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Search engine giant Google’s facility of Google Drive is widely accessed and entails in itself several features. One of the technologies by Google Drive viz. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) readily allows the users to allow scanned documents uploaded on to the cloud storage service so as to be edited, altered and indexed.

The latest buzz is that Google has extended the OCR capabilities within the Google Drive by adding on the support for 200 languages altogether. Google led emphasis on the fact that the prime motive behind expanding the OCR capabilities is that a huge portion of the information in the world is still stored in the physical forms viz. newspapers, books, journals and plenty of the other sources, besides digital format.

The concept of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) primarily converts a digital image comprising of text into the digital documents by using the computer algorithms. Herein, the images can be processed in the following formats:

  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .gif
  • PDF file format

Herein, the users can begin to start using the OCR capabilities in the Google Drive by uploading the scanned documents in the PDF or image format. Once this is done, they can right-click on the document in the Drive to open it with the Google docs.

Furthermore, after selecting the precise option, a document with the original image along with the extracted text opens up that can be easily edited. Search engine giant Google takes account of the fact that it is not mandatory for the users to specify the language of the document as the OCR in the Google Drive will automatically trace it.

The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability is readily available in the Google Drive for Android. The company has substantiated the fact that there are certain limitations of the OCR technology. The major drawback being the fact that this feature works at its best on the cleanly scanned and high-resolution documents. However, the company claims that it is still in the process of improvising the performance on the poor quality of scans and the intriguing text layout options. Besides the aforesaid drawbacks, the company also enlists that the OCR feature shall take a bit longer than the other uploads happening on the Drive.

Here is what the officials from the team had to say about the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability:

“To make this possible, engineering teams across Google pursued an approach to OCR focused on broad language coverage, with a goal of designing an architecture that could potentially work with all existing languages and writing systems. We do this in part by using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) to make sense of the input as a whole sequence, rather than first trying to break it apart into pieces. This is similar to how modern speech recognition systems recognize audio input.”

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