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I'm trying to get some data into a text file from screenshots. Apparently screenshots don't work very well with OCR because they are 75dpi and the minimum for good quality OCR is 150dpi. Does anyone know a good way to take screenshots for OCR?

Right now I'm getting pretty good results with the free online tools such as new-ocr but it does make mistakes that I have to correct every now and then. So I'd like some tips. I also tested ABBYY screenshot and it was pretty bad... the online tools are better.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As of June 21, 2011 you can use Google Docs to OCR screenshots in a batch.

You can upload a folder of images and have them converted to Documents, which will contain both the image and the OCRed text.

You can then batch-download all of these documents as plain text, which will strip out the image.

If your screenshots have unique filenames, it should be trivial to link them with the OCRed text in pretty much any system.

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I had a similar need recently (not for a screenshot but faxed page). Ocrterminal.com did a great job, it’s fast and free for a certain number of conversions per month (I think 20?). A friend uses Tesseract, which is command line based and seems to work fine as well.

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I was using newocr.com which is also fast and free. It worked out well, but there lots of errors I had to correct. Oh well, I can't be greedy, the thing is actually taking pictures and turning it into text hehe... –  GiH Sep 18 '10 at 3:12

ScreenOCR (21 day trial) claims to do a good job with screenshots (which it helps you take). I haven't tried it though.

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I would assume that because the screen shots are using a font instead of handwriting running them through at 75dpi wouldn't be that bad.

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you'd be surprised sometimes, its not consistent at all –  GiH Mar 6 '10 at 2:45

I use GreenShot for screen caps

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talking about OCR... –  GiH Mar 6 '10 at 19:46
Yeah, I wasn't sure as the second part of the question was a bit ambiguous ;) thanks for updating it to clarify. –  Shevek Mar 6 '10 at 20:03

Try Screenshot to Speech available on the Mac App Store, the description on the website says it "automatically detects low quality images to enhance them for more accurate results".

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Where does OP say he is using a Mac? –  DavidPostill Feb 12 at 12:29
Good point, thank you for pointing that out. –  NKL Feb 13 at 7:09

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