I have an automated process that extracts data from mobile pictures. I have good binarization tools that can clear backgrounds and noise, but they are coming up short. Some pictures have slight loss of sharpness due to slow shutter, lighting, shake, etc.

What software, API, or SDK can I use to improve pre-processing of these images to produce better sharpness of text?

Here is a (redacted) samples. I need to achieve sharp text lines and hopefully separate characters in the text.

Please send me a message if you would like to get the original image (iPhone 6) and play with it. I appreciate any feedback.

Thank you.

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Your absolute best bet is going to be Photoshop where you can go in and manually edit the picture pixel by pixel, if need be. There are also all kinds of sharpness/de-blur type of filters that you can use. You can get a trial of Adobe Creative Cloud here, and just download Photoshop.

If you're looking for something completely free, try FastStone Image Viewer which is a pretty lightweight image editor. Notable features include batch image processing and a very nice set of adjustment tools (including sharpen). I use it for many projects when I need something that opens quickly, runs quickly, and is user friendly.

Hope one of them works for you!


I answered a similar question here what it essentially boils down to is, if you need more detail in an image, you need to get the information from somewhere.

The existing answer mentions photoshop which is one option. another option could possibly be to ask the person who took the photo to retake it with less blur or use a scanner to capture the image instead, this way the image will be sharper and more likely to be seen by an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program.

If the goal is to get the text from the ID document into a digital form, it would be easier to have a human (or maybe in the future an AI) read the image and type the text in by hand , especially for images like this that are super blurry and not easily readable by OCR software.

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