Let me paint you a picture. Imagine holding a typed document in your hand which someone has given you.  Now imagine your frustration when you realise a part of it needs changing and you don’t have the original computer file in order to do that. What if there was a way of magically transferring that piece of paper into an editable Word document?

I had an inspirational moment yesterday when Neil popped in to see me to ask if we had any way of converting a scanned image of a document (essentially a Word printout that had been scanned in), into something that could be edited.

My initial reaction was to say no as we don’t have any OCR (optical character recognition), technology here but then it struck me.  Surely there must be a web site that can do it for me if I just send them the picture?  As it turns out there were lots and many of them are free.

I used a site called OCR Terminal and the results were incredible.  Not only did it read all the text correctly, it also put it in exactly the right place.  Even more incredible the original document had diagrams embedded into it and these were also transferred to the new editable document, in exactly the right place.  Neil was a very happy customer.

The site does require you to sign up but that is a small price to pay for 30 pages of conversion for free every day.