Convert printed documents into text and searchable pdf files
Pros & Cons:
Text Fairy is an excellent tool to recognize and retrieve text in a scanned image or printed document, and allows you to save the result into a pure text file with paragraphs well kept, or a searchable pdf with the original layout.
Scanning a text document with this app takes a few steps but it is easy and straightforward.
- Snap a document with your device camera or use an existing image from your gallery;
- Crop an area containing the text you need;
- Select either a single or multiple text columns to start scanning.
When that went well, you can then share text, copy to clipboard, or let the app read out the text for you. You can also create a searchable pdf file with this app and keep the same layout as in the original document.
After every scan, a thumbnail is added to a workspace. Tap a thumbnail and you can conveniently edit any text that was scanned inaccurately before you share it via a 3-dot menu at the top right.
You can also touch and hold a thumbnail to rename a scanned document, or continue to tap others to merge with it.
Text Fairy is free, open source and has no ads. It comes with optical character recognition (OCR) that works reasonably well on a clearly printed document. Besides recognizing English text, this app offers other languages on a separate download.
On the flip side, this app does not recognize handwritten notes and its OCR results can be poor on blurry images. It inputs only images rather than a scanned pdf. If you have a scanned pdf, convert it into images for this app to work.
Lastly, edited text in this app cannot be used as a term to search in a resultant pdf. It seems that text editing and pdf creation are regrettably not interrelated. Perhaps this can be improved in a future version.
Text Fairy was reviewed by Jojo Yee on