How do you share an excerpt from some printed newspaper, tabloid or magazine story with your blog readers without using a scanner ?
The alternate method requires either a cell phone with camera or a normal digital camera. Photograph the document, email the image to qipit website for cleaning and then extract the text from this cleaned image using SimpleOCR, a free word-recognition software.
Here's the complete workflow:
1. Place the book / newspaper / magazine page on a flat surface and photograph it. Keep a steady hand and make sure Flash is turned off else the final image may appear to be washed out.
2. Now upload that photograph to qipit.com via web or email. Qipit, a free service, will straighten the image and create a much cleaner and readable document from that picture.
Open the MyDocuments folder in Qipit.com and download that converted file as JPG by clicking the document preview icon.
3. To extract text from this JPG file, we will use a free software called SimpleOCR. The OCR software will recognize the words in the JPG image and generates a text file. You can copy-paste this text in your blog posts or anywhere else.
Alternatively, if you have a small budget, consider investing in a OCR screen capture program like Kleptomania, SnagIt or CaptureText. These programs can easily capture and recognize text from image files and even PDFs.
We could have also done without converting the JPG image into editable text. But it's generally a bad idea to display text as image in your webpages - neither search engines can read that information nor do you have control over the format or layout of the text.