Text scanner apps are designed to capture and convert printed text into digital format. This technology has been applied to various smartphones and tablets. Using your device’s camera, you can easily capture an on-hand file and convert it according to your liking. These tools are mostly integrated into Android and iOS devices, offering impressive features. Furthermore, this kind of technology is commonly used for various purposes. That includes document digitization, language translation, text extraction, note-taking, and more. On the other hand, multiple apps are made for pre-scanned papers and are available on Windows and Mac computers. These apps, commonly known as PDF scanners, are more advanced than the typical text scanners for mobile devices. However, the scanning process of using these apps refers to the analysis of the available image that you import. Then, it will pull out the text from the image and convert them to PDF format. Moreover, many paid and free tools in the market may overwhelm you. So to help you ease your problem, we introduced the best PDF scanner free that you can use. Check them out below to know them!
Features of Text Scanner Apps
Text scanner applications usually provide a wide array of features designed to extract text from images and other scanned documents precisely. Although it’s worth noting that while these features are found in PDF scanner software free, other functions may vary depending on the app you pick. Below are the most common features you can expect to see.
- OCR Technology. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, enables the app to read and extract text from images. It examines the visual patterns of characters and transforms them into searchable and editable text.
- Image Quality. Common free scan to PDF software provide tools that can help you enhance image quality. That way, you can modify the contrast, sharpness, and brightness, ensuring optimal accuracy and readability during the OCR process.
- Multilingual Support. Another feature you can see on some PDF scanner app free is the support for multiple languages. This allows you to scan and get text from files in different languages. Also, this is helpful for international users or someone dealing with multilingual content.
- File Formats. The support for various file formats for keeping the extracted text is one of the top features of most text scanners. Standard file formats like PDF, TXT, Word, PPT, and others allow you to make your file more flexible. Additionally, you can easily open the converted file on different devices, like computers or smartphones.
- Editing Tools. Editing functions allow you to alter the extracted text. These can range from formatting options, including font size, style, and color, to more advanced features like text alignment.
Top Text Scanner Apps
1. Google Lens
Google Lens is a powerful image recognition app developed by Google. Although it is not dedicated as a PDF scanner online free tool, it does offer various text-scanning functions. For instance, you can use it to recognize text and extract texts from books, printed materials, images, labels, and others. With its OCR technology, the extracted text will be converted into searchable and selectable text that you can copy and paste to other apps. After extracting, you can easily translate it into different languages, including Filipino, Portuguese, Chinese, and more. Also, this tool integrates with Google Search, allowing you to explore related information about the recognized image. However, Google Lens is only available for smartphone and tablet users on the Google app.
2. Adobe Scan
Adobe Scan is a mobile scanning app developed and distributed by Adobe Inc. This app lets you turn your simple iOS or Android smartphone into a powerful free PDF scanner software. It can recognize text using OCR and allows you to create, edit, save, and organize your digital files. Furthermore, the app can scan documents you can convert to PDF or other formats, like Word, Excel, JPEG, and PPT. Besides, you can scan multi-page files and lengthy documents to select, search, and copy text. What is more, the tool can help you enhance the photo scan or PDF file. For example, you can preview, rotate, reorder, edit imperfections, erase marks, or adjust their color.
If you are looking for an adaptable app that works on smartphones and computers, CamScanner is recommended. Of course, the two versions of the tool have various features. The mobile version lets you use your smartphone’s camera to scan different printed files and extract the text from them. Then, you can export the extracted text to formats such as PDF, PPT, Excel, PNG, or JPEG. On the other hand, the free PDF scanner for Mac and Windows versions allows you to import saved images and process them according to your liking. Here, you can recognize the text data in the photos, copy the text, and export it to PDF and other formats.
4. Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens, or simply Office Lens, is a feature within the Microsoft Office suite. However, in 2021, the tool is no longer available from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and other Windows OS versions. Thus, you can still use all the Office Lens features by getting your smartphone's Microsoft Lens for Android or iOS. Furthermore, this tool similarly works just like Google Lens. To extract text, you can capture a document, photo, business card, whiteboard, and other files. The only feature that separates it from Google Lens is that you can directly export the extracted texts to PDF, Word, and PPT. Also, the app can recognize languages like English, Danish, Italian, German, and others.
5. Scanbot SDK
Scanbot SDK offers advanced image processing, which makes it one of the best free PDF scanner available. You can use it to scan barcodes, QR codes, on-hand documents, or saved images. In addition, it has a "multi-page" feature where you can capture pictures multiple times and keep them on the app. Then, the captured image can be modified by cropping, rotating, recording, adding filters, and more. Moreover, its built-in OCR function will extract the text from the scanned file to make it searchable. Plus, you can integrate your cloud services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, or other cloud storage providers. After the process, you can choose your file's output format from PDF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF.
Tips in Choosing the Best Text Scanner
Choosing the best scanner app for your task requires considering various factors. Read the details below to help you make an informed decision in choosing the right tool. Also, you can visit this page to extend your reading about how to OCR image to text.
- Identify Your Needs. Determine the specific features you need in a text scanner. Check whether you need an OCR function, multi-language support, file formats, editing tools, and others. Understanding your requirements will help narrow your options.
- Consider Compatibility. Check the compatibility of the scanner with your device's OS. Make sure that it is unrestricted for your platforms, like iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, or others. Also, ensure that it is appropriate for your device's specifications.
- Check Reviews and Ratings. Read PDF scanner reviews and ratings for the app you are considering. User reviews can provide insights into the app's reliability, performance, features, and ease of use. So, observe an app with a high rating and positive reviews, which indicates an excellent overall experience.
- Pricing. Many text scanner apps offer a freemium version with features you can use. While others require you to register, there are other options you can use without any registration. Meanwhile, paid software is also a good choice if you evaluate the value you will get concerning its cost. Always check if there is a money-back guarantee before purchasing.
How to Use a Text Scanner App
Using a PDF scanner software free is usually a straightforward process that even novice users can easily follow. To help you, we have created a general guide on how to use a text scanner app. However, remember that the process may vary depending on the app you are using. So before that, ensure to explore the scanner’s interface and features to acquaint yourself with its functionalities.
- Download and Install the App. If you are using a mobile text scanner app, you can visit the app store to acquire your preferred app. For Android devices, head to the Google Play Store. Then for iOS users, move to the “App Store” and look for the desired app. You can use Adobe Scan, Office Lens, Scanbot, and other apps.
- Capture the Document. Once you get the app, you can open it and position the file you want to scan with the camera. Check if the file is aligned within the frame. After that, hit the capture icon to photograph the document. Meanwhile, various apps automatically capture the file when it detects it.
- Edit and Save. Once you have captured the file, the app will provide options to enhance the image quality. If the app has an OCR function, it can automatically extract the text from the image. Then, review the scanned file for accuracy before exporting it. Afterward, you can save the final file to popular formats, like PDF, PNG, JPEG, Word, and more.
Extra Tips in Converting Scanned PDFs
The general steps above apply to mobile text scanner apps. But if you want to convert scanned PDFs to editable formats on your computer, you can use the famous AcePDF. The software provides different PDF-related features to help you view, edit, protect, and manage PDF files. Apart from being a PDF manager, the tool offers a convert and OCR function to transform scanned documents into editable forms, such as Word, editable PDF, TXT, and more. Moreover, this PDF scanner for Windows free is reliable in processing bulk documents in one click to maximize your time. In addition, you can directly edit a scanned PDF by cropping, eliminating unnecessary pages, enhancing the text, and more before conversion.
- It supports over 15 languages, like Chinese, English, Spanish, Dansk, and others, for a more accurate and precise result.
- You can apply passwords to restrict access to your files or add a signature for some personal touch.
- It has tools for adding annotations, comments, and markup PDF documents. With that, you can underline or strike through details, highlight text, and more.
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