present in your image.
- Contact will extract contact information from a business card.
- QR Code will display the information in the QR code.
- Business Card: Use this mode exclusively to extract contact information from a business.
- Photo: This mode is suitable if you take a picture of a picture containing persons or landscapes.
3. Text Scanner [OCR]
Text Scanner [OCR] is solely dedicated to converting an image to text. It offers support to 50 different languages. The complete procedure of converting an image into text comprises of few simple steps:
Firstly, you have to install the Text Scanner app from the Google Play store. After installation, open the app and tap the camera icon in the middle button. Take a picture of the content needed to be converted into soft copy and editable format. The icons appear on the top of the text and serve different purposes. The pen icon symbolizes the editing option; towards the left, there is a share button adjacent to the pen icon.
We can save the converted text file on internal memory by tapping the second icon on the top line from the left. The app also provides you with options for saving the final document as a text file or a PDF file.
4. Text Fairy
Another app that is widely used for Image-to-Text conversion is Text Fairy. Like the prior apps, Text Fairy also offers support to different languages, but you need to download other packs to use different language inputs. A set of instructions must be followed to grab text from an image in Text Fairy.
First, you need to download it on your mobile device to run the app. Tap the icon and open the Text Fairy app. The app will ask for permission to access your phone camera. By allowing the app, you will be able to proceed further with your transcription. Tap the camera icon in the middle and take a picture of the content needed to be converted. You can crop out the unnecessary parts by moving the corner points on the image. By clicking “OK,” the converted text will be displayed. The app also allows you to use an image from your gallery and convert it into text.
Google Lens is the best option for extracting text from image in Android smartphone. However, if Google Lens is not available or not working on your phone then you can consider using other listed apps.