3 Best OCR Apps for Extracting Text from Images on Android

Last week my wife got an assignment at her workplace that required her to work on scanned documents and then make a presentation out of it. As the documents were scanned, she was having a tough time in rewriting everything again as points in the presentation slides. After a few hours of frustration, she came out to me for help and that’s when I thought of using OCR on her Android smartphone.

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OCR app on a phone can be useful at times | Shutterstock

I reviewed a few apps for her so that she can use them based upon her needs. While helping her, I thought that it would help our readers in Guiding Tech as well. We find ourself in such situations in offices quite often. So here are the top three apps you can use on Android for OCR that actually work.

1. Google Keep

If you are not aware, it’s true that Google Keep, one of the most minimalist and efficient note taking app can recognize the text in images. Well, it’s nothing new here. Google has been working on OCR technology from the days of Google Docs and they have carried over the feature to Google Keep.

Google Keep
Google Keep for Android | Shutterstock.com

So to use Keep as an OCR tool, all you need to do is import the document you need to perform OCR on and save it as a note. The image can be from the gallery or the camera, but just make sure that the photo is of good quality. Once the note is saved, open the three-dot menu and select the option, Grab image text.

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The note will then be searched for text and it might take some time for Keep to do an OCR. Once it’s finished, the text will be added to the note itself and you will be able to search through the text and even copy it or make a new document out of it in Google Docs by selecting the option from the three dotted menu.

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2. Text Fairy

Google Keep is useful if you work on OCR occasionally. But if you are looking for a robust app using which you can do OCR in bulk, you can give Text Fairy a try. The app magically transforms the image to text in no time. Once you take a photo or insert an image, it will enhance it first of all. You will be asked if you need two columns text or just a single column and finally the app will start recognizing.

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The OCR is fairly fast and needs just a few seconds to read an entire A4 sheet. The best thing about the app is that it gives the option to export the scanned text as PDF or copy to clipboard. Additionally, you can also activate text to speech and listen to the entire text.  The app supports many languages and it comes as a surprise to me that it’s free. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an OCR app for Android.

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3. CamScanner

CamScanner free version allows a user to create scanned copies of images and turn them into a PDF. Recently the app received an update and a plugin was pushed using which the app can do an OCR on your scanned documents and make them searchable.

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In the paid version of the app, you get the option to extract the recognized characters and import the text as a .txt file. The OCR is not as accurate as you would get in Google Keep and Text Fairy. However, it can be used to do OCR in a batch when you have multiple pages to go. You can import all of these docs as a PDF document using cam Scan and do an OCR.

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The paid app is available for $1.99. However, the best thing is that it’s not an in-app purchase and you buy it from the Play Store. So that means you can try the app for around 115 mins and if not satisfied, ask for a refund.


So these were some of the tools using which you can perform OCR on images and scanned documents and then extract the recognized texts as documents, PDF or text file. If you would like to add to the list and recommend an app you find useful for OCR, please do share it with us in our forum.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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