OCR using Smart Select on the Galaxy Note 4

In my last blog post I had to copy some text from some old photocopies I made years ago. Not wanting to retype the whole thing I wanted to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This is 2015, do we really have to copy by typing?

Google Drive is capable of doing this, but did not work for me. So I finally tried to do this with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Here is how:

  1. Take out the pen and you’ll get the circular menu for some pen features.
  2. Ignore that menu for now
  3. Take a picture of the page using the camera
  4. Open that picture
  5. Bring the pen tip close to the picture and double click the pen’s button
  6. You get that circular pen menu again from step 1 above
  7. Now pick Smart Select option
  8. Draw a rectangle on the text you want from the photo
  9. When you finish the rectangle, the image is captured, and half second later that image will get a “T” in top right corner.
  10. Click that “T” text icon.
  11. Now the text will be presented and a share symbol.
  12. Click the share symbol and pick someplace to send the text

Sounds like a lot of steps, but once done its pretty effortless.

I used Google Keep to share the captured text. That way I could open Keep on my desktop using Chrome Browser and access the text snippets I captured on the phone. Pretty awesome!

November 23, 2015: There is a report that the OCR portion of Smart Select related to photos is gone from Note 5. See http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-note-5/571790-smart-select-has-been-downgraded-3.html

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