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How to Effortlessly Convert Images Into Editable Text?



No doubt, images are commonly used to save memories. However, they can also be used in the form of a shopping receipt, a recipe, handwritten notes, etc. 

What if you want the text saved on the images in editable form? You may want to make some changes to the recipe or update the text. One way is to manually type the text from the image, which is time-consuming. 

Alternatively, you can use other methods and tools to make the image-to-text conversion happen that are easy and save time. Here are those:

Method 1: Online OCR Tools

Best to use on Mobile devices (iOS and Android), desktops, and laptops

In simple words, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the technology used to detect handwritten, typed, or printer text from an image or document and then convert it into machine-encoded text. 

Online OCR tools are web-based solutions that use this OCR technology to fetch text from an image. Today’s image to text converter tools come with built-in AI capabilities to further improve their text detection capability and accuracy. 

Here are the steps to use online OCR tools to get text from an image:

  1. Open the OCR tool website.



2. Upload the image into the image input box. You can either paste it directly, click on Browse to upload from the system, or provide its URL. 




3. Click on the Convert button to start the process. Wait for a while until the process is complete.  



The resulting window looks like this: 


Click on the copy icon to get the text into the clipboard or the download icon to download the extracted text in TXT format. 

NOTE: This method applies to all devices, whether you’re using an Android/iOS mobile device, laptop, or desktop. All the steps remain the same. 

Pros

Cons

  • Easy text extraction

  • Process completes in only 1-2 seconds

  • OCR tools are free to use

  • Images can be used in any formats

  • Require internet access

  • Loss of original formatting

Method 2: Google Lens

Best to use on Mobile devices (iOS and Android)

Google Lens is a free Android and iOS app that requires users to scan an object through a camera app or provide an image. Once it understands the object or details in the image, it uses the information to search for relevant information online. 

It comes with built-in OCR technology. When Google Lens scans an image, it also detects the text (if it is present). Then, users can copy the text the app detects. This is the same strategy you have to use to convert your image to text. 

On Mobile Devices 

To use Google Lens in the Google Photos App on Android and iOS mobile devices:

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device.

  2. Choose the image that contains the text you want to extract and copy.

  3. Click the Google Lens icon on the screen’s bottom


4. Wait until Google Lens detects the text from the image and highlights it. 

5. Select Text instead of the default Search options from the bottom. Then, click on the Select All option to choose the entire text on the image. 



6. Click on the Copy text option to save the text into the device’s clipboard. 




That’s it! You can paste the copied text wherever you want to and edit it, too. But remember, the method we discussed above is only for mobile devices. Read on to learn how to use Google Lens on desktops and laptops. 

On Desktops/Laptops

The way of using Google Lens on a desktop or laptop is different than on mobile devices. Instead of using the Google Lens app, there is the need to use the Google search app on the device and follow these steps: 

  1. Open the Google Search app on the device you want to extract text on. 

  2. Click on the Google Lens icon on the right side of the search bar. 



  • Upload the image containing text. For this, drag and drop the image, upload it directly, or submit its URL. 



  • Wait until the text is detected. Choose the Text option from the bottom and click on the Copy button to get the text into the clipboard. 



Now, the text is copied to the clipboard. You can paste it anywhere you want to. But remember, the text formatting changes. You would have to adjust it again. 

Pros

Cons

  • No need to download any app

  • Can be used on all devices with the Google Search app

  • Fast and accurate extraction

  • Requires internet for desktop and laptop

  • Test formatting changes

Conclusion

Online OCR tools and Google Lens are two ‘easy’ methods to convert images into editable text. You can use both methods on all devices, such as mobiles, desktops, and laptops. 


If you use an online OCR tool, all you need is to upload the desired image to the tool. Click the Convert button. In a second or two, get the text extracted. You can copy the text or download it in TXT file format. 


Google Lens is another option. You can use it on Android and iOS mobile devices through the Google Photos app. Open the app, choose your image, and click on the Google Lens icon. Once the text is detected, copy it. 


Interestingly, Google Lens can be used on desktops and laptops. Open the Google Search app, click on the Google Lens icon, upload the image, and copy the detected text.


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