Manually converting images into text format is a difficult and time-consuming process. But
thanks to OCR technology, you can get a text from any image in a matter of seconds. This
technology uses advanced algorithms in order to efficiently perform the extraction

In this article, we are going to discuss everything about OCR, including its history, working, step-by-step process, and tips as well for efficient image-to-text extraction.

What is OCR technology?

OCR stands for (Optical Character Recognition). This technology is used to convert images or pictures of handwritten notes into editable text.

For instance, if you’re an employee, you scan an office document, and your computer will save it as an image. This means you can be able to edit or update the text in the scanned document. This is where OCR helps; it processes both scanned images/documents, then text extracts from them, and provides you in an editable form.

History of OCR

There was a Viennese engineer named Gustav, who was considered a god-gifted genius during his time (early in the 20th century), with almost 200 patents to his name. It is said that Gustav was unquestionably a software mastermind who was capable of creations that were far ahead of what was being invented by other scientists at that time. 


Throughout his scientific career, he worked with multiple well-known companies, such as IBM. His work with OCR began with the mission to design a special software that is capable of converting images into text with human-like accuracy. 

The main reason behind the creation of this kind of software was his punchcard-based calculating machines. From there, he successfully invented the Reading machine of Tauschek. This was basically a mechanical device that has the ability to read characters and numerals on an image and transform them into printed and editable characters.

How does OCR work?

Now, you have understood both the history and definition of OCR. It’s time to look at the working of this technology. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) works in three steps:

  • Image Pre-processing
  • Character Recognition
  • Post Processing
  1. Image Pre-Processing:

OCR technology usually pre-processes the images for a better recognition process. The basic aim of image pre-processing is the enhancement of image data. Performing image pre-processing allows OCR to eliminate/ignore unwanted distortions while only specific features are enhanced.

  1. Character Recognition

The character recognition process is done by using multiple algorithms; feature extraction and pattern matching. 

In cases where the input data is too large for OCR, only limited features are selected. However, the selected features are meant to be the important ones, while those that are suspected to be unwanted are ignored by the OCR technology. By using only important data, the overall accuracy will be increased. 

Pattern matching works by reading through text strings in order to match patterns that are defined using Regular expressions. This can also be used in the identification and pre-classification process. 

In general words, in this step, the OCR will detect useful and important patterns in order to generate accurate results.

  1. Post Processing

In this process, the OCR technology will convert the extracted data into editable text/documents. More advanced OCR systems/tools can compare extracted data against a glossary of a library of characters for maximized accuracy.

Converting Images to text – The Complete Process

Converting images into editable text has become an extremely straightforward process due to the availability of OCR-based online tools and applications. There are a number of decent tools available online, but sometimes becomes too difficult to go with the right one. 

In order to pick the right tool for image-to-text extraction, there are a number of things you should consider in the particular one you’re planning to go with.

  • Make sure the tool is free to use
  • Allows you to extract text from a number of images at once
  • Available in multiple languages
  • Must have the ability to understand the handwriting

So, these are some of the major things you should consider before selecting a tool. While searching online for a tool considering the above factors, we have picked an online image to text extraction tool from Prepostseo.

To see how this online converter extracts text from an image, we have submitted an image containing text from our device. After submitting the picture, the tool provided the below results: 

As you can be seen in the image above, the tool has accurately extracted all the text that the submitted contains. Apart from the extraction process, the noticeable thing about this online utility is that it is available in multiple languages and lets users upload up to 30 images per submission as well.

Tips for Effective Text Extraction

There are a number of useful tips that you can adapt in order to get the most out of the image extraction process. Some of the useful tips are discussed below:

  1. Make Sure the Images Are of the Highest Quality

You can consider this heading both as a tip and a main requirement for converting images to text. You have to make sure that the image you’re submitting to the OCR tool has good quality. An image will be called high-quality if it has no blurriness, distortions, or noise in it. 

Submitting low-quality images will create disturbance in both image pe-processing and character recognition processes, which will further result in inaccurate results.

  1. Make Sure the Images Are Aligned and Oriented Properly

Apart from submitting high-quality images, you should also make sure that the images are aligned and oriented properly. If not, then this will allow the OCR system or tool to generate incomplete results. 

Note: An image will be called properly aligned and oriented if the text in it isn’t going inside out (this means the text is written in a proper sequence) and also not too close to the corners of the image.  

  1. Make Sure the Images Are Properly Cropped

Finally, for efficient conversion of images into text, you should also make sure that the images are properly cropped. This means you should remove unwanted text because the OCR system or tool you will be used for converting images to text will extract each and every piece of text that the submitted image contains.


In conclusion, Optical Character Recognition is an amazing technology that is being used for converting images, PDFs, scanned documents, and even handwritten documents into editable text. In this article, we have tried our best to cover every detail of OCR technology, and we hope you will find this article helpful.

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By John Callic

This is John. I'm a professional Digital Marketer and Content Writer. I have a 5+ experience in this field

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