OCR, or optical character recognition, is the process of converting images of text into editable and searchable digital text. I still remember the first time I used OCR in the nineties, when I got my first scanner. It was the coolest thing on earth, at a time before the democratization of the internet and when virtual encyclopedias like Encarta were not easily accessible.
This meant that me and my school mates often went to the library, digitized pages and pages of books to do our assignments instead of manually typing a copy of the book. I doubt that we learned much about history using this high-tech method back then, but the experience of converting text from paper into something digital was out of this world.
Fast forward to 2024, and OCR technology has improved by leaps and bounds. You don’t need a scanner or a separate software to use OCR anymore, you can do it with a simple tool that comes with Windows: the Snipping Tool.