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Many times I come across bitmaps with nothing but text paragraphs, so I was looking for a way to identify the font used, the paragraph alignment, line spacing and color, bold, italics.

Would an OCR package allow me to do that?

If not, what other options do I have?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

There are several online utilities can be used to identify fonts, including:

These utilities cannot be used to determine the formatting of the text in an image. However, you can use OCR programs such as Tesseract (open source) and Smart OCR (commercial, starting from US$99.90) to detect formatting such as paragraph alignment and line spacing as well as font styles such as bold or italic (see this Stack Overflow question). Note that some OCR programs can attempt to identify the font(s) in an image as well.

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1  
+1 for WhatTheFont. It's pretty accurate, and works better the larger and clearer your source text is. –  EvilChookie Aug 3 '09 at 20:12
    
+1 on WhatTheFont. I've used it to find a number of fonts I didn't know the name for, and it works well with a limited number of characters too (I've gotten the right answer with even 2 characters!) –  jamuraa Aug 4 '09 at 2:20

There is also another desktop solution: Find my Font (I'm the designer of this solution)

  • It creates a database of all your local PC fonts (installed or not).
  • It creates a index on this database: Recognition Speed is about 5.000.000 fonts/min
  • At this speed you can search a database of 200-300.000 fonts in about 10-20 secs
  • You can recognize fonts that are artificially made Bold / Italic / Expanded / Condensed
  • You can horizontalize the image text or split connected script letters
  • You can select color letters out of color background without external image processing
  • The current version (3.0) can match also fonts you don't have in your computer, using a link to an external matching database of 40.000+ fonts

You can download a 30-Days-Trial to check it out: It has a limit of 900 local fonts and full access to the online matching database.

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Of course there are also 2 "desktop" ways, I had the same problem as my clients have always sent me impossible artworks or they had a desire to add something in their "own" font. So I found two ways:

  1. FontExpert 3.0 from fontexpert.de - but I am not sure if they sell this product anymore. It comes with its own database and it can also create database of your own fonts. It is tedious task as you need to first install all fonts and FontExpert would then examine each font and make its own database. Works perfect (read - really quick), you can choose almost all characters (at least English codepage, uppercase and lowercase) and numbers and gives you also search alternatives. It was fully justified its 199 € at the time I bought it (around 2004). Of course I still use it and I constantly add fonts to my collection. I have more than 70.000 fonts and seems that FontExpert has a limit of 10.000 fonts for such "private" font collections. So I just copy/paste in new folder complete program and I make new collection... Try on http://www.qbf.de/e/index.html as Quick Brown Fox GmbH was the author of the FontExpert and see if you can still get it. This is really a life saver as it will tell you immediately if you already have the font you are looking for.

  2. FontMatch from stretchedout.com has similar functionality, but it does not create database, so it will search through all your fonts and as far as I could see on their webpage, the program works like that: it will load the font in memory, compare character and unload the font. This is something I would not do with my huge collection...

Hope you can find something useful from this...

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