Google Drive is a great tool for storing and sharing files. If you’re already using Google Drive, you’ll love the feature we’re covering today. Have you ever had to type out text from a PDF or an image? It’s time-consuming. Many of us have been there and thought: “there must be a better way.” Well, we have good news for you, there is! You can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in Google Drive to grab text from an image. Here’s how:
Locate an Image
If you’re going to be using a digital image, this part is pretty straightforward. If you want to extract text from a physical copy, scan the item first.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be extracting the text from an infographic I found during a Google search.
Check Your Image
According to Google, your file should meet these specifications for best results:
You can use .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, or PDF files. If your file is another type, you can use a program to convert it to one of these file types. (More on how to do that below).
The file should be 2 MB or less.
Text should be at least 10 pixels high. Large, clear text works best.
Documents must be right-side up. If necessary, rotate your image before uploading it.
Use common fonts. Arial or Times New Roman are ideal. Uncommon fonts may lead to errors.
Clear, sharp and even-toned images work best for this process.
Use a program like Photoshop or GIMP to make sure that the file meets as much of the criteria as possible. The image I chose already fits these criteria well, so I’ll be uploading it as is.
- Log In to Google Drive
Once you have prepared you file, log into your Google Drive account. Now you can start the process of extracting text.
2. Upload Your File
Upload your file by navigating to your desired location. Select “New” then “File Upload”
In this example, I’m uploading my file to a specific folder.
3. Open with Google Docs
Once your file has uploaded, right click on it. Next, scroll down and select “Open with Google Docs” This will open your file in a new window.
4. Check the Text
Now you should see the original image you’ve uploaded, followed by the text that’s been extracted. Check the text and make sure that the process worked. If you notice a lot of errors, go back and make sure your image meets all the specifications as closely as possible.
5. Delete Image
Once you’ve confirmed that this process has been successful, go ahead and delete the original image. Now, you’ll be left with the text.
Often times, the formatting on the text might be odd after this process is completed. This can be fixed by using the editing tools in Google Docs to change things like colors and spacing.
That’s it! After following the steps above, you’ll have the text extracted from the image that you uploaded. At this point, you’ll be able to download this text in whatever format you’d like. Do this by going to “File” then, “Download as”