[Free] 7 recommended image/PDF transcription (OCR) apps
Dec. 27, 2023
It is difficult to transcribe images and PDF sentences into text one by one.
Anyone who has ever done it even once must have felt it strongly.
It has been a long time since people have been clamoring to go paperless. Since we basically work on computers, paper documents that are not digitized are difficult to manage and utilize.
Therefore, it is necessary to transcribe image files and PDF sentences into text data .
However, if there is a large amount of text or many images, it is impossible to do it manually!
Of course, there is such a convenient app.
This time, we will carefully select and introduce recommended image/PDF transcription apps by type that are equipped with such an automatic character recognition (OCR) function !
This article will explain the specific steps to convert images and PDFs into text, as well as techniques to make more use of image transcription apps, so reading this article will not only save you time on unnecessary tasks, but also help you get started right now. Your work efficiency should improve even more.
Please watch till the end.
[Recommended] 7 image/PDF transcription (OCR) apps
Now, let's introduce an image/PDF transcription app that you can use for free!
1. Mr. Transcription
Here is an AI web app that automatically transcribes files just by uploading them!
Since it is an online service, the big advantage is that it can be used anywhere, regardless of the device (computer/smartphone) or OS .
It's very easy to use, just upload your image file from this page .
If you need transcription right away, we recommend trying Mr. Transcription first.
Mr. Transcription is free to use!
Mr. Transcription is basically a paid subscription app, but you can use it for free for up to 10 images a month!
Click here to try it for free!
Compatible with images, PDFs, audio, and videos
Mr. Transcription is a multi-purpose transcription web app that supports not only images and PDFs but also audio and videos.
Moreover, you can use two types of the latest AI.
- Multilingual support for 100 languages
- Speaker separation function (transcription for each person speaking at a meeting, etc.)
You can also use advanced functions unique to AI , such as:
You can transcribe audio and videos for free for up to 1 minute, so please give it a try!
Here is an easy method for people who regularly use Google services.
To use it, just open the file you want to transcribe in the app.
The system is such that AI reads the text and converts it into text, which is then displayed side by side with the original image.
As expected, Google supports over 200 languages.
The accuracy seems to be quite high for a free tool.
However, there is also a 2MB file size limit that can be uploaded.
If you want to transcribe larger files, use another web app like Mr. Transcription.
Evernote, a famous memo app, also has a transcription function.
In fact, images and PDF data uploaded to Evernote are automatically processed by OCR internally , making it possible to search for text within the image.
However, it is not possible to extract only text data (*), so we recommend using it in place of a database of scanned documents .
*Strictly speaking, text extraction is not impossible with some effort.
4.LINE character recognition: OCR
If you want to easily do free transcription on your smartphone, the OCR function installed in LINE, which you usually use, is convenient.
In addition to being able to read characters from photos taken with the built-in camera and converting them into text, it also has a function that allows you to transcribe images attached to conversations (also available on the PC version).
It also has a translation function, so why not feel free to read English menus and signboards when traveling abroad?
If you use Word or Excel on your smartphone or tablet, it is convenient to install this app.
In fact, the scanning function using the camera is more advanced than LINE.
You can choose the mode for photos, documents, whiteboards, business cards, etc. , and it will automatically correct distorted images.
By linking with Office apps, you can transfer scanned text data directly to Word or Excel , so it can also be used as a simple scanner.
6.Adobe Acrobat DC
Adobe Acrobat DC, a highly functional PDF editing software, also comes with an AI text recognition (OCR) tool.
As it is a professional software used by professionals, its accuracy is quite high, and it can also be set to automatically convert scanned images into text in conjunction with a scanner .
It's a fairly expensive piece of software, so it's not very practical to purchase it just to transcribe images, but it's convenient for people who regularly use Acrobat for work because they don't have to use a separate tool.
7. Reading revolution
Click here for specialized software that specializes in OCR (character recognition).
Unlike general image/PDF editing software, its functionality is limited to OCR, which makes it cheaper. Another advantage is that it is a one-time purchase type, so it is easy to calculate costs.
The Japanese transcription accuracy is average, but the English reading using ABBYY's OCR engine has a considerable recognition accuracy.
Since it is an installation type, it may be a disadvantage that it cannot be used on multiple PCs or easily from a smartphone or browser, but depending on the usage scenario, it can be a big advantage that it can be used offline .
Specific steps to transcribe images and PDFs (3 steps)
From here, we will explain the steps to actually transcribe (convert into text) images and PDFs using "Mr. Transcription" as an example.
The process of transcribing images and PDFs with Mr. Transcription
It's very easy to transcribe images and PDFs using Mr. Transcription.
- Visit Mr. Transcription
- Upload an image (or take one on the spot)
- Click the transcription button
only this. Hey, it's easy, isn't it?
I will explain each method in detail.
[Step 1] Access Mr. Transcription
First, go to Mr. Transcription's site.
You can access it from anywhere via a browser on any device connected to the internet, such as a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
[Step 2] Upload the image to Mr. Transcription (or shoot on the spot)
Upload the image (screenshot, PDF, etc.) that you want to transcribe.
The key is to use images that are as clear as possible for transcription. If it is a printed document, scanning it will allow for a more reliable transcription.
Please be aware that if the text is blurred, the image file is degraded, or the handwriting is quirky or difficult to read, it will be difficult to transcribe it correctly.
There are two ways to upload images from your computer.
- Drag and drop the image into the frame
- Press "Select audio/image" and upload the image
Video explanation: Procedure for uploading images/PDFs from a computer
For smartphones and tablets
If it's a smartphone screen, where should I upload it? You can choose.
If you want to take a picture on the spot, select "Camera" . Take a photo and press the OK button to upload it.
To upload a file, select "Choose File" (iPhone) or "File" (Android) and select an image or PDF file .
If you want to upload multiple images,
- Long press on the image in the folder
- Check to allow multiple selections
- Select and upload multiple images you need
Follow the steps above.
*You cannot take pictures on the spot and upload multiple pictures. Please make sure the images you have taken are already in the folder before uploading them.
[Step 3] Click the transcription button
When you have finished selecting images, click the transcription button.
Image analysis will begin and the transcription will be completed in a few seconds to a few minutes.
The transcribed characters are displayed in the text box.
You can edit it on the spot and save it as a text file or subtitle file.
Once you have transcribed the data, you can check and edit it at any time from the history (*free membership registration required).
It's very convenient, so why not try using Mr. Transcription?
Video explanation: Flow of analysis to completion of transcription
Scenes where image/PDF transcription apps are useful (how to use them)
I'd like to try a paid image transcription app, but I'm not sure if I can make good use of it.
For those who are worried about this, we have put together a list of specific examples of situations where image/PDF transcription is useful .
- Digitize paper materials
- Automatically register information such as business cards and address books
- Save notes and notes to your computer or smartphone
- Convert the book you prepared into text
Roughly speaking, it looks like this. I will explain each in detail.
1. Digitize paper materials
This is probably the most used purpose.
If you have paper documents accumulated in the past in your warehouse or bookshelf, convert them to digital data as soon as possible .
Paper documents are difficult to organize and difficult to find what you want.
Not only do you have to worry about deterioration, but you also have the possibility of losing it in a disaster or accident.
On the other hand, digital data is easier to manage. If you convert it to text, it will be easier to search, and you can increase the security depending on the importance of the document.
2. Automatically register information such as business cards and address books
Are you having trouble with unorganized business cards accumulating on your desk or drawer and not being utilized?
Merely having a large number of business cards exchanged is meaningless. Let's digitize and create a database so that we can use it correctly in appropriate situations.
There are also smartphone apps that automatically read the name, company name, job title, etc. from the business card data read with the camera and input them into the management app, so you might want to try them out.
3. Save memos and notes on your computer or smartphone
When you want to quickly take notes or organize your thoughts, it's easier to use paper memos or notebooks.
There are still many people who say that.
Even in such a case, be sure to digitize your paper data and back it up on your computer or smartphone.
You can just take a photo and save it as an image, but it's even more convenient if you transcribe the contents of the memo so you can easily search for text.
4. Convert the book you prepared into text
Although the number of e-books has increased recently, there are still many books that are only available as paper books.
The process of scanning paper books and creating e-books yourself is called "self-cooking." Rental shops also offer "self-catering sets" that combine a cutting machine and a scanner.
If you don't want to cut up your books, there are camera-type document scanners that can read books while they're open , so why not try them out?
*Please keep your self-catering data for personal use only and do not pass it on to third parties or make it public.
AI transcription of images/PDF Summary
This time, we explained an app that can transcribe images and PDFs, and how to use it specifically.
In today's increasingly digital world, the need to transcribe images and PDFs is increasing day by day.
Even if it's just one or two sheets, it's still manageable, but when you get to 10 or 20 sheets, it becomes extremely time-consuming to enter data manually. As someone who is busy with various tasks every day, I don't want to do unnecessary work as much as possible.
If you don't have the time to transcribe the text yourself, you can hire a crowdsourcing site or a transcription specialist, but both of these methods cost a certain amount of money.
If you value the balance between cost and effort, the smart thing to do is to actively utilize AI transcription apps like the one introduced this time and use them differently depending on your purpose!
We are now in an era where transcription can be left to AI.
Leave these simple tasks to a convenient tool and free up more and more free time!
■ AI transcription service "Mr. Transscription"
"Mr. Transcription" is an online transcription tool that can be used from zero initial cost and 1,000 yen per month (* free version available).
- Supports more than 20 file formats such as audio, video, and images
- Can be used from both PC and smartphone
- Supports technical terms such as medical care, IT, and long-term care
- Supports creation of subtitle files and speaker separation
- Supports transcription in approximately 99 languages including English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Italian, etc.
To use it, just upload the audio file from the site. Transcription text is available in seconds to tens of minutes.
You can use it for free if you transcribe it for up to 10 minutes, so please try it once.
Transcription for audio / video / image transcription. It is a transcription service that anyone can use for free without installation.
- What is Mr. Transcription?
- Transcript images, sounds, and videos with Mr. Transcription
- Free registration
- Rate plan