Timesaving Tip: Your Smartphone Cam + i2OCR

Just the other day, a colleague and I spent a couple of hours hashing out new content for our page on our company’s portal. We took full advantage of the whiteboard running the entire length of the conference room and, by the time we were done, we had decorated most of the wall with our scratch. One of the VPs walked by, took a look at the board and, with a chuckle, asked “How in the world are you going to get all THAT down on paper?”

Well, being the problem-solver that I am, I asked my colleague to snap pictures of the wall with his smartphone (can you BELIEVE I didn’t have my phone on me?). I then told him to run the images through an OCR (optical character recognition) app. A day later, I found i2OCR.

iOCR2 is a free, online OCR application that extracts text from images and turns it into an editable document. It supports a whole crowd of image file types, including all the usual suspects (.tif, .gif, .jpg, .png, .bmp, etc.). Simply browse your computer for the file or enter a URL and hit the big red CONVERT button. It can read 33 languages, and supports multi-column formats. The site assures that uploaded files are automatically deleted on conversion. The site does recommend at least 200 dpi for better recognition. So easy, and totally free.

As if this wasn’t enough, the clever folks at Sciweaver responsible for i2OCR have a lot of other cool conversion and merge tools for documents and images. Check them out:

Sciweavers themselves is a pretty cool group. Apparently, it is an academic bookmarking network that aggregates links to research paper preprints. The idea is to promote top-ranked papers, with the goal of promoting valuable work and improve the visibility of significant authors. Head over to their About  page to check out the tons of other free online tools they offer.
See, now, Ms. VP. Where there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way. 😉