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Michael K.

Extracting text from image (OCR)?

Idea

Hi,

 

a search in the forums only turned something up towards PDFs and that wasn't very helpful. I am wondering if Evernote has the ability to extract the text (via OCR) from an uploaded image? I am thinking here of something similar that Microsoft's OneNote is doing (you can right click on an image, then tell it to "copy text" and then paste that text anywhere you like)? It would be greatly helpful for indexing / working with images / screenshots of articles and actually complete my evernote wish list (well, if I'd be nitpicking I'd love to see the voice to text as well, Microsoft is sorta kinda working on that, the ability to link certain notes to certain time stamps in the audio has proven quite useful in the past, but now I am rambling / digressing).

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Hi.  Evernote does OCR images so they're searchable,  but the text is not extractable from the image.  OneNote is better for that specific use case - the text (or the best approximation of it) is available in a separate window to be copied and pasted elsewhere.  Voice to text is part of Evernote,  though you'd need to use one of the specialist pen inputs if you want to choose specific parts of the text to hear again.

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Gaz is right. A little more detail: the OCR process identifies possible matches (guesses, really) for areas of an image. There can be multiple guesses for a particular sequence of letters, or possibly guesses for overlapping sequences of letters. So there's really no attempt to make a coherent stream of words out of the text in your image. It's really just a sequence of the guesses, and the pixel locations where that guess came from (the pixel locations are how they can do the highlighting).

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Evernote really needs to address this.  I have had to install OneNote on my computer in order to get the text extracting utilities.  I paste images in OneNote, then I get the text and paste it into Evernote...

 

I'm almost inclined to just import everything BACK into OneNote -- I converted to Evernote Premium over a year ago, but now, I'm wondering if I don't need to go back to be able to get the functionality all in one app???

 

Anyway...

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Why exactly do you need to extract the OCR from an image to paste it back into Evernote?  A pasted image will be OCR'd and therefore searchable.  No extra software or pasting required...

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I would like this feature, too and would consider upgrading to premium for it. For example, if I scan a business card and later want to call that person. It would be nice to be able to find the business card by the OCR of the name and then click on the phone number without having to ever manually type it out again. Small time savings but a good feature. There would be many other use cases, I'm sure. Any other ways to solve that use case?

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I would like this feature, too and would consider upgrading to premium for it. For example, if I scan a business card and later want to call that person. It would be nice to be able to find the business card by the OCR of the name and then click on the phone number without having to ever manually type it out again. Small time savings but a good feature. There would be many other use cases, I'm sure. Any other ways to solve that use case?

 

The business card example, specifically, is already implemented. Premium members can scan business cards using their iPhone or iPad or Fujitsu ScanSnap Evernote Edition (apparently Android is getting this "soon" as of last fall....), and Evernote will parse the information into clickable phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. (Free users can do up to 5 cards, I believe, to get a sample of the capabilities). More details here:

http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/05/07/evernote-linkedin-perfect-business-card/     (Note that you don't NEED LinkedIn for this to work, but if you are a LinkedIn member it can pull additional information that might not be present on the business card)

 

One reason I suspect extracting text from images in general hasn't been implemented is that the method that Evernote uses for OCR's images, including images of hand writing, involves creating a tree of potential matches for a given character or word. That is, each character or word that the processor identifies gets a list of fuzzy, potential matches. If you "extracted" this, it wouldn't be terribly readable. Maybe with a VERY good scan of very clear, typed text, the list of matches for each word could be relatively small... business cards are ideal for this because the context of the business card leaves very little room for alternative interpretations of near-matches. If you know it is a business card, and you see a word that could likely be "phone" or "p" or "t" followed by a series of digits, it can be reasonably assumed to actually be the word PHONE followed by a phone number. 

 

But for generic images of text, there's no way to know what partial match makes sense and which partial matches are nonsense. 

 

Even for much more sophisticated methods of text identification, such as Adobe's Clear Text available in Acrobat for analyzing PDFs, only VERY high quality scans of very clear text will produce usable (that is, not perfect, but not terrible) results.

 

Rarely are the "high quality, very clear" criteria met when using a cellphone camera on an image in a random room, such as is likely the case for the majority of text images being put into Evernote. As such, the extracted text would probably look like nonsense. 

 

 

That being said, of course were it not technically very difficult, this would be an amazing feature. I don't know that anyone has really got this right often enough to make it worthwhile. 

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Why do I need this?

Because I use Evernote as a notebook for all my Master's and soon to be Doctoral level research.  If I get a screen grab of text, and I need to use it elsewhere, I want to be able to extract the text.

 

What I do now, is use OneNote to extract the text, then I paste the text into Evernote.  Essentially, I've got to use your competitor's product daily, just to get my work done.  More than once, It's made me want to switch to OneNote.  And I would too, if I could find a way to convert my notes over, without losing most of the formatting.  There are some free tools which do an 'okay' job... Still, I'd loose too much if I switched now.

 

So, if there's truly "no way to tell" how come Microsoft does it so well?  i don't accept that answer.

 

Anyway, this is the last feature I need - to be able to uninstall OneNote from my machine.

 

Funny, I was having this issue again today, and I searched thinking, "there's got to be a way to do this."  And I came across my post here, from last fall.

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It would be nice if Evernote did offer this powerhouse feature... but sadly it is not a reality... yet.

 

There are many lightweight apps that can do things Evernote can't do. Basically every outliner, for instance. OneNote cannot do a bunch of things Evernote can do. That's the beauty of multiple apps... especially if one doesn't have to fork out for all of them.

 

You need Evernote to extract OCRed text to round off your toolbox and get rid of OneNote. Other are looking for yet other features in Evernote to do away with a couple of their apps that are loitering. Looks like Evernote can't please everyone. In a couple of years it might be par for the course for all note-taking apps to follow-suite and plug in these "holes".  

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As I am the one who started it let me say it this way. I am very close to move away from Evernote. The great advantage of it is still the better web integration but Microsoft is actively working on this and their web clipper is getting quite good now. With their multi platform approach since last year they're also showing they're willing to bring feature parity across all platforms.

 

What does that mean for Evernote? They need to figure out how to be better than OneNote and it seems there hasn't been a lot happening lately. OneNote, for me anyway, is close to eating their lunch.

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True OCR would be nice, or a must have, for copying code from Kindle  programming  books.  I tried to get a print screen of the code and paste it into Evernote hoping that Evernote  would OCR it.  I did not know that OneNote would do this.  I would hate to have to install Microsoft Office on my Mac, but I think this use case is important enough for me to make the switch. 

 

 

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True OCR would be nice, or a must have, for copying code from Kindle  programming  books.  I tried to get a print screen of the code and paste it into Evernote hoping that Evernote  would OCR it.  I did not know that OneNote would do this.  I would hate to have to install Microsoft Office on my Mac, but I think this use case is important enough for me to make the switch. 

 

You don't need to install Office to get One Note. One Note is available as a standalone application from the Mac App Store. 

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Hello,

 

Beeing a OneNote user thinking about switching completely to Evernote this is the one feature that makes me think twice about it.

I was actually browsing the web to see if it was possible and found this forum.

As other people said, this is a really useful feature, it is working very nicely with OneNote and I don't see any reason (and I'm a software developer for the past 20 years) for Evernote not to make this possible but to believe this is not really worth it for their customers and not willing to make this topic part of their priority.

Evernote might be right and I'm just one single user but I do think Evernote will gain a LOT of OneNote users if they were realizing this is an important feature.

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True OCR would be nice, or a must have, for copying code from Kindle  programming  books.  I tried to get a print screen of the code and paste it into Evernote hoping that Evernote  would OCR it.  I did not know that OneNote would do this.  I would hate to have to install Microsoft Office on my Mac, but I think this use case is important enough for me to make the switch. 

 

I have a lot of Kindle programming books.  As best as I remember, all of them allowed me to copy the code as text, and many, if not all, provided downloads of all code examples.  Have you checked the publisher's web site for downloads?

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Is support being deliberately obtuse, why would you want to extract text from an image? Kinda self evident... so you can edit and re-use the text. Who cares if it's searchable? If you can't copy and paste, it's of little utility.

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Is support being deliberately obtuse, why would you want to extract text from an image? Kinda self evident... so you can edit and re-use the text. Who cares if it's searchable? If you can't copy and paste, it's of little utility.

Where is Evernote Support here? While Evernote Staff do participate in some threads, there are no staff in this one. 

 

Other than Gazumped asking for the OP for why this is important, the general consensus in this thread seems to be that extracting text is a useful feature that isn't available (and like will never be available) in Evernote. There are alternatives for extracting text from images. 

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Who cares if it's searchable? If you can't copy and paste, it's of little utility.

 

While it would be more useful if we could copy the OCR'd text from the image, I still find the ability to search for text in images quite useful.

In fact, most of the time, I just need to find the Note.  I don't need the text in the image.

 

If you need the text from an image, convert the image to a PDF, and OCR it outside of Evernote, then attach to an EN Note.

Works great!

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Here's another vote for adding this feature -- I could really use it as well.

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Sounds like the feature was publicised by sales but too computationally expensive for development to implement. As it only works in such marginal cases, perhaps it would be better left off the product feature list.

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Sounds like the feature was publicised by sales but too computationally expensive for development to implement. As it only works in such marginal cases, perhaps it would be better left off the product feature list.

I don't understand.... I never saw the creation of selectable (and thus, extricable) text from images in any marketing material from Evernote in the last 10 years... I have NEVER seen evernote claim to have this feature. They have always only ever said that they make images of text searchable, which is what they do (success is, of course, determined by the quality of the image and the clarity of the writing).

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I think the issue is use of the the phrase "OCR". For most people, OCR means that a scanned document, particularly one that is of well-formed text on a page, will yield editable and copyable text.

 

OCR in Evernote's case seems to mean something different. It's bad copy and bad form to claim a feature, e.g., OCR and then continually use it, but apply it in a way that is non-standard.

 

Case in point: https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2015/01/23/search-handwriting-evernote/

 

Cool! Evernote can attempt to recognize handwriting! Awesome! But if I take notes in a meeting on a white board, open Evernote or Scannable on my phone and take a photo of the white board? I'm definitely not going to get anything approaching editable and copyable text. I will have a bitmap file that will have some metadata attached to it by Evernote. Among that metadata is best-guess for my handwriting.

 

Evernote needs to have full OCR. I should be able to have an option for a text-only version of a scan. The end. Adding this would be a game changer for Evernote.

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Can't recall seeing OCR used in the context of converting images to text.  The phrase Optical Character Recognition does exactly what it says on the can.  It can recognise its X's and Y's and allow you to search for and find only the X's if you need to.  Evernote has published various pieces which clearly show how it works -

 

https://blog.evernote.com/tech/2013/07/18/how-evernotes-image-recognition-works/

 

https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2013/10/11/quick-tip-how-to-search-for-text-inside-an-image/

 

- and none of them mention editable text.

 

As to 'needing to have full OCR' I'm sure it's on a to-do list somewhere.  It might take a while...

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I would be interested in that type of functionality, I search for text in my images I uploaded via Evernote App on IP6. But when I search for terms (I know thye are in the report I uploaded) it returns the note with images but does NOT highlight the text in the image. Very frustrating as I am not going thorugh 10 A4 pages in images!!!

 

Why can't they make this work!!!

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+1 for this feature.

 

Currently using Google Docs:

To use the OCR feature you upload the scanned image / PDF to Google Drive, then right click and select "Open With > Google Docs". It'll then open it with each page as both the original scanned image and editable text.

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3 hours ago, brendanrtw said:

It'll then open it with each page as both the original scanned image and editable text.

That's very cool.  Would be great to have for Evernote.

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+1 here too. Just renewed my Pro membership - but with hesitation. This feature is top of the list that makes me consider switching to OneNote.

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In case some Evernote Staff are still following this discussion and their company is considering adding this function to EN, I dear to propose a possible way to make OCRed text available and copiable, while maintaining the multiple guessed of Evernote OCR. I attach two image simulations. The first is a right click menu for the image containing a command of opening a OCRed text window (in green, sorry for the Italian in the rest of the menu). The second one is the simulation of the pure text window, with the fuzzy words needing fixing highlighted and showing the selectable different guesses.

showtext.jpg

fixtext.jpg

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I just realized that having Readiris on my computer I can do exactly what I proposed in my last post. Right click on the PDF in EN, in the menu at "Open with" I choose Readiris. In Readiris I can select the portion of text I need, right click on it and choose "Copy as text". With the function "Interactive learning" it will help enhancing the recognition. Then I can copy the text in my writing software. Of course the OCR'd text still needs quite a good amount of editing. It takes a few more clicks and, more important, Readers costs a lot. Having this for free and integrated in EN would be great!

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Hi.  I don't quite see the incentive for Evernote to develop a new feature in competition with an established market of quite expensive software,  only to build the option in at no extra cost to one of their existing products...

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+1

– it´s a shame that whatever you have in Evernote, doesn´t work outside of it – that is already OCR´ed files, that can´t be used again on the outside with text search. (just a waste of ressources on all sides in the end, it seems; and it makes Evernotes role in any use-ecosystem weaker)

On 17.1.2016 at 7:00 PM, gazumped said:

Hi.  I don't quite see the incentive for Evernote to develop a new feature in competition with an established market of quite expensive software,  only to build the option in at no extra cost to one of their existing products...

1) user satisfaction/happiness + loyality

2) keeping up with OneNote

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On 12/24/2015 at 2:15 AM, brendanrtw said:

+1 for this feature.

 

Currently using Google Docs:

To use the OCR feature you upload the scanned image / PDF to Google Drive, then right click and select "Open With > Google Docs". It'll then open it with each page as both the original scanned image and editable text.

Thx for the tip! I had taken a picture of a document with Evernote, and needed to extract some of the text. I thought I could do it in Evernote, but no suck luck. :( Luckily all my photos are synced with Google Docs/Photos, so I could just right-click on my photo and open it with Google Docs - and presto: my text was there to copy/paste. But still - it would be nice to do it directly in Evernote! :) 

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I just installed Evernote again thinking that this feature was added since 2013, when i stopped using it. To my surprise, it is still not available! 

I love everything else evernote does but this is a big deal and it is closely related to the other features evernote provides. This feature is evernote saying here, you can do all it in our App and we don't mind sharing our hard work with other applications. Ultimately that is what I am trying to do. I want to take hand written notes, take a picture with evernote, come back later, OCR > Text and save it as a Word Document or editable PDF, or Excel, or Google Docs. 

2 Things that are important to users that Evernote should really look at:

1) Make a swiss army knife tool, don't just make a text searchable app but no way to extract the text from the picture. People are downsizing the amount of apps they have and apps that can do more than 1 thing even if it isn't as good as a competitor, are being chosen over others. See OneNote.

2) Don't force your users to have to pull double duty. You want us to use your time saving, cant live without tool, but you want us to hand write notes, then turn around and hand type those notes into the PC? Sure we can use another app but why wouldn't you want to keep the users in house and provide that feature? 

I am going to actually try the google docs method but if that is too cumbersome i will be installing Onenote. 

 

Good Luck with not changing and only sticking to what you do best. That rarely works by the way. See MySpace, Yahoo, AOL, Blockbuster, Kodak, Barnes&Nobles, etc.

 

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Thanks for the info and the Readiris info.  For Windows, Abbyy Screenshot Reader is an incredible program, usually about $15, maybe up to $30 if there is no sale, but that is a one-time expense for many years, they have never pulled an upgrade game afaik.

And I have been using it for years on google book extracts and similar things. Includes lots of language support.  Unobstrusive little box on the edge of the screen (I use a program to keep an edge free, right now MaxMax, but it is sort of dormant, there are others) or activate it from here or there.  And it works excellently on doing a pic paste into evernote or getting the ocr from a paste that is in Evernote.   Thus, I use the same program for taking the pic of a region (webclipper if you will) or for making an OCR from a pic that is from anywhere.

Note: It will not give you that kewl toggle of text and pic in the same box, if that is important.  Granted, the toggle feature, wherever it is actually available, has an aesthetic advantage over having both the pic and the text, but often you simply do not need both anyway, after you extract the text you can say bye-bye to the pic, or keep only the url if it is from the web.

Just a FYI.  This is a case where the external dedicated tool may actually be better, or as good as, an internal application.

Steven

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Hey, when i heard Evernote can OCR photos i though this feature was obviously in there.

I search a lot in the app since i read this topic. You should really implemente the feature, now i ll have to find another app to do this.

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+1
It doesn't look like Evernote Support cares much about this request, but I'm adding my vote anyway

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On 14/09/2016 at 3:06 PM, pwhe23 said:

+1
It doesn't look like Evernote Support cares much about this request, but I'm adding my vote anyway

No reaction is normal - Evernote make their own decisions on priorities and don't (usually) comment on anything until it is released.

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On 12/24/2015 at 0:15 PM, brendanrtw said:

+1 for this feature.

 

Currently using Google Docs:

To use the OCR feature you upload the scanned image / PDF to Google Drive, then right click and select "Open With > Google Docs". It'll then open it with each page as both the original scanned image and editable text.

Great tip, thanks. Tried it and it works impressively well.

+1 for this feature in Evernote - it would be another reason to renew my increasingly expensive premium subscription.

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On 12/23/2015 at 5:15 PM, brendanrtw said:

Currently using Google Docs:

To use the OCR feature you upload the scanned image / PDF to Google Drive, then right click and select "Open With > Google Docs". It'll then open it with each page as both the original scanned image and editable text.

This tip was super helpful thank you!!  I'm using it to photograph recipes from my (hardcopy) cookbook and then get those images into Google Docs where  I can copy and paste the text into my recipe and meal planning software (Mastercook).    

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+1

AND noticing that this thread was started YEARS ago. Here it is 2017. Isn't it time to add this much needed feature?

 

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Hi.  Since the last on topic comment was more than a year ago,  'much needed' may be a slight exaggeration...

The Feature Request forum here allows you to set up a votable request for items like this - if you collect enough positive votes from other users,  Evernote might revisit the thought...

If you explain why this is important to you - what use case you have in mind,  it may help others (including Evernote developers) see that this is a feature they've been lacking.

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On 8/18/2017 at 0:51 PM, gazumped said:

Hi.  Since the last on topic comment was more than a year ago,  'much needed' may be a slight exaggeration...

The Feature Request forum here allows you to set up a votable request for items like this - if you collect enough positive votes from other users,  Evernote might revisit the thought...

If you explain why this is important to you - what use case you have in mind,  it may help others (including Evernote developers) see that this is a feature they've been lacking.

The ability to OCR a photo is indeed much needed, I'd say the users gave up on this thread because it was clearly going nowhere.

There's so many uses for this feature, I am honestly surprised you even ask why would someone want this. The phone is one tool I always have on me, and there's very often a reason to take a quick photo of some text / page / advertisement / address / etc. and have it both searchable and ready to be copied.

Personally, I am using an iOS app called "Scanbot" that is a pretty good scanner but it also works on existing images. It creates PDFs with text already OCRd on the device. You can set it to automatically send files to Evernote (or Onenote, or Dropbox, or...) An added advantage is that it creates "proper" PDFs with that can be copied and moved between services without losing any of the proprietary OCR capabilities that only exist on that one service. I can't recommend that app highly enough.

However, using any 3rd party tool introduces extra steps that could be avoided.

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I moved this discussion to the Feature Request forum.  
Please indicate your support using the voting buttons in the top left corner of the discussion

I'd like to see the OCR process for both images and pdf's, allowing selectable text
This process is already being performed by Evernote for search indexing

This will mean that Evernote is altering the original files;
- adding an OCR layer to pdfs
- something with images; maybe converting to pdf

Or, as per the original request; right click on the image to get access to the image’s text

btw  Mac users can go to the notes’s file folder and access the images recoIndex file.  This contains the text extracted from the image  151A278A-FCF3-4164-A237-38ED96AA6536.en-reco

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11 minutes ago, Wanderling Reborn said:

The ability to OCR a photo is indeed much needed

EN does OCR images today.  This thread is about the extracting of text from the OCRd image.

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Just now, csihilling said:

EN does OCR images today.  This thread is about the extracting of text from the OCRd image.

That is what most people expect an OCR app to do. Not "we can read the text but you can only use it on our service" but "we OCR the document and provide you with full benefits of an OCR'd document including the ability to search for the text in any app that supports it, or copy the text for further use".

What EN does is the same thing that Google Drive / One Drive does - it scans the image for text but you can only use it with their service. This is not "true" OCR functionality.

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Not sure what "true" OCR functionality might be, but EN does OCR and search by that OCR.  It doesn't let you copy/extract any text because of the OCR, hence the thread.  No upvotes on the thread to date, so you might want to add yours.

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I just discovered that OneNote can extract text from an image and I just installed it for this purpose. I've used other things but this was quick, easy and accurate.

So silly that Evernote can't since it does the OCR in the background so the text in images is searchable. That's great and I use it but sometimes you need the text or part of it without having to re-type it.

I extracted the text from an 1875 newspaper article using OneNote. Only 2 errors though I wouldn't have said it was a really clear image. It's time Evernote caught up.

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A few years on and this feature still hasn't been implemented. I love using evernote, I hate having to use OTHER APPS to get this fone only to paste the text into evernote. Its a complete waste of productivity! Come on evernote.

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On 12/30/2017 at 7:24 AM, BellBird said:

A few years on and this feature still hasn't been implemented

Hi.  There are lots of requests for new features,  bugs that need attention,  and other distractions like OS upgrades to keep up with - this specific request has 5 supporters so far;  I'd guess it's low priority in Evernote's view...

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This is a show stopper for me. I can write notes in my notebook, take a picture of it, and get the text out later to provide more structured data in OneNote. Writing by hand helps me retain the information, but extracting the text helps me send it to other people. Sadly with this Evernote's limited to being a computer only tool. This same logic applies to writing notes with a tablet and Apple pencil as well The OneNote editor provides way more flexibility in note taking.

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So far we're up to 9 users in favour.  Not denying that this would be a useful feature for some users,  but if you don't handwrite your notes,  or are content with the handwriting being searchable,  but not converted to text,  it's not a priority...

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I'd like to use the true OCR function so I can photograph my bookshelves, one by one, so as to create a searchable database of all of my books (over 300 magic books). So far, no good news from Evernote.

 

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On 5/7/2018 at 1:37 AM, ppearce43 said:

I'd like to use the true OCR function so I can photograph my bookshelves, one by one, so as to create a searchable database of all of my books (over 300 magic books). So far, no good news from Evernote.

 

Have a look at Goodreads. It has a built-in bar code scanner and knows most of the book in the world, so that you can create an extensive, searchable database of your precious books.

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On 5/7/2018 at 12:37 AM, ppearce43 said:

I'd like to use the true OCR function

OCR can do a lot,  but I found a while ago that images of book covers can't be processed satisfactorily.  For artistic and marketing reasons they're colorful and loud - and not especially OCR legible.  It's far easier as suggested above to use a barcode reader to get the ISBN number (if it has one - all modern books should..) and then search the net for details of that book using the ISBN as the key.  There are several apps for Android that will do this,  and I'd imagine similar for Apple. 

My (Android) app of choice is Book Catalogue,  which will allow you to export a list of books and thumbnails as CSV,  which I can attach to an Evernote note so that the details are searchable outside the book app.  Book Catalogue searches Amazon, Goodreads and LibraryThing for ISBN details,  and will save books back to Goodreads if you have a profile there.

The other option is to take pictures,  but IME you will also need to add some text to the images to ensure a hit.  Here's a non-book example from my storage shelves...  although "a5 note pads" is clearly visible in the picture,  it's not straight and probably not at sufficient resolution to resolve.  Only the text version gets highlighted after a search.

ScreenClip [2].png

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I recently changed from OneNote to Evernote and sadly I'm encountering the same problem. I'm thinking of switching back to OneNote as it seems they will never address this request.

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With how popular and prevalent bullet journaling is, it seems insane to not want to capitalize on being the bridge between digital journaling and that. 

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I too feel that being able to extract text from a picture is a necessary feature. I often take pictures of notes that I've made. They are unfinished and are in need of further editing and refinement. I took the photograph so I could finish them, but once they are in EN I have to retype them to be able to finish editing them.

 

This is quite frustrating.

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I almost started to use Evernote, but this is a show-stopper.  Love how it scans receipts, auto-crops, and compresses them, but no OCR = no can use Evernote.

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23 hours ago, AndrewInWlg said:

I almost started to use Evernote, but this is a show-stopper.  Love how it scans receipts, auto-crops, and compresses them, but no OCR = no can use Evernote.

? Evernote does OCR images.  Do you have a specific issue?

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On 10/24/2018 at 2:54 PM, AndrewInWlg said:

I almost started to use Evernote, but this is a show-stopper.  Love how it scans receipts, auto-crops, and compresses them, but no OCR = no can use Evernote.

Evernote has an OCR process, but it's only for search purposes.
This works fine for me.  If I need the text from a  pdf/image, I use an external OCR app.

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This would make taking notes one hundred times easier when reading a book and I only have my phone to take pictures. 

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9 minutes ago, Allnighter247 said:

This would make taking notes one hundred easier when reading a book and I only have my phone to take pictures. 

So create a camera note in Evernote,  or use another app like CamScanner or Office Lens to create a picture / PDF file to share to Evernote.  Works for me...

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29 minutes ago, gazumped said:

or use another app like CamScanner or Office Lens to create a picture / PDF file to share to Evernote.

... another app that creates an OCR'd pdf ...

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If the phone is an iPhone, my solution is ScannerPro from readdle. Does good scans as pdf or JPEG, and OCRs even multipage documents on the fly.The OCR gets very good when just one language is selected in OCR settings.

Since EN notices when a pdf comes ready with OCR data, it will take them, include them into the index and will not try another OCR on the server. Plus an OCRed pdf will most times be smaller in size than the picture-only version.

With predifined workflows the result can be send into EN, ready with the right notebook and standard tags, depending on the workflow picked.

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For handwritten stuff, I use GoodNotes 5 for my own writing (iPad Pro, Apple pencil). It does an amazing job on OCRing the handwriting to make it searchable. The searchability of the handwriting will extend itself into EN when I export from GN5 into EN as a pdf.

Inside of GN, I can pick a selection of text with the lasso tool, and convert it into typed text ready to copy somewhere.

If both is working on an imported piece of handwritten text, I have not yet tried. Something waiting to discover ...

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I really don't understand why some people insist that a workaround using other apps is all that's needed or that it doesn't need to be done because they themselves don't have a need to extract the OCR'd text for further work. 
It really isn't enough that Evernote can OCR notes in the background so that they show in a search. That's great but it doesn't enable you to copy and paste the text elsewhere.
It's time the feature was introduced - and it can't be hard because it's being done in the background already in order for the notes to be searched.

 

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1) I‘ve voted for this proposal ...

2) There is a difference between what one can do TOday and what may be a nice feature SOMEday.

3) Currently EN does not change the attachment when doing the OCR. The result is not embedded into the pdf, for example. With a JPEG it would not even be feasible to do so because the data format does not allow for it.

4) This cuts both ways: Because the OCR result is embedded into the note, it could be easier to extract it. But an OCR result made to build a search index may do no good if you want to get an extract of the text itself.

Goodnotes for example uses its own document format to store the handwriting. And even there the OCRed search index is not identical to the extracted text when you manually decide to copy a paragraph somewhere else. The search index is build from singular words followed by a reference of where in the document the word is found (often multiple times, which makes the index file smaller).

So let us wait and see. Since new features are ranked second priority behind getting the actual EN setup stable and unified, it is most likely not on the agenda for now and the next future.

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4 hours ago, geneakit said:

some people insist that a workaround using other apps is all that's needed

IMHO it's not a workaround to use a free app that does exactly what you require - CamScanner (forinstance) will produce an OCR'd PDF while Evernote Android does not.  Evernote Scannable (sadly, only iOS) will (AFAIK) do the same,  but that is an also an 'external' app.  Both Scannable and CamScanner can 'share' a scanned,  OCR'd PDF to Evernote.  Since there are already apps that have this feature,  what is the business justification for the effort required to jam the technology into the standard Evernote app?  Not saying I'm against the idea,  but what's in it for Evernote?  This feature request has had an average of 5 votes per year for 5 years - other requests are into the 400's of votes.

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5 hours ago, geneakit said:

I really don't understand why some people insist that a workaround using other apps is all that's needed or that it doesn't need to be done

No one is insisting this feature is not needed; I require this feature often
The work-arounds are being suggested for users who need this feature today

>>It really isn't enough that Evernote can OCR notes in the background so that they show in a search. That's great but it doesn't enable you to copy and paste the text elsewhere.

There is a feature request posted at the top of the discussions.  You're welcome to indicate your support using the voting button at the top left corner.

The current user vote count is AF91084E-FF10-4C47-8880-7A50637BD362.jpeg.9ae167318c7f75940762e63b1459999b.jpeg

 

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8 hours ago, geneakit said:

It really isn't enough that Evernote can OCR notes in the background so that they show in a search. That's great but it doesn't enable you to copy and paste the text elsewhere.

Note that Evernote does OCR the way they do it because OCR is imperfect. The way that they do OCR will allow them to make multiple guesses for the same piece of text, thus possibly helping search results. You stand a poorer chance of finding what you're looking for if the OCR has missed a word, so Evernote can put multiple potential matches in. You can see this in notes exported to Evernote format that have Evernote-generated OCR; each potential word is given a pixel location in the image, and you can sometimes find overlaps. The flip side of this is that this strategy (and maybe other considerations) makes copying text from the image problematic. For example, how are alternative matches handled? Do they appear all together? How about overlapping matches?

I'm not saying that the ability to copy text from Evernote OCR'd images shouldn't or couldn't be done, just that it's trickier in this case than it map appear to be.

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