You have a scanner when you have your iPhone. Launch the Camera app on iPhone, take a picture of any thing you like, business cards, magazines, documents, books, receipts, whiteboards, paper notes, articles, then convert them into PDF and send to anyone you like to share with. All these can be done very easily on iPhone using a scanner app. Check out this tutorial to convert photos, pictures to PDF on iPhone. Or even easier, you can simply point and shoot, then the files will be saved as PDF doc directly without any conversion process. See details from this guide to scan paper documents to PDF using an iPhone. Today, we will introduce another very very useful feature of this scanner app, the OCR (Optical Character Reader) which extract text from scanner PDF and image files. For example, if you scanned a business card using your mobile phone, you can use the OCR utility to extract phone numbers, email address, and other information from the scanned business card. Sounds interesting? Check out details below.
Convert PDF and pictures to text on iPhone
Get the scanner app here if not yet. Then follow below instructions to scan paper documents to text documents or convert images to text on iPhone.
Run the scanner app on iPhone, tap the Add (+) button at the bottom right corner to open the capture screen. You can directly scan a document to iPhone. In this demo, we will show you how to convert an existing photo to text on iPhone instead. So tap the Picture icon from the bottom toolbar to select and import a photo, picture or any image file saved in your Camera Roll. Once an image file added to the scanner app, tap the Menu button (three dots) at the top right corner, you will see a pop-up menu at the screen bottom like this.
Select Recognize Text (OCR) to perform OCR, then this scanner app for iPhone will convert image to text or extract text from the image instantly. Once the converting completes, the text tab displays on your iPhone screen. Touch the Copy All button to copy the text extracted from the image, and paste it to anywhere you like, your note, email, text messages, conversations via a chat app, etc.
More OCR alternatives
Scanner Pro is not a free app. If you don’t want to spend some dollars on this, you can choose other OCR apps, Adobe Scan is a great one. We have discussed how this free app can help iPhone users extract text from images, screenshots on iPhone here.
Update Mar 2021: this post was originally published in Nov 2017 and has since been updated. in this update, Adobe Scan was added.