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OCR for handwriting?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I've a number of jpegs of handwritten letters (1980s) and would like to transcribe them to more easily readable text, and wonder if there's an automated way I can convert the handwriting? If necessary, I assume I could get the jpegs converted to some form of PDF.
    I've had a go with the old OCR software (bundled with my Epson scanner) on my desktop - scanning a handwritten postcard, but it doesn't attempt to read anything handwritten. (It's excellent with the typewritten stuff.)

    Can anyone recommend a web based service ? - some users said all they got back was in Arabic...

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit doubtful unless you have a very clear and consistent hand. I suppose the days have long gone where you could find a copy typist to accurately and quickly transcribe them.
  3. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    Do you have voice recognition?

    I had a similar issue a while back and found it easier, in the end, to simply read the document to the voice recognition.


    PS I also embedded .jpg of the original document into the resulting word document so that other family members, should they so wish, could check the accuracy of my reading.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I don't have voice recognition at home, and I never even thought of Voice Recognition for my application, and yet now you mention it, I remember taking one of the guys at work to a demo of Dragon(?) Software which did just that - and in a Win95 environment! Thanks for the suggestion.
  5. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    Yes it's Dragon Naturally Speaking (I bought a copy in Asia a while back, it's very expensive!!!).

    However I believe that voice recognition has been part of Windows since Win7 (maybe earlier) so you may actually have it. I've never used the Windows offering.

  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The windows set up seems straightforward just search the computer for "speech recognition" and off you go with a training wizard. Looking at the microsoft help page the only thing I couldn't see was how to stop it once you started.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    When I got two diaries from my brother which had belonged to my dad - for 1944 and 1945, they were so small and his writing so small, it was an effort to read one page.
    What I did was photocopy it on enlarge to A4, then kept that for my own records after I donated them and other stuff to the Museum of Scotland.

    Now I transcribe quite a few pages into a digital record, but it's slow going. This was many years ago and the best I could do at the time.
    I wish you luck getting something which can read them and get them onto your computer. You have reminded me of his letters home at Christmas and birthdays. Must photograph them too!
  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    There is effective OCR for handwriting but the systems I've worked with tend to be slow even on blades. I've not come across anything that's practical on a desk computer or laptop but I've been away from it for 6 - 7 years; a lot can change in that time so there may be better tools now.

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