Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a scanned a book in PDF format, but the quality is rather poor:

enter image description here

(The language is Romanian and it's a medical physiology book, in case you were wondering)

I want to extract text from the book (1500 pages) but keep the images the way they are. I really don't think I have any chance to find a solution, so I'll surely buy the book.

On the offchance, is there any powerful software that can do what I'm looking for? It also has to recognize Romanian.

share|improve this question
1  
buy it, it's legal. :) –  Molly7244 Nov 1 '09 at 23:02
    
What if this is a really old book he can't buy anymore? :) –  Botond Balázs Nov 3 '09 at 7:55
    
@Botond, that is in fact a huge issue with Google Book Search. An estimated 70% of its books are in-copyright, but out-of-print. A class action settlement (negotiated between Google and a few lawyers working for the Authors Guild and AAP) states that for out-of-print Google does not need permission, unless the rights owners specifically opt out of the agreement. And, the way US law works, this is binding on every work of literature ever produced. As long as other companies do net get a similar deal, Google has a monopoly on old literature :-( See Boing Boing at tinyurl.com/yl5rlts –  Arjan Nov 3 '09 at 9:47
1  
The problem of the OP is to extract text from a book. This is still a problem even if he has bought the book. Legal issues, though worth considering, are out of scope here. –  mouviciel Nov 10 '09 at 8:42
add comment

7 Answers

I have earlier posted an answer detailing how to use Cuneiform (open source software) to do OCR on PDF files and how to create a PDF file with the recognized text in a hidden text layer "behind" the original image. As far as I know, Cuneiform actually does support Romanian as well.

While the particular solution was for Linux, Cuneiform is available also for Windows.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Adobe Acrobat Professional can do that. I'm not sure if there is a Romanian version...

share|improve this answer
add comment

ABBYY Fine Reader is very strong OCR software. It deals with very complex layouts and supports a lot of formats (including pdf). Romanian is supported with dictionary, i.e. software uses dictionary for hypothesis prioritizing during recognition. (here).

In any case, OCR-ing scientific literature, with has poor scan quality is difficult task. Be ready to spend a lot of time to help software with results check and layot fixes. On your scan I see a lot of very poor-quality text :(. I don't think any OCR software could work normally with it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Recognita OmniPage is by far the best OCR program I've ever used. I'm sure it will recognize Romanian text; it had no problem with my native Hungarian. You can download a trial version from the link and use it to convert your book. The full version is unfortunately pretty pricey ($499.99)...

share|improve this answer
add comment
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I bought the book !

share|improve this answer
add comment

Well, for text recognitions one usually searches for OCR (optical character recognition) programs. There is a variety of them around, so a simple google search will do more good than me here.

I didn't understand the last part "recognize Romanian" - you mean it has to recognize the Romanian language, or to be localized (translated) to Romanian ? In case of the first, I believe there will be no problem; if the second is the case, then I'm not so sure.

Also, if it is not a book by your local countrymen, then there is a chance it is already translated in english ... so if you have it in pdf in romanian, try searching for an english version ... then only problem is that's you know ... illegal (sometimes one doesn't have a choise though).

share|improve this answer
    
I mean it has to recognize the Romanian Font/Romanian Characters. Someone edited my post.. don't really know why. :| –  ChristianM Nov 2 '09 at 9:35
    
I don't think you should have any problems with that (only for really badly scanned teyt, when it cannot decide whether something is a letter or a blob, then you'll maybe have to manually correct) - I've used a variety of software on croatian language (we have some weird characters in our alphabet) and it worked out fine. –  ldigas Nov 2 '09 at 13:20
    
OCR often uses some spellcheck to make up for scan errors. So, that spellcheck must support Romanian then. (Yes, some OCR yields better results than the original text, due to this spellcheck mechanism.) –  Arjan Nov 3 '09 at 8:34
    
These fonts are always tricky when using OCR software: ă, â, î, ş, ţ, Ă, Â, Î, Ş, Ţ. You'd be surprised how badly they come out when scanning a book. –  alex Nov 10 '09 at 11:58
add comment

Try PDFCubed.com. It's an online OCR service that makes creating a searchable text PDF easy. Scanned documents can be submitted via the web, email, or dropbox.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.