Procedures for Converting Images of Text to Actual Text

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) applications convert scanned or photographed images of typewritten/printed text (pdfs, jpgs, etc.) into machine-encoded/computer-readable text. These tools work best if your original image is crisp and clear.

Option 1: Upload File into bDrive

Pros: Private, convenient, and usually works on documents longer than one page.
Cons: Doesn't read fuzzy text as effectively and can take a really long time to process.

  1. Change your bDrive upload settings: open bDrive, click the gear icon and select "Upload settings...Convert text from uploaded pdf and image files"
  2. Upload the file: click the white arrow in the red box at the top left of your window next to "Create" and select "files"
  3. Browse to your file and select it. There may be a delay between when it says it has been completed and when the document appears in your bDrive list.
  4. A part of the original image file may appear at the top of the document. Scroll down to see the text. Some sections may take a really long time to load on longer and/or fuzzier documents.

Turn off the OCR option you turned on in step 1 if you would like to upload image text files to bDrive without converting them in the future.

Option 2: Use an on Online OCR Converter

Pros: Reads fuzzy text more effectively.
Cons: Can't be used for private information and will only work on one-page documents (it says max file size is 5 MB but it would not convert more than one page of a 1.5 MB pdf).

  1. If your document is more than one page long, open it in Adobe Acrobat and break it into separate single page files.
  2. Open a browser window and go to
  3. Follow the instructions to upload the file. Once the file has been loaded you will need to type in the Catpcha code before you click the "Convert" button.
  4. The text will appear below. You will need to copy and paste it into your new document.