Jump to content

OCR not working


Recommended Posts

I am premium member who primarily uses the Evernote desktop application on Windows 7. I have been using Evernote for over 2 years now and I have never been able to search for text in images. I am also unable to search for text in images in Evernote web (neither Chrome, nor Firefox), nor on Evernote mobile (Galaxy S4). I have done much searching online and as far as I'm aware, this feature ought to function by default.


Is something wrong or is there a setting I need to change?

Link to comment
  • Level 5*

Hi.  First my unhelpful comment:  if you do your own OCR,  you never have to worry about whether your document is the right size,  resolution or type to get 'automatically' OCR'd.  Now that's out of the way - what file type are you saving - JPG / PNG / PDF?  And at what size and DPI resolution?

Link to comment

Perhaps I don't understand what OCR is. I though it was the technology that can read text from images as that is the feature I am hoping to have.


Pretty much all my images are JPGs at 72 DPI since virtually all of them are from the web. I also have a few PDFs. The various resolutions range anywhere from 100 pixels to 2,000-ish.

Link to comment
  • Level 5*

Actually I was being more unhelpful than I knew at the time - my Adobe software doesn't OCR pictures most of the time*.  I pre-OCR PDF files mainly because I then know it's done!


There's an Evernote blog article about image OCR which may help you - the quick summary is that OCR will only process bitmaps (BMP images) in PDF files,  and that the sharper the image the better...





* Edit - my PDFs are mainly text.


Edit Edit:  And I'm a cup of coffee short of coherence yet - images have to be synced a couple of times to be OCR'd - these previous threads may help!





Link to comment

Images take a little while to be OCRd by Evernote.  You can't IMMEDIATELY scan an image and search for text in it, but you should be able to search for it a little while later (premium users get their images processed faster).

NOTE:  OCR is done on the server side after your notes have been synched to Evernote's cloud computers.  If you have synching turned off, or are working with an offline (local-storage-only) notebook, OCR will not occur.


The link below  is a snapshot of a novel I wrote sitting on a bookstore shelf.  Try uploading it into your Evernote account, make sure you've synched, and come back an hour or two later and search for the phrase "murder on the mean streets of mars".  If Evernote DOESN'T turn up the note containing this image, you've got a problem; if it DOES, then OCR is working as intended.



All best wishes.



Link to comment

Make sure you're doing a global search and not searching within a note itself - i.e. Ctrl+F will not work on web and desktop for searching text within images... and neither will searching within a note on mobile device. Always from the global search bar.


If you're wanting to hone in on a single note to test whether OCR is working, you may want to filter for that note you know you have, say, using the <Intitle:"your note title here"> operator. Once you've singled out that note, you can try typing in any phrases you see within an image.


Another thing I figured out way back is that if you edit the note containing your image in any way, including adding a tag, the attachments within the image will show as not indexed, even previously indexed images (under the information icon on desktop). The fix for this is to hit Ctrl+Help menu in the uppermost toolbar on Windows desktop > "Fix Current note". This will re-index attachments for that note on your local machine. I suspect what is happening with many people is that in fact, the images are being indexed and OCRed way quicker than they think... but as part of their workflow they may be tagging certain/ all notes, which would bump the notes' out of their indexed status.


Here's a video clip to illustrate:




BTW, this should not affect your searching on the web client or mobile devices, since they contact the Evernote servers directly. This seems to be a Windows-desktop-only quirk.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...