Next Generation OCR Now Available in TextGrabber 2 for only $2.99 US

Has anyone tried this? I just downloaded and installed it last night on my Android cell phone and am learning how to use it. I’d love to hear from a more experienced user.

If the advertisements are correct, TextGrabber may be a new revolution in OCR (Optical Character Recognition). I can see this having lots of uses in genealogy as well as for dozens of other purposes as well. Quoting from the ads:

“Translate recognized text into 100+ languages in a snap.”

“Today we proudly present our completely new TextGrabber Android. You’ll be amazed. Like its iOS sibling released in June, the Android version can now recognize texts on the fly thanks to our cool new technology, Real-Time Recognition!

“RTR technology can recognize any text you see on the screen of your camera—you don’t even need to take a picture or crop excess background. Just start your phone camera, point it to any small text fragment, and RTR will immediately recognize it and show you the result. You can use captured text right away. If it’s a phone number, you can dial it; if it’s somebody’s email, you can send them a message; if it’s an address, you can get route directions to that address.”


“RTR can handle texts on any surface: product labels, electricity meters, computer screens, passports, payment orders, you name it. Unique feature: the app can read texts in more than 60 languages even if you’re offline.”

Here is an image of the table of contents of a genealogy journal that happened to be on my desk tonight:

Here is the unedited interpreted text created by TextGrabber 2:

The Maine Genealogist
Journal of the Maine Genealogical Society
Vol. 39, No. 4
Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, FGSP

Obviously, it had problem with the word “November” but everything else seemed to be interpreted properly.

Most of the better OCR programs for Windows or Macintosh cost $100 or more. While TextGrabber 2 can only handle one page at a time, the price of $2.99 strikes me as a bargain.

NOTE: This was my first-ever attempt at using TextGrabber. Like most other OCR products, I suspect I can make it more accurate as I gain more experience with the software.

This is obviously an updated version of the original TextGrabber application that has been available for a few years but TextGrabber 2 claims to have many new features. TextGrabber 2 from ABBYY costs $2.99. Not bad for an OCR product!

Is this too good to be true? Or does it really work? For only $2.99, I think it is worth investigating. TextGrabber from ABBYY is available for iPhones and iPads in the Apple App Store and for Android devices in the Google Play Store.

Here is a video that describes the use of TextGrabber:


In the Play Store, there was only Textgrabber, with 2,871 downloads for $2.99. Textgrabber 2 was not there.


You may want to be careful using this app. The headquarters for the company is in Moscow, Russia. I saw where they are considered leaders in word recognition software, but Kaspersky was a leader in virus prevention and removal.


    ABBYY was founded in 1989 by David Yang (who is from Armenia. His mother is Armenian, his father is Chinese. However, David Yang did attend a Russian university). ABBYY has 4 headquarters: North America (Milpitas, California), Western Europe (Munich), Eastern Europe (Kiev) and in Russia (Moscow).


Is there any OCR that does handwriting? Especially 18thand 19th C. handwriting?



I’m looking at the iPad app. It says “Full-text translation into 100 languages (separate in-app purchase).” It doesn’t say what the separate app is. Do you know if translations can only be done with the separate app?


    Linda, I think this means that after you purchase the original app you can make purchases of other languages from within the app.


Is the engine within the local device or somewhere out there via WiFi and the Internet?


    It is in the Internet. Today’s handheld cell phones and tablet computers do not have enough processing power to do a really good job of OCR. By offloading that work to powerful servers in the cloud, it becomes easy to use the low-powered mobile computers to be the “front end” of very sophisticated applications.

    Liked by 1 person

So, I second Billie’s comment above about Moscow. And the work is not within a user’s private workshop.


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