How to Extract Handwritten Text from Images ?

How to Extract Handwritten Text from Images ?

To extract handwritten text from image is the simplest thing if you have access to the correct software to do so. You may have quickly noted down a few things on a piece of paper in a hurry, such as if you were on a phone call, and you need all of that typed into your computer so you can access it better. The easiest way is to find the right software that would take the words out of an image and put them down for you. With artificial intelligence, it really is that simple.

Most people, in today’s world, try to avoid using paper as often as they can. Nowadays, you can do almost everything on your mobile phone and you don’t really need to use paper as much as before. Travel tickets can be verified at airports and bus stations on your mobile phone, invoices can be sent to employers online, and even money doesn’t necessarily need to be paper anymore – it’s all digital!

In an ever-growing paperless world, we tend to find handwritten things one of two things – heartfelt and touching, or inconvenient and wasteful – depending on the context. Either way, this doesn’t account for the billions of pieces of paper that have been utilized by us before.

Let’s take a look at business before computers found their way into homes. Most documents were kept in books or files in physical archives. Specific people were assigned to these archives that knew exactly what was kept where so they could help other people find what they needed. We have the same thing today digitally, but instead of a physical space, they’re hard drives and online cloud drives; and instead of a person, it’s a simple CTRL + F function.

Before arriving at this stage, we need AI-backed text extraction software that takes out what you need from a handwritten document. It just makes work easier and more efficient, and it is, of course, much better for the environment.

Extract handwritten text from image for business

Companies that have been in business for decades have seen the changes from paper to digital. At some point, digital archives need to be filled in with the information that was kept in the physical books for so long – quite literally on paper. While one can make data entry from paper to computer a full-time job (as it is), it would entail the company wasting resources in terms of skill as well as money on something that can easily be done by a computer. All you need to do is a little bit of research about the right kind of software to invest in.

Of course, there’s free websites available to do this online, but if you can find a software that can be integrated into your corporate server, why not make use of it? These programs aren’t very expensive and they heighten your company’s productivity manifold, thus they are quite worth looking into. This is especially if you’re a businessperson looking to expand your company by putting your resources to better use.

OCR to extract handwritten text from images

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is software that quite literally recognizes optical characters and translates them into screen-friendly words – this means that it reads documents, images, etc. and provides you with the information that you want from it. It is especially used as one of the primary office efficiency tools to decrease the amount of manual labor required to carry out certain tasks. The more advanced ones can also read videos and extract information from them.

Companies generally use OCR for invoicing and billing – to get documents together and extract info from them as and when necessary. All that’s required is for documents to be scanned and run through the software so the data from a collection of these documents can be compiled into an Excel, CSV, or any other format you’d like. These are generally printed documents that have computerized fonts – these can be taken care of using traditional OCR.

Compared to traditional OCR, There are also modern OCR software which are programmed to extract handwritten text from images. Continually learning artificial intelligence is important here because not all handwriting is the same. Block script handwriting is much more legible and much easier to read because the letters are clearly separated – if neat enough, even traditional OCR may pick it up. Cursive handwritings are more difficult to pick up (even for us humans) and that’s why they require the more advanced machine learning (ML)-backed recognition technology.

How to extract handwritten text from images

To extract handwritten text from image, the first thing you need to do is download the appropriate software and configure it so that it can be used for its rightful purpose. Make sure you avail of an OCR software that’s more modern than the most basic one, because it otherwise won’t be able to read handwriting.

All you have to do is take a clear photo of the writing (it can be on a piece of paper, on a wall as graffiti, a poster, a billboard, anything) and run it through your software. The software will then segment the text into different parts to ascertain what’s what – lines, words, individual characters including letters/alphabets and even punctuation marks. It then corrects any perceived spelling/grammatical errors and presents it to you in your requested form.

Conclusion

In today’s world, anything is possible. If you’re looking for a way to transform your written notes, documentation, diaries, or anything else into an online copy of the same, it’s become so easy to do so. OCR software today is backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Technology aims to make our lives easier in any way that it can, and this is just another of the same.

Ashutosh Saitwal
Ashutosh Saitwal
www.klearstack.com/

Ashutosh is the founder and director of the award winning KlearStack AI platform. You can catch him speaking at NASSCOM events around the world where he speaks and is an evangelist for RPA, AI, Machine Learning and Intelligent Document Processing.