Take the 2-minute tour ×
Writers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for authors, editors, reviewers, professional writers, and aspiring writers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I keep a writing journal that I enjoy writing in. I also have a lot of old journal with writing that I'd love to digitize but am too lazy to retype. What is a good, accurate, OCR program that would let me scan my writings and would then convert it to a word document?

share|improve this question
    
This question appears to be off-topic because previous another question asking the same has previously been closed as being "off-topic". Raised it on meta. –  Pravesh Parekh Mar 13 at 11:37
    
Here's the meta thread Pravesh mentioned. –  Neil Fein Mar 27 at 14:27
add comment

8 Answers

If you're using a PC, one program you may already have that's quite good at OCR is Microsoft OneNote. Just import a scanned image, right-click and select Edit Alt Text. You can then copy the OCRed text to any program you want. It's not as good as a professional, dedicated OCR program, but it's quite good for quick and cheap conversion.

share|improve this answer
1  
I'd suggest this. Or a tablet device with writing capabilities. OCR is still very far from perfection right now. –  oldrobotsneverrust Mar 29 '11 at 15:02
1  
I use OneNote every day and didn't know it could do this. Wish I knew this yesterday when I had to transcribe a thousand+ words. –  Fox Cutter Apr 6 '11 at 16:32
add comment

I think that ABBY FineReader is the best one I ever met.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It is maybe not considered OCR. But you could consider using crowd sourcing for this task. There are two websites that facilitate this. There are Amazon's Mechanical Turk or vWorker.com. In the first you pay pennies to let anonymous workers do small fractions of your text. At vworker you could just upload all the work and let the workers decide what they want to get paid.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I use Adobe Acrobat Pro. I will warn you, though, that it's expensive.

I'm a translator and often receive documents from clients that are either un-tagged, image-only PDFs or paper documents. One thing I like about Adobe's OCR is that it will recognize many source languages (which may not be useful to the OP, but may be useful to someone reading this answer later).

share|improve this answer
add comment

If I understand your request- there isn't one.

If you are talking about hand-writing and not something created by a typewriter or a computer print out the best you'll be able to do is scan it as a graphic object with a scanner.

If you are talking about output from a printer or typewriter it will depend on the font to some degree. Some OCR better that others. If you have printed output ABBY Finereader does a good job but will require clean-up/editing.

share|improve this answer
    
"too lazy to retype" implies it is already typed, indeed with a typewriter, likely. But "handwriting" was my first thought, too. –  PhiLho Sep 7 '11 at 18:08
add comment

My five-year-old HP scanject 5400c came bundled with OCR software that's as good as any I've seen. Are you sure your scanner doesn't have something similar?

share|improve this answer
add comment

Try Xiosis Scribe 2011. It is a word processor with an OCR feature. Its easy to use and supports OCR for multiple languages.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you are looking for something free and decent try MeOCR Image to Text Converter It works better than the other free ones I've tried like FreeOCR and SimpleOCR and it gives you formatted output that can be edited easily. The other ones just give you the text but its not formatted it makes me waste a lot of time reformatting also its pretty simple to use. Anyway that's my 2 cents worth hope it helps.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by John Smithers Mar 13 at 10:02

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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