Mobility

Pro tip: Transcribe text from images in Google Keep

Jack Wallen introduces you to a way to get on the go Optical Character Recognition (OCR) with Google Keep.

Google Keep is one of the best apps that few people really take advantage of. It is Google's answer to Evernote and it's really powerful. Keep works great on the desktop, on Android devices, and Chromebooks. This powerhouse app also holds a few secrets that few know about. One such feature is the ability to transcribe text from within images. It's not perfect, but if the text is clear, it's almost always spot on. With this transcribed text you can copy and paste it into whatever document (or note) you need.

The feature is built into Google Keep and is platform independent (so it works perfectly from the desktop, your Android phone or Chromebook). All you have to do is either install the Google Keep app (or Extension for Chrome or simply visit the Google Keep site while logged into your Google account) and you're ready to start transcribing text. How does this work? Let me show you (it's quite simple).

The first thing to do is open up Google Keep (on whatever platform you choose) and either locate the image to be transcribed or create a new image note by tapping the Image icon in the Add Note bar:

keepa.png
Adding a new image note is a single click away.
Image: Jack Wallen

Once you've found the image note you want (or added the new one), open the note and then click on the overflow menu (three vertical dots). From the popup menu, select Grab Image Text:

keepb.png
Grabbing text from an image in Keep.
Image: Jack Wallen

The text from the image should immediately appear in the note and you can click Done. Your note should now contain the entire text from the image:

keepc.png
The text has been grabbed and added to the note.
Image: Jack Wallen

At this point, you can edit the text (you have to have the note open to do so) or copy the text to be used elsewhere.

The nice thing about this feature is that it's universal across platforms. The same steps are used regardless if you're on a smartphone, a Chromebook, or desktop.

If you're looking for an easy way to get optical character recognition, and you happen to use Google Keep, you're in luck. Give this feature a try on your mobile device and see if it doesn't help more readily extend your office into the world of mobility.

Do you use Google Keep? If so, what's your prefered platform to make use of this handy note taking tool?

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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