If you do not have a scanner, you can still quickly scan documents with the help of mobile scanning app. If you need to convert the pages to a file that you can edit, you want to start optical character recognition (OCR). If you need to upload receipt images for an expense report or convert some pages of a book into text that you can edit, what you need is a mobile scanning app and OCR. While there are numerous apps that can scan documents using only your phone’s camera, the number that can convert them into editable digital documents is small.
Using the smartphone camera to scan printed documents has become a common app for a smartphone today. While we can download and install many apps from the Google Play Store to perform this work, many of them will include many additions and the quality may not be adequate for your needs. Also, some of them lack some important features like converting media files to other formats, uploading files directly to cloud storage or etc. Some free apps can request money after certain moments of use or to produce the final file to download.
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What Makes An OCR App Great?
The best OCR apps have a default automatic scanning feature that focuses on the text and accurately detects the edges of documents. All the apps that created this final list have this ability and use it by default. Regardless of what you put in front of your phone’s camera, the app scans without having to touch a button (the only exception is Microsoft OfficeLens). Although not tapping on a button might seem trivial, it allows your hands to hold the camera firmly, producing a sharper image. Therefore, automatic scanning is a highly desirable feature.
We are looking for apps that offer to digitize and scanning them in a single solution. Ideally, you want to be able to scan your document and be able to use the text immediately. Four of the apps that made this list meet this criterion. The only one that is not, Microsoft OfficeLens, requires a secondary app to complete the process. Finally, we included it anyway because the results were very good and the apps cost nothing. However, you need a Microsoft account to get the text editable.
What you do with your files after scanning and scanning them is tremendously important. The best scanning and OCR apps allow you to save a PDF of what you digitize and offer additional options to share, print and export your files. Some even have the function Copy all text that allows you to quickly collect text directly from the app and paste it into the app you want.
Features are not everything to look for, but there are some that we like to see in mobile scanning and OCR apps. Tools that allow you to manually adjust the crop are important, for example, because sometimes apps are wrong in edge detection. Apps also require tools to adjust brightness, correct color, and select grayscale rather than black and white output when needed. Having an OCR function that works in different languages is also a big advantage.
Top 5 Best OCR App For Android [ 2019]
Since there are many free and paid OCR apps available in the Google Play store, you can get confused when looking for the best. After trying several apps of the same type, we have listed some of the best free OCR apps. For us, remembering a user’s needs is a key point on which the prospect chooses the right one. Because some OCR apps are specifically designed to convert images from handwritten notes into plain text, while other apps can do much more. Therefore, the need is the point that satisfies suitability.
Some of the apps of the professional versions are really worth the price, while others are not. That’s why, along with some free apps, we’ve also added some high-quality paid apps recommended by professionals. We will also do all we can to go with the cheapest payment apps for the convenience of users. So, let’s see the 5 best OCR apps for Android 2019.
1. CamScanner – Phone PDF Creator
CamScanner is one of the best apps for Android document scanners with more than 350 million downloads. The app allows you to quickly scan any document and have it in your phone’s gallery, be it a receipt, an invoice, a note, a business card, a blackboard discussion, etc.
Moreover, the app has an internal optimization tool that improves the text and graphics to ensure that they are clear and clear enough and that it is possible to use the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) function to extract the texts from the images.
It is an amazing OCR scanning app for multi-purpose phones that can be used to scan documents, convert images to PDF files and also convert images into easily editable text. We tested this app on many types of articles, handwritten notes and even on printed paper, such as the newspaper, mainly due to its OCR capabilities and the result was quite satisfactory. In some cases, the result was not up to the mark.
CamScanner also lets you share scanned documents as PDF or JPEG and print them using AirPrint with any nearby printer.
- This app comes with a preset cloud storage account that allows the user to store everything in the cloud that can be accessed from other devices.
- The quality of the support is very good on the part of the developers and the app’s user interface looks good and looks professional.
- In some cases, you may find less precision and errors. Compared to other apps, it is a clear disadvantage.
- There is no way to modify any document without paying.
- This app is not free; however, this app is quite expensive if you opt for the premium edition.
Download CamScanner from the Google Play Store:
2. Google Keep – Notes and List
Google is also interested in providing its own version of OCR technology. Google Keep is marketed more as a complete solution for maintaining and organizing notes. You can use the app to capture thoughts, scribbles, and images, then insert it into a note that can be modified through the app. From there, you can turn it into a checklist, a reminder or just a note for future reference.
The app is intuitive and quite easy to use. It has a tiled control panel so you can easily review a long list and still be quite organized later.
Google Keep is a strong competitor to OneNote and Evernote with many functions for taking and storing notes. One of these is OCR. Being a Google app, it integrates with Calendar, Documents and other Google services. The app is free and without ads, like all Google things.
The way it works is a little different because Keep is an app for taking minimalist notes. Scan an image with text and then touch the three dots on the right side of the screen to “grab the text” in the image.
- It is a free app and it synchronizes with other Google products by default.
- Performance and accuracy are impressive.
- Keep in mind that this is not a standalone OCR app, so the user must manually copy and paste the item into a new document or the user can scan documents with Google Drive from Android to copy them to the clipboard.
- This app needs Internet access to process images and extracts text from the image. Although we do not see many smartphone users without an Internet connection.
Download Google Keep from the Google Play Store:
3. Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner
Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner is a useful app if you are a person grown up with Microsoft programs over the years. This app is a PDF scanner that will allow you to use your phone’s camera to scan a document and save it for later use. The app offers trimming, PDF enhancements, text editing, and file sharing.
One of the things that makes this app unique is its ability to save to OneDrive. Therefore, if you need to scan a document, save it to convert it into a PDF and share it with a colleague; Office Lens has you covered.
You can also use this app to share documents and create backups via OneDrive, but it’s the only document scanner app that lets you save them in OneNote.
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Moreover, if you are interested in editing documents with the Microsoft Office package, this will be your final choice, since it comes from the company itself.
- All the files and jobs can be saved by using OneDrive
- The performance is very good, the response time is quite good
- Easy to use the app
- No ads
- The app is free but the MS Suite package is not.
- You may find it difficult to use if you do not use Office 365
Download Microsoft Office Lens from the Google Play Store:
4. Text Scanner [OCR]
Text scanner [OCR] is an impressive app as it claims to support more than 50 languages, including Chinese, French, Japanese and more. It also supports extracting text from the handwritten text. The app interface has essential scanning features like magnification and a brightness slider to capture text as clearly as possible.
In our tests, he had no problem extracting text, although the extraction of the text from handwritten notes seemed to be its weak point. But it’s not surprising since writing can vary a lot from one person to another. However, it is still one of the few apps that let you extract text from handwritten notes, so it’s worth a try.
In essence, the app has only one main feature that is compatible with other fragments. This is to convert images into text. The support features of this app are that it has the highest read speed, the highest accuracy rate, is available in more than fifty languages and can be synchronized with Google Drive and Google Keep.
The app is very easy to use. You just have to grant permission to use the camera on the device and everything will be ready.
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- Simple and easy to use
- Highest Speed & Highest Quality
- Support more than 50 languages
- Doesn’t recognize some languages well
Download Text Scanner [OCR] from the Google Play Store:
5. Text Fairy
Text Fairy is like a lifesaver who comes to the rescue when it is necessary to extract the text from an image. The Text Fairy app is very easy to use. The app allows you to recognize the text found in the scanned documents and images. You can select that text and save it for editing later.
The Text Fairy control panel is very simple and intuitive, which means that it is quite easy to use. In addition, it supports more than 50 languages, which means you can use it to communicate and learn another language.
Text Fairy is another impressive image extraction tool for Android capable of recognizing text from over 50 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, French and more. It comes with support for many Indian languages, such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, etc. You will be asked to download the necessary languages in the first run of the app.
We scanned our test document without errors, but we had problems recognizing the text on a page that included a couple of images. Furthermore, it is worth remembering that there are many manual steps involved before scanning a document, which makes it unsuitable for batch scanning. It is best to limit its use to scanning books and magazines with a simple design.
- Supports many languages, autocorrects viewpoint, and export to PDF.
- No ads and completely free.
- There is text to voice feature.
- No handwriting supports.
- No cloud or third-party app support.
Download Text Fairy from the Google Play Store:
If you are looking for more options other than the above-mentioned apps. Below you can find some more OCR apps for Android.
- Doc Scanner – Phone PDF Creator
- Smart Lens – Text Scanner OCR
- Tiny Scanner
- Adobe Scan: PDF Scanner, OCR
- Scanbot – PDF Document Scanner
- Fast Scanner
- Clear Scan
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If you are an Office 365 user, Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner is the best option for you to go for. Same way, if you use Google Docs, Google Keep is a really good option to consider. If you are an occasional user who needs a good OCR scanner sometimes, Text Fairy will help you out. Adobe Scan is also a powerful, free app that works with handwriting too, and comes with a storage of 5GB.
If you are looking for a more robust document scanner with OCR features, CamScanner, although it is quite expensive and a little buggy. But it is still better because it offers a lot of features that you will not find elsewhere.
That was the list guys. You can try all the above-mnetioned apps and stick to one which suits you according to your requirements.
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