In a previous post I went through the process of writing a shell
script for optical character recognition from the terminal or
console. While the post was educational enough in that one had to
learn bash scripting in the process, I have to admit that it was
not optimal especially for a production environment.
It only served to demonstrate the Unix
philosophy: that complex operations are done through small
utilities chained together, and this is the soul of being
productive on a Linux machine.
However, a reader contacted me with a simple question, which I
thought merited a response in a post. His query was: “Well, now
that we can do this on the terminal, does it mean that there is no
other application we can use for conducting OCR?”
Sure enough, there it is: a graphical application known as
In this post, I will be showing you how to use the gImageReader to
do your OCR operations.
The gImageReader is found in most Linux repositories, such that it
is a matter of running a command such as
sudo apt install -y gimagereader
on Debian/Ubuntu, or
On the other hand, if you are for the latest application, you can get
it from the GitHub repository.
You can download it from this site and manually install it.However,
this process of manually downloading source code and compiling it will
be covered in a future post.
After installation, the process of converting an image to a text
document is straightforward:
- Launch your
Start Menu and go to Graphics and you will find
the new gImageReader entry.
- Alternatively, just launch your Search Bar by pressing the Super
Key and type “gImageReader”.
- Press Enter to launch the application.
The application has a simple interface:
It contains a list box to hold a document queue for conversion.
TAB key will take you to the buttons for adding
individual files or folders.
Browse to any image you like and place it in the list.
Hit the Convert button to initiate the conversion process.
The smart thing with the gImageReader is that if you try to convert
a PDF document which is already accessible (meaning that its text is
searchable and not image), it will alert you of the fact. In other
words, gImageReader is optimised for converting inaccessible images
to text. If you would rather convert a PDF document to some other
form, you would be served well by employing another tool such as
pdftotext or the Calibre Ebook Converter.
gImageReader is a useful tool to possess in your productivity arsenal
if you work with lots of documents on Linux. It is fast and efficient
when it comes to handling documents. It is accessible with the Orca
I hope this post will be of help in your text-processing adventure.
Thank you for reading this post.