Add OCR functionality
Add the ability to recognise text to enable the use of text tools, e.g. highlighter, in any pdf document.
Upon reviewing this forum, I have noticed this was marked as complete.
It is not complete, and I will be opening back up for further discussion
Drawboard PDF Product Manager
Hi, firstly love Drawboard PDF, I've used this as a professional tool for field markups of drawings & generating PDF comments that I can later extract into table data/MTO's etc.
OCR would be an excellent addition, but the complexity of OCR (most people take for advantage) is not so easy to implement within an app, especially not standalone.
That said, ABBYY (well known as the OCR guru's) have already developed an excellent cloud based OCR, they have also specfically tailored their OCR platform for CAD drawings (i.e Bluebeam Revu outsource their entire OCR functionality to ABBYY).
The downside of stand alone, or Proffessional OCR tools such as ABBYY, or Bluebeam is the cost (especially if you opt for the the bluebeam platform incorporating OCR which is almost the same cost as stand alone ABBYY ++$400 AUD extra & total cost at least 4x that of adobe pro).
However, If drawboard could outsource to a company such as ABBYY, then cloud based OCR (case by case), with enough users, could be cost effective without the making the platform to heavy to run on a tablet & without a huge price tag for the general user.
TBH, I'd be happy to pay much-much more for drawboard PDF if it did incorporate OCR.
I can't believe they still don't have OCR after all these years.
Ila Jehl commented
Please add OCR. I don't care about handwriting but searching documents and having text recognized in scanned documents is critical. If this is included and I am doing something incorrectly please let me know. If it is not going to be added then I will need another product.
Slightly Distracted commented
There are excellent open source engines which could be utilized for this and which are compact, lightweight, and every bit as effective as Acrobat Pro. These would not weigh the product down as the libraries would be called upon when needed.
So, it's NOT too much for Drawboard.
It would be a tremendous help to people to have a decent PDF app in the store that includes OCR and isn't exorbitantly expensive, like Acrobat Pro. The open source products require the user to install a Linux platform with WSL and navigate command-line operations--not something the average user is able to do.
Please move ahead with this. I, for one, can't wait to uninstall Acrobat Pro and be free of that ball and chain!!
Are you planning on adding handwriting recognition allowing the app to find handwritten notes using ctrl+f?
Please add OCR capability
ok how exactly i should use ocr here?
PDF docs are not made searchable automotically, unless I'm missing something
jason crews commented
Are you saying Drawboard has added the ability to OCR a document? If not have you added the ability to highlight, underline and strikethrough an image file?. I am on 4.3 and can't use these tools on most documents.
I am not talking about OCR of handwritten notes. I am talking about Drawboard being able to use tools like highlighting, strikethrough, underline, etc. on normal typed text.
This is only possible if OCR has been performed previously on a document.
Otherwise you just have a large image of typed text that you can do nothing with, except ink over.
I will re-iterate that it would suffice just for the tools to be able to recognise where lines of text are in the image, i.e. optical 'line' recognition.
I really don't see how this is out of Drawboard's remit. If it is, they may as well scrap text tools.
OCR is definitely overkill for drawboard. Everyone interested should use dedicated software for that. But I guess it might be nice for some people to have their handwritten annotations converted into text. I think Microsoft already provides tools in their SDK for that, so this might be an option for the developer.
Without OCR, half of Drawboard's functionality is unusable. You have to either hope OCR has been performed previously on the PDF you wish to annotate or, as you say, use another program.
I don't see how it makes sense for Drawboard to be reliant on other PDF programs to enable half of its functionality. Nor do I want a variety of programs to perform these individual tasks.
I don't see how including OCR will cause stability issues for an atom processor either. OCR isn't permanently active, you run it once to ID text. I didn't suggest that this is done automatically. You could just have an option to run it when needed like in Adobe Pro.
Regarding accuracy, I am not too bothered about that either. I just want Drawboard to be able recognise lines of text so that it can apply its text annotation tools.
I agree with Fusbaldo. Drawboard should focus on reading and annotating PDFs, there are other apps which provide OCR.
Furthermore OCR never really works flawlessly. Even very sophisticated software like FineReader does not get the job done very well.
So even in 21th century OCR implementation is not easy to accomplish and should be conducted by software specialised on it.
I think this would be a little too much for Drawboard. I don't want the program to turn into a fully fledged PDF suite that won't run smoothly on my atom processor atom. There are other programs for OCR (e.g. the free PDF X-Change Viewer) and I'm fine using them in the rare occasions that something hasn't been OCR'ed yet.