Monday, June 23, 2014

Built in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in Google Docs

Ever had to retype a page of text? It's a long process that nobody really likes to do — except Google!

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) lets you convert images/PDFs with text into text documents. All you need to do is scan, upload and Google will convert your document.

So let's look at the steps:
  1. Scan your document. You can use a regular scanner, photocopier/scanner or numerous apps for your mobile device to scan your document.
  2. Upload the file. Currently, to take advantage of OCR, you must do this through your desktop browser.
  3. Ensure Convert text from PDF is selected in the settings:

  4. Start the upload

Once conversion is completed, Google will create a document for you that contains an image of each page followed by the text it converted for that page. This provides an easy way to check Google's work and make any corrections. You can see 2 samples here.

For more information see: About Optical Character Recognition in Google Drive.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Multiple Individuals Working on the Same File at the Same Time

As a document stored in Google Drive (i.e. the cloud), you never have to download or email a file — you just connect to it through your browser and start working. However, working with Google Apps is more than just cloud storage — it's about collaboration on a whole new level.

Collaborators can access the same document at the same time. You see other people's changes happen on your screen while you're making your own. In fact, you can have up to 50 people making changes on the document at the same time! For students, this means group work can be easily accomplished anywhere there's an internet connection - on a desktop or mobile device.

Faculty and administration can also take advantage of the collaboration features of Google Apps. With individuals working different hours and different locations (both on and off campus) the ability to work on a single document instead of trying to remember where the most recent version is stored, is invaluable.

What ways can you think of to take advantage of this exciting feature?

Originally published on Tips for Google Apps.