One of my co-workers just posted a draft of something he's writing... As an image!

This is annoying. I can't do my usual "keep track of what I'm reading by selecting bits of text" thing.

How can I quickly convert this to actual text without installing anything or registering or waiting around for hours?

  • 2
    "...As an image" made me laugh. Feb 7, 2014 at 3:45

4 Answers 4


Online OCR allows you to take images in JPG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, or GIF format and turns it into a DOC, XLS, or TXT. Registration is optional. It supports up to 32 languages.

Online OCR allows you to upload a max of 4MB per picture and you can upload 15 per day.

  • This worked beautifully, once I converted the image to TIFF.
    – Bullwinkle
    Feb 6, 2014 at 18:55
  • @Bullwinkle why didn't it work when the file wasn't in tif? aman: Could you add this restriction and other possible downsides (and features if there are) to the answer? Feb 9, 2014 at 18:06
  • @AngeloNeuschitzer When I used it, everything worked for me.
    – aman207
    Feb 10, 2014 at 19:07

Well, there are loads of websites to do that, I have my own over here This web app is based on the very popular Tesseract OCR, In addition, to tesseract lot of image preprocessing is also done behind the scenes.


You can try Free OCR which does exactly what you are looking for. It is free and doesn't require any registration. It is available in multiple languages.

You can add an image in JPG, GIF, TIFF BMP or PDF (only first page) format, and exports it to plain text.

Images can not be larger than 2MB and you can only upload 10 per day, however.

  • Didn't work at first because the image was in PNG format. Converted it to LZW TIFF and it... still didn't work.
    – Bullwinkle
    Feb 6, 2014 at 18:56

You should look at Adobe Acrobat. I have found its capabilities quite useful (both for the OCR work you are describing, but also for the rest of the functionality you have not asked for). You may read a better review than I can write, here.

Note that Adobe Acrobat is available as part of the Adobe Create Cloud for a monthly subscription ($19.99 for students -- go take a course at your local community college -- to $49.99), which gives you access to all of their "creative suite" products. They also have a free trial and single product options.

  • 2
    This post doesn't answer the question. Downvoted.
    – VicAche
    Apr 22, 2014 at 19:49

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