Help & Support

Easy OCR with G Suite

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is the conversion of images into readable characters.

Extracting text from images is not new, but it’s becoming a regular feature amongst most apps and services these days thanks to the amazing amount of power we have at our fingertips. Grabbing the text from an image is really simple with G Suite and I’m going to show you how you can get the text from any image in seconds.

Why would you want to do this?

Let’s say you took a photo of your friends recipe and then instead of typing it out, you could just click a button and extract the text, added some formatting and voila! Instant recipe!

Or if you wanted to get the details from a business card, snap a photo and extract the text! BAM! (More on this using Google Assistant in the future… it’s going to be game changing!!!)

Google Keep

The easiest option while you're on the run is Google Keep, open up Keep on your mobile or browser and snap or insert an image

snap an image in google keep
make sure you take a nice clean photo of your object

Then in your new note, click on that image and select the options menu

Open elipsys...

in the top right hand corner, then select Grab Image text

keep menu - grab image text

Once your text is extracted then you can clean it up (if necessary) and your “home n hosed”!

extracted text from image in google keep

Google Docs

This method only works in the Drive web app (in your browser) and can be used to extract the text from both PDF files and images.

First take a photo/get a pdf and upload to Google Drive.

TIP: If you’re using the Android Drive app, you can scan an image directly to a PDF, click the + button in the app and select Scan.

Then in Drive right click the image/PDF file you want to extract the text from and select Open with > Google Docs

After a  new Google Doc will open and extract the text and place it after the image in the Doc.

For best results ensure the photo is clear with very little noise or flash reflection, using the scan option in the Android Drive app produced the best results for me.

open pdf in google docs

HINT: to find the image file you just uploaded, select the recent view on the left hand side menu in Google Drive

google drive recent view

I hope this helps, leave some comments if I have missed anything or you know of another way to extract the text from images in G Suite!

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