Google Docs Get OCR Support For 34 Different Languages

Google Docs has constantly been introducing new features since it originally launched back in 2006. The ultimate goal, some people argue, is to eliminate the monopoly of Microsoft Office. Today Google added another milestone by offering OCR support for 34 languages. OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a technology that takes any image, and scan it for language alphabets/characters hence converting it into a text document.

Before today, the OCR feature was only available for the English language but today Google added other languages to it including Russian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Korean, Italian,  Indonesian, Greek others. You can choose the desired language while uploading your document to Google Docs (make sure you check the Convert text from PDF box to see additional languages). Your images can be in individual jpg, gif or png files or be included in a PDF document. As always, higher resolution files give best results, Google actually recommends that each line of text be at least 10 pixels high. There is also a size  limitation  of 2 MB when uploading documents to be used for OCR.

Google claims they have also improved the OCR technology that they use to recognize characters and preserving font and alignment information. Your language not included yet? No worries, Google says they’ll keep adding more and more languages to this feature. Google Docs originally launched the OCR feature back in June 2010.

Remember, if you are looking for easier ways to use Google Docs, you can always use the awesome Chrome extension or search Google Docs right from within your Gmail.

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Tehseen Baweja

Tehseen likes to write about Internet tools that make life easier. Check out his blog at for more good stuff or follow him on Twitter @tehseenbaweja