| Cult of Mac

How to extract text from JPEG screenshots on iPhone


Scanning screenshots doesn't have to involve a ruined Christmas.
Photo: Daniel M. Hendricks/Flickr CC

Did you ever snap a photo of a magazine page, or capture a screenshot of text, and wish you could just copy and paste it like any normal text? Maybe it’s a photo of a recipe from a paper book, and you’d like to be able to search for it in future? The good news is that you can easily extract the text from a photo or screenshot, right there on your iPhone.

The even better news is that we’re going to learn how to do it right now.

Paperlogix reads paper documents and files them for you


stack of Paperlogix
Scan and file your paper automatically with Paperlogix.
Photo: Ralf Steinberger/Flickr CC

Paperlogix is a yet another document scanner app for iPhone and iPad, but it has one big feature that really makes it stand out. Like all the other decent scanner apps, it uses the iPhone’s camera to capture scans, and then processes them, removing the background, squaring off your wonky framing, and rendering text in crisp black and white.

But Paperlogix goes one better. It can read your scans, and then file those scans based on what it finds. So, for instance, you could have it automatically file all your grocery receipts in one folder, or send all invoices to your accountant, all without doing any of the work yourself. It’s pretty neat stuff.

Scan text with your iPhone and make the real world searchable


scanner pro in action
Scanning with your iPhone is almost as quick as taking a photo, and way more useful down the line.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Paper is still great for a lot of things. It’s lightweight, it’s fairly water-resistant, and is just about the best tool available for reducing the number of trees in the world. But it doesn’t sync with iCloud, and anything written on it is not searchable.

Luckily, there’s an easy way out of this dark age. You can scan all those clipped recipes, and those receipts, all those sheets and scraps you have laying around, and which annoy you until you ned one, at which point it disappears. Today, we’re going to use Readdle’s excellent Scanner Pro to turn your paper into pixels. You may be surprised at just how easy and useful this can be.

PDFPen Scan+, OCR Scanning For Your iPhone And iPad



Up until today, my page scanner of choice has been Scanner Pro from Readdle, a universal app which uses the iPhone/iPad camera to snap pictures of your documents and send them off to any and every cloud service.

But after today, my new favorite might just be the new PDFPen Scan+, a universal app from Smile Software that not only scans but turns your images into searchable PDFs using OCR.

Abbyy’s TextGrabber + Translator 4.0 Grabs Text And Translates It





If Abbyy’s upcoming new Textgrabber+Translator app came in a tin, then the app would do exactly what it said on that tin. And the tin—to stretch the metaphor—would be a beautiful, iOS 7-styled container.

The updated app, which now comes in an iPad-shaped tin to match the iPhone-shaped one, uses the iPad/iPhone’s camera to scan text, turn it into actual editable text and—if you like—translate it into any of 40 languages.

Pixter, A Fast, Accurate And Good-Looking OCR App For iPhone



A few months back, I spent far too many hours trying to find an app which would scan a page of text and turn into actual, editable text. I found none. Or rather, I found nothing good. There are plenty of OCR (optical character recognition) apps in the store, but they were either inaccurate, or ugly, or (most often) both.

And while Evernote is excellent at letting you search on scanned pages and even your handwritten notes, you don’t get to touch the text itself.

I gave up, and now – as usually happens with my “urgent” research projects, I’ve forgotten why I needed it on the first place. Which is a shame, as Pixter Scanner has been launched,and it is quite excellent – with one huge annoyance, for me at least.

Easily Scan And Convert Paper Documents With Quick Reader [iOS Tips]



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.

Evernote’s Amazing Moleskine Smart Notebook Has Already Been Hacked


The sweet embossed cover might justify the $25 asking price.



Evernote’s Smart Notebook might cost $25 – double the price of the almost identical 3.5 x 5.5-inch Moleskine version – but it will likely sell by the pallet-load. Why? Because it is a genuine paper Moleskine which integrates with Evernote itself.

The Smart Notebook has special paper which – in combination with a new update to the Evernote iOS app – makes scanning and tagging easier than ever.