Staying in the loop with the newest technology revelations is more important today than ever before, simply due to the supply of tech gadgets, apps and devices that are being revealed daily. Think about it for a second, how many updates on your phone apps do you run weekly without really reading what’s being changed? Knowing what’s behind the scenes means being in the loop, staying ahead of the curve. More importantly, knowing which changes will affect you as an individual, and your business as a whole depending on how heavily you rely on technology in your workplace.
Almost 10 years ago, the technology market has slowly started creating a new segment – the mobile app market. But firstly, what are mobile apps? Google defines them as: A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Mobile applications frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs.
Since technology has advanced far enough to have a mini-computer without a single button or keyboard, it is safe to say that working on those flatscreen devices are the next best thing after working behind a desk and a regular laptop or desktop computer. In fact, often times you can finish your work on your phone or tablet much faster than you would on your computer.
With the development of new programs, mobile apps and other pieces of software, new file formats came as well. Soon enough, we started seeing issues with editing and reusing these files because they could be edited in so few ways. However, where’s a problem, there’s a solution as well. Given that formats can be manipulated and managed, technology has found a way to work around the bulky and uncooperative formats such as PDF, HPGL, TIFF, JBIG2 and others. Enter file conversion software: desktop programs and mobile applications that help their user convert a file from one format to a different one. At first, there have been many mishits with file conversion, and after a few years of working on their product several companies have developed very decent conversion software and engines. Nonetheless, the company that has recently made the biggest leap yet, and introduced one of by far the strongest OCR converters is surely Cometdocs.
Some time ago, Cometdocs released Image to Word, but at first it wasn’t such a hit due to high competition. At that time there were surely better converters than this one, however that hasn’t stopped their developers from working on this OCR app. After another few months and 2 major patches, Cometdocs released the third version of this app mid-June 2016, and they did a hell of a job. By licensing the industry-leading OCR engine as well as introducing several new features to the app, and completely switching to a new and more user friendly interface, Cometdocs has raised the bar fairly high with Image to Word.
Image to Word: How to edit a screenshot
With Image to Word you can convert files in two ways: by choosing a file from your library, or taking a photo with your camera and then selecting to convert it. However, the third option is you can simply snap whatever is on your screen at the moment, and import it to Image to Word.
If you click on Photos, you will see a list of folders which are located on your device, and from there you can select any image you want to convert. If you wish to convert a screenshot of your receipt, a chart or sheet you got in your mail, or a photo you previously made, this is the option you need to select. If you click on Camera, the app will open your rear camera, with which you can quickly snap a photo of your receipt or maybe a newspaper.
Open Photos and select the screenshot you want to convert. Once you’ve selected your file, the conversion will begin. The file being converted will appear on the main screen. You can also see all active and finished conversions on your main screen below the part where you choose between Camera and Photos. Those files are saved on your phone for future use, unless you choose to delete them by hand.
The converted file will be in .docx format, which is the main format for editing text files. Most of us are used to using MS Word, so for best results we suggest it as well. By clicking on your converted file, you will see a preview of the converted file and you can export it to the app where you wish to edit it by clicking on the Share button in the bottom left corner. You will be given a choice of suggested apps to use, as well as all previous editing apps you used. Aside from MS Word, you can also give a shot to its alternatives, Libreoffice and Quick Office.
If you are having trouble using the app, you can always rely on the guide for better results for a few quick tips, which can be found in the Options drop down menu. This guide will take you through the app and show you the correct way to snap a photo of your files, or how to make a screenshot suited for conversion. Basically, one of the main things you need to count on is the lighting in the room where you are making the photo, as well as having it on a flat surface. That way the app can easily read all the contents of the document. Normally, having a good camera will make things easier for both you and the OCR engine will make a better output.
From there you can also rate the app, stop all conversions or contact customer support in case you have issues with using the app. Also, by clicking on Settings in that same menu, you can allow and deny Image to Word access to certain parts of your iPhone/iPad, such as the Photos and Camera, as well as managing the pop up notifications you get from Image to Word.
Pros and cons:
Just like any other app, Image to Word has its strong sides and some weak ones as well. Here are just some of the more notable features this app offers:
- Outstanding conversion quality
- Top of the line OCR engine which reads both photos and screenshots
- Easy access to files as well as sharing them after conversion
- Optimized output format (.docx) which makes files easily editable afterwards
- The new UI is very user friendly
- The app is very battery friendly, which means it can run while not turned on
However, Image to Word also has some flaws:
- It takes about an hour to have the file converted with the free version
- Conversion time can vary depending on how busy the servers are
Image to Word implementation?
First thing that often comes to mind is “where can I apply this app” or “to what use can I put it?” and Image to Word has that covered as well. Aside from being vital in several industries, image conversion can be applied to some mundane things such as:
- Scanning notes for college students
- Managing bills, receipts, bank statements, taxes and tickets
- Writings and drawings – from brainstorming to making it the real deal
- Making your own cookbook with IMG to Word-convert scanned recipes
- Editing paperwork and contracts
- Preparing lessons for teachers and educators
- Reducing paperwork for lawyers and litigators
- Switching to an eco-friendly and paperless environment
- Revising images and documents for auditors
How does it fare against competition?
Although there aren’t many similar mobile apps, Image to Word has its competitors, the main ones being Text Fairy (OCR Text Scanner) and Mobile OCR. The first thing that stands out is the frequency of the updates and patches. Image to Word gets updated on a monthly basis, one of its last updates being the localization of the app to several countries. So far, Image to Word has been translated to French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesian with several other translations being planned for the future. Aside from frequent updates, hotfixes and patches, Image to Word offers better OCR than its competitors since they haven’t been refreshed with the new OCR technology in a while.
Where can I download Image to Word?
This app is available on both iPhone and iPad, however if you are an Android user Image to Word is available on the Google Play store as well. Feel free to download it and let us know what you think! We encourage you to rate the app, and share your experience both good and the bad so that future users and testers can hear and learn from your involvement.