Google Docs OCR

    google docs ocr

    How many times have you wished you could take a handwritten or printed text and easily digitize it to look up words on your device? Well you're in luck, because this dream is now a reality! OCR, or optical character recognition, is a technology that analyzes the structure of shapes and characters in an image file and pairs them with the letters and characters of various languages.

    There are many different tools out there that use this technology, but we'd like to introduce the Google Docs method. It's remarkably easy—get a Google account if you don't already have one, then open Google Drive, upload the image you want to convert into digital text, and then open it with Google Docs. That's it! Doing this will transform your handwritten notes into editable text, though the result is not always perfect. If the writing is too messy or too faint, the OCR may have trouble recognizing the characters—just like us humans!

    That being said, it did a superb job when we ran our own conversion test. We uploaded an image with the sentence「トーフグの豆腐を食べたのは誰だ?」(Who ate Tofugu's tofu?) in a typed and handwritten format, as well as the word 豆腐 (tofu) in handwritten cursive. As you can see in the image above, all of these formats were recognized and converted perfectly with the software! For some reason, Google Docs also recognized some text that wasn't included in the original image though. Can you see small yellow text saying「¥29年1みたいですね!」? Is this some sort of secret message from Google? So strange…

    Google Drive
    Google Docs