Quick overview: The FreeOCR website (www.free-ocr.com) allows you to upload a scanned page from a worksheet, newspaper, or book and transform it into electronic “editable text” that you or your students can modify in a word processing program like Microsoft Word. No account sign-up necessary. Free!
How does it work? Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technique that computers employ to analyze scanned images and recognize printed text so that the text from the paper document can be modified in a word processor. Using the FreeOCR website is straightforward to use if you are already familiar how use your computer’s scanner.
Things to consider: While this little trick can potentially save you lots of time (i.e. – no need to retype an entire newspaper article you’d like to share or edit with your students) always make sure you have the rights to scan and modify the original printed materials. It’s also important to proofread the converted document to check for errors (spelling, scan errors, etc..) introduced in the OCR conversion process.