My mom wants to save/digitize a lot of our grandma's old recipes, but she also wants to preserve the original handwriting (not just convert to text). I can find a lot of suggestions for software that reads the handwriting and converts to text, but I just need to lift the handwriting from a picture of the recipe card and filter out the rest. Is there something simple we could use?

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    Pdf format has support for that it shows the scanned image, but you can search/index/mark it as if it would be text.
    – peterh
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


If you are not looking to convert it to text, just move the handwriting to a different picture, you can use paint.net.

You can use either the magic select tool or the lasso tool. If you use the magic wand tool, just select the background of the recipe card and move the tolerance up until it selects the entire background then press delete. If you use the lasso tool, you will have to essentially carve out each letter individually. I would recommend you use the magic select if you can.

NOTE: For better results, use either a desktop scanner or a scanning app on your phone rather than taking a picture of the recipes.


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