OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the electronic conversion of
scanned images of typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text.
You can find hundreds of uses for OCR. I like it for converting typed
text in old genealogy books into machine readable text. I also scan all
sorts of bills and receipts for income tax purposes. However, OCR is
expensive and not terribly reliable. OCR programs can cost hundreds of
dollars for the more accurate ones. Traditionally, you had to use a
scanner (which also might be expensive) to create an image of the paper
to be converted, then use (expensive) OCR software to convert that image
Now there is a better and cheaper way. That's "cheaper" as in FREE. You do need an Android smartphone or tablet computer, however.
To accomplish the OCR conversion, you need to take a picture of the text to be converted, using your Android smartphone's or tablet computer's camera. Once stored in the camera or tablet, use the Google Drive app for Android to copy the image to Google Drive where Google's heavy-duty (and expensive) servers will perform the OCR conversion for you at no cost.
First, make sure you have installed the latest version of the Drive App for Android as OCR conversion was only recently added. The app is available at no charge from the Google Play Store. Once installed, simply click “Scan” from the Add New menu, snap a photo of your document, and Drive will turn the document into a PDF that’s stored for safekeeping. And because Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, a simple search will retrieve the scanned document later.
That's it! The PDF document can be left in Google Drive or copied to anyplace else you wish.