Convert Image or PDF Files To Text Documents For Free With Google Docs

by Rohit Khurana on June 23, 2010


There are many tools to convert image files into text documents. The technology which converts text in an image into a document or text file is called as Optical Character Recognition or OCR. There are many OCR softwares and tools which work really well, but they are usually paid softwares and require a decent performance computer to work properly.

In this post, I will review an new feature of Google Docs which allows you to convert text inside an image into a text document using OCR technology. The best thing about it is that its free for personal use.


Converting an image into a text document is extremely easy with Google Documents. In this small and easy to follow tutorial, I will explain you the steps.

I will be using this image, which is fairy complex in nature to convert into text using any OCR, it is because of the color tones and slant text. Lets give it a try.


[image credit]

To convert an image into text, it needs to be uploaded to the Google Docs. On the top left of the Google Docs homepage, click Upload:



On next screen, click the select files button and select the file from the location on your computer. After the file is selected, you need to Select conversion options as “Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs document”. After you check this option, click start upload.


It will take a few seconds to upload the image and convert it, depending on image size.


Here is the result, the converted document :


The results are pretty decent, considering the color tone of the image, contrast in the image and the slant text. The text which was not slant has been correctly converted and spellings are also correct. For the slant text, there are typos and missing text, which is OK, since the feature is very new and will take some more time to tackle such complex OCR conversion. For normal images and PDF documents, this will be a great tool for conversion.

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