Extracting text from an image: Alternatives to manual data extraction

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could copy the text from an image and extract it for use in an email, text message, or chat window, you’re not alone. If you’ve found yourself needing to extract text from dozens — even hundreds — of PDFs or images, Rossum is the AI-based, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine-driven solution for you.

Extracting text from an image

Extracting text from an image

A business’s process for data extraction must include a method for accurately capturing structured and unstructured data. Structured data is the most detailed information to extract. This kind of data could be anything from a quantity, price, or date within a structured format such as an Excel spreadsheet. Because it is based on rules and models and can be digitally read by programs, this data can be extracted with a simple command or tool. 

Yet, data is often stored in unstructured formats such as PDF files or paper documents. 

Essentially, these data formats are the opposite of structured data and are not based on predefined models, making them digitally unreadable. PDF and image files are examples of that kind of format, and therefore, extraction can only occur with a visual method.

Businesses need employees to manually read and retype the data into a digital business system. The only other option is to rely on some kind of automation tool. 

Unstructured data makes up over 80% of all enterprise data, so it is vital to have a process that can effectively manage it. This is what OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is designed to do.

Extracting text from image files is one of the many tasks OCR tools can perform with unstructured data. A simple image-to-text app uses OCR technology to scan a document for text and convert it into a digital format. This tool is simple and easy to use, but its limited functionality makes it unsuitable for business use.

Another option for extracting data from image files is converting them to Word documents before copying the data into the business system. When it comes to image text in Word online, you can upload the image file to a converter website and download the editable document. While there is no method to convert pictures to text in Word alone, businesses can use tutorials and programs in conjunction with Word to achieve this conversion.

Working with unstructured data is common for many businesses. Extracting that data efficiently requires a comprehensive software solution.

An application for a smartphone or an online converter tool may work for extracting simple text from individual files but is not practical for large-scale operations. 

Businesses seeking maximum efficiency need an AI-powered document processing platform like Rossum. Rossum converts unstructured data into structured information, which makes extracting text from an image file quick and accurate.

How to use Rossum’s powerful AI for extracting text from an image

  • Invoices
  • Passports
  • Purchase orders
  • Bills of lading
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Presentations and printed materials

And more. With Rossum’s powerful AI-based image extractor, you can configure the system to extract data from a wide variety of sources regardless of shape, size, or format — no preconfiguration required. 

First, you’ll want to log in to Rossum and create a new project. Then, select an OCR model from pre-built configurations or your custom-built model. 

Next, add the files you intend to analyze to Rossum’s interface. You may add as many images/files as you’d like.

Third, allow Rossum’s AI engine to process the images and test the results.

You’ll want to verify each image for accuracy and adjust your settings accordingly. You can also edit the appropriate fields values and labels after Rossum has processed the image.  

The benefits of using Rossum for extracting text from an image

  • No preprocessing or templating is required

Rossum’s platform is built to avoid and negate the need for pre-templating and configuring documents before uploading/processing. This allows users to upload files with different sizes, formats, versions, orientations, and styles without standardizing layouts or file extensions. 

  • Custom-built for your existing workflows

Rossum’s powerful API is built with flexibility in mind. Even if your existing workflow and networked systems are due for an upgrade, Rossum can integrate and smooth out your document processing solutions — and adapt as your systems change.

  • Highly accurate out of the box — and constantly improving

Rossum’s deep learning algorithm approaches 75-85% accuracy, with 95% accuracy achieved within one month of implementation and training. Some of our clients have reached as high as 99.9% accuracy in data extraction and identification.

  • Support for non-English languages

Rossum is a versatile solution for companies that operate across multiple languages and continents. At this time, Rossum supports most languages with Latin script, including English, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, and more. Rossum also supports Japanese and Chinese (beta). For a full list of supported languages, click here

  • Secure and capable of handling your sensitive information

Rossum is among the most secure cloud data processors in the world, offering SOCII Type 2 certification, ISO27001 certification, GDPR compliance, and HIPAA compliance. For more on our security capabilities, click here.

Extracting text from an image online

Text extraction from image files can be performed manually, with online tools, or with software solutions. The manual method treats your employees like little more than image-to-text converter machines. 

Furthermore, it introduces the risk of human error in the extracted data and often leads to employee burnout. Many companies utilize tools or software to lessen the manual tasks required from data entry clerks to prevent this from happening. Online OCR tools are easy to find and use for text extraction.

A business could use one of several websites to extract text from images online. For example, Editpad is a website where the user uploads the image and clicks the “Extract Text” button. After a short wait, the extracted text is available for use. 

An extension for a web browser is another online tool that can copy text from images. Extension options include Google’s OCR Chrome Extension, which can convert images on a website into digital text. Many of these online tools or websites will also be able to extract text from PDF files because of their OCR technology. 

Online website converters and extensions are a place to start when searching for image-to-text extraction tools. Still, they are not designed to meet the rigorous requirements of business document processing tasks.

Extract text from an image with Google

To extract text from images; Google has a few options available. Businesses that use Google Drive and Google Docs have a unique option to convert images to text. 

Google Docs has a capability that enables the user to open an image file in Google Drive, right-click on it, and select “Open with > Google Docs.” This simple action is an image-to-text tool that does not require uploading or downloading documents or software. If you Google “image to text converter online,” this Google Docs tutorial will be one of the first results. 

Another simple option from Google is the image-to-text Google Lens application. Google Lens is a smartphone application that detects and converts data in an image into digital text.

In addition to the Google Docs process, there is a more advanced Google-based option for extracting text from image files in businesses. Your company can use the Google OCR online API to build a custom integration with their business system to extract text from image files.

The Google Docs and Google Lens options are not helpful for businesses that need to process 

hundreds of documents simultaneously. Rossum, however, is more than capable of accomplishing this and comes with various other features for greater customization. Rossum has a free, public API that is simply written and documented, enabling developers to build their solutions rapidly. The Rossum cognitive data capture solution is both highly accurate and can integrate with nearly any business system.

Convert an image to text

The first step in making unstructured data from an image valid for data entry is knowing how to extract text from image files. Instead of manually reading and retyping the information, businesses can convert images to text using software or other technology. Converting the file will make the text digitally readable so that employees only have to copy and paste the data into the correct fields in the company’s platform. 

To convert images to text online, businesses must find a secure and accurate converter website. Because business documents contain sensitive information and vital data, these two requirements are essential in any tool a business uses. Image-to-text Google tools, such as those previously mentioned, are a good place to start when finding a converter, especially if you need to know how to convert images to text in mobile applications.

Companies that use Microsoft to convert images to text in Word, can follow online tutorials or use a converter website. Since PDF files are standard in businesses and require the same technology necessary for extracting text from image files, many OCR online tools and websites will be able to convert PDF images to text files as well. Rossum, for example, can accurately convert image or PDF files into digitally editable text using AI-powered OCR technology.

What is a text extractor?

A text extractor is a tool that can extract text from documents using OCR technology. 

Essentially, an image-to-text converter is a specific version of a text extractor. From image files, text can be extracted using these tools, but the accuracy of the extracted data will depend on the complexity of the tool. 

Traditional OCR text extractors rely upon templates and rule-based systems. While these OCR extractors are effective to a certain extent, if a business receives documents that vary in format, the company will have to create new rules for the text extractor. 

From PDF documents, text can be extracted with these tools as well, but AI-powered OCR software will be far more efficient. Rossum is a text extractor designed to mimic how people read documents so that text extraction from image or PDF files can be performed with human levels of accuracy and higher but without the effort or time that manual methods require.

Online image-to-text converter

While an online image-to-text converter website is not helpful for businesses that need to extract data from images; companies can use these websites to test the technology before deciding to implement a more robust software converter solution. If you use one of these websites to extract text from image files, you will be able to gauge how well the tool works and understand the kinds of features that your business may require for text extraction.

In addition, a JPG-to-text converter website may work differently from a PDF-to-text converter. This is why it is essential to find a tool that fits your company’s needs. Organizations that receive large numbers of PDF and image files should consider a solution that can effectively extract data from both file formats, such as Rossum.

Rossum: The best image-to-text converter for businesses

Another way to see how an image-to-text converter works is to use an application, such as Microsoft Office or Word. If you use a smartphone and have a screen reader, the “convert image to text” Microsoft Word app feature can be an easy way to test a converter. 

The image-to-text converter Google tools could also be used to test the technology on a simple document. None of these options are designed for businesses, however, and extracting text from image files in these settings requires a different system. 

The best image-to-text converter for businesses is one that can automatically read and extract data from hundreds of documents with a high degree of OCR accuracy

Rossum is a robust, cognitive data capture solution that converts unstructured data in image files into structured data that can be digitally read. Our platform can also enter the extracted data into the corresponding fields in the business system with almost no manual effort from employees.

Capture & extract text from
an image in minutes

Eliminate the hassle of manual work and creating new templates.
Extract data from thousands of documents in minutes
with the Rossum AI data extraction technology.