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(Archived) Tips for Text Recognition?


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Hi,

Are there any tips for text recognition? I have been experimenting with pics from my iPhone of business cards, wine bottles, etc. Evernote seems to be completely hit or miss as to whether it will recognize text in my photos. And when it does, it seems to miss the clear important stuff and recognizes parts of fuzzy words.

Of course in your video demo, it works exactly like I want it to... :lol:

Is the recognition engine being worked on as part of the beta as well? Is there any way to see all of the text it thinks it recognized in a photo?

Thanks.

-Steve (using Mac client 1.0.4)

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Cameraphones (like the iPhone) can be a little bit tricky since the focal distance of their lens is set to take pictures of things that are a little distance away, not things that are up close. This is why pictures of business cards with an iPhone can be a little hard to read. You may actually get a little better results if you pull the camera back a bit, to compensate for its focal distance.

There isn't a good way through the product UI to see the "raw" results of the image processing, because it's not just a simple list of words ... for each region of the image, there may a "tree" of different possibilities, each with different weights. E.g. it may have "dog" and "clog" as two possibilities. The representation for this is a little complicated, and not really used for the same purpose as traditional Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which only works for very clean scanned images.

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I have a Samsung a700 and also cannot get text recognition to be remotely useful (I actually tried three wine labels for laughs, no luck). I understand camera phones tend to suck, but if this is your target demographic maybe we should at least keep a list of camera phones that work well. I'm not saying an official "EverNote backs Motorola!" type thing, just a thread where users can post their experiences and we can figure out what actually works. Personally, I was considering upgrading to an iPhone to see if that worked better but now I'm note sure if I should bother.

On the other hand, it may not be the phones completely. I have many pictures taken from the internet and my Sony A100 that are very easy to read the text in, but that EverNote completely messes up. Actually, I haven't found much content EverNote can recognize well, and I have a feeling the search trees behind the photos that you find when you first log onto the beta were hand edited to produce textbook results, not real world results.

Is anyone finding any scenario where text recognition works great for them? Screen shots, high end cameras, perfect lighting conditions, scanned documents? Any tips appreciated.

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Too bad they don't have tripods for the iphone. Though I will keep on trying to get a photo from the iPhone to work with Evernote.

Take a look at the Gorillapod Go-Go. Andy Ihnatko was extolling its virtues on one of the podcasts he appears on (MacBreak Weekly?) Apparently it works well with iPhones, PDAs and other camera containing devices that don't have a tripod connection. See http://www.joby.com/products/gorillapod/gogo/

Greg

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My sony ericsson k800i is streets ahead of the iphone for use with evernote and text recognition. Unfortunately, that's the only thing in which it is streets ahead of the iphone.

Oh and yes, it was Macbreak Weekly (which is where I first heard about the new version of evernote).

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Is anyone finding any scenario where text recognition works great for them? Screen shots, high end cameras, perfect lighting conditions, scanned documents? Any tips appreciated.

I have a Cingular 8525 phone. It has a macro setting and an LED flash. I've made a number of trial photos (church phone directory, recipes, prescription labels) at 1600x1200, and while the text search in those photos isn't 100%, it's awfully good -- better than I would have expected from my (somewhat dated) previous OCR experience. Generally, if the text is clear when I look at the photo full-size, Evernote doesn't have any trouble finding it.

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Just to elaborate a bit on the question of resolution, I did some experimentation with my phone. I found that a 640x480 photo shot with the macro setting, covering an area of approximately 12x9 cm, yielded acceptable results for text search -- very few of the search strings I typed were not found in the text included in those shots. (I'm glad I saw the comments in other threads about the storage limits during the beta period -- shooting at this resolution will, I hope, let me continue to use the service until we get more storage.)

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