These days, most of us are caught in an odd transition from paper to digital documents. Most of us create documents on our Macs, but also need to deal with a ton of actual dead-tree paperwork on a daily basis.
There are a bunch of optical character recognition (OCR) apps out there for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad of varying quality and interface design. Quick Reader is one of the less expensive ones, at $0.99, so might be worth a try if your budget is tight.
Download Quick Reader from the App Store. Launch it with a tap, and tap on Scan. Aim your iPhone at the document you want to scan and take a picture as per usual with the iPhone camera.
Alternatively, you can tap the Search button and Quick Reader will open up your Camera Roll to find an already snapped picture of a document. Tapping the View button will bring up the list of previously converted documents.
Once you snap a picture of the document you want to convert, you can tap on the Edit button to enhance the contrast, which will help the OCR conversion be more accurate. Ultimately, accuracy will depend on the document itself, as straight text works best.
Finally, tap the PDF button to save a pdf version of the document you just scanned, or the TXT button to convert to editable text. My iPhone 4 took about 2 minutes to process a full sheet of paper. I’m assuming the faster iPhone 4S will take even less time. Give your new electronic scan a name and type in any comments about it in the Comments field, then hit the Share button to print or send via email.
Let us know what you think of this inexpensive OCR app in the comments below.
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