As the globe moves more and more to the internet, there is an enormous quantity of data that has to be digitized. This may be as simple as the notes you took throughout the semester, or a responsibility schedule you created for your office team or even straight-up information about an upcoming event. In today’s society, all of this information is more helpful in a digital format than on paper.
Why? Because digital information is simple to share, carry, and access across devices, and, of course, it is far easier to modify than handwritten or printed paper, it is becoming increasingly popular. Because of the vast array of software available, this data can be altered and utilized in nearly any way.
As a result, we can see how important it is for you to digitize your notes. However, if you want to accomplish this manually, it might be a very time-consuming operation. It is so common that it has its own profession, which we often refer to as Data Entry. Of fact, data entry jobs entail much more, but at their core, a data entry specialist is responsible for inputting data from a variety of sources into a computer system.
You use your camera, and a thing called OCR
Optical character recognition, or OCR, is a technique for identifying printed or handwritten text. OCR analyses digital pictures and attempts to extract the relevant words and numbers into a format that can be edited. This may be in a Microsoft Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, your iPhone Messages, or any other application. This technique is commonly referred to as text recognition.
It’s important to note that OCR isn’t a brand-new technology. Its origins may be traced all the way back to World War I. Technology has progressed over the years to the point that it may now be as simple as pressing a button on your phone.
OCR can simply extract text from ordinary photos or extract numeric values from a vast list of data in its current state. Here’s what you can do to make this work for you:
Use Microsoft Word or Excel
Both Microsoft Word and Excel have applications for Android and iOS that allow you to capture text and numbers in an image. To use this functionality, simply open the applications, hit the Home button, and then select Insert. The applications differ in the naming of the functionality here, but only marginally.
To utilize OCR in Word, go to Insert, “Scan Document,” and then “Scan Document.” You’ll be able to select an image from your photo collection or snap a new one if you do so. After you’ve made your selection, trim the image to include only the text you need, then click Confirm. The text from the image will be extracted and pasted into a Word document, ready for you to modify or use.
This capability is known as “Data from a Picture” in Excel. This is because the functionality has been optimized for tabular data in this scenario. As a result, you may use the capability to convert complete tables of numbers and entries into an Excel sheet. You can address any difficulties that may have arisen during the conversion process once Excel has completed the conversion (using the exact same techniques as above). Once you’ve made these changes, hit Insert.
Use Apple’s Live Text feature
With its latest iOS 15 releases, Apple included a Live Text feature. Apple’s Live Text can recognize and extract any text in a photo, screenshot, or camera preview, just like it does on other platforms.
Users may do this by going to their iPhone’s Photos app and searching for the photo or screenshot they wish to extract the text from. They may then choose the words they desire by long pressing and holding them. Once the text has been selected, a copy option will appear. Users may then copy and paste the content into their preferred platform, such as Messages, WhatsApp, or Twitter.
Use third-party apps and services
The three applications listed above aren’t the only ones that offer OCR or text recognition. The technology is now widely available across platforms, and you can do the same with a variety of internet domains or third-party apps on your phone. Simply Google “online text recognition” or “online OCR” and utilize the results.
Text recognition is not the same as document scanning, as a scan will not allow you to extract text from an image and use it in other places. As a result, make sure you download and utilize the correct service.
So, from now on, don’t input every piece of information you need into your computer or phone. Make use of your camera like an expert!