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How to Convert an Image to Text in Google Docs

Google Docs offers a variety of features to improve productivity. However, it lacks a built-in optical character recognition (OCR) option. This can be frustrating when you need to extract text from a document within an image.

Fortunately, you can use Google Drive or third-party add-ons to accomplish this task. Let’s explore each approach to help you efficiently convert an image to text in Google Docs.

Convert an Image to Text in Google Docs Using Google Drive

Google Drive provides a convenient way to extract text from images. You might prefer this method to the available OCR apps since you won’t use any third-party apps.

When converting images to text in Google Drive, ensure the image is correctly oriented and not larger than 2 MB. Additionally, the text within the image should be at least 10 pixels high for optimal conversion results.

Here’s how you can convert image to text with Google Drive:

  1. Open Google Drive in your browser and sign in to your account.
  2. Click New in the top-left corner and select File upload.
    File Upload option in Google Docs

  3. Select the image you want to convert to text and click Open.
  4. Right-click the uploaded image, hover over Open with, and select Google Docs from the menu.
    Open with option in right-click context menu

  5. The image and the extracted text will open in a new Google Docs document.
    Google Docs document with extracted text

You can copy and paste the extracted text into your main Google Docs document. Alternatively, you can delete the image and work on this document only.

It’s essential to note that this built-in feature may not always yield optimal results. Google Drive’s image-to-text conversion lacks font recognition. The output text may also suffer from broken formatting, making it less than ideal for large documents that use various formatting.

Convert an Image to Text in Google Docs Using Img to Docs Add-on

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of uploading your image to Google Drive, you can use a third-party add-on called Img to Docs. A dedicated plugin also yields more accurate and polished results compared to Google Drive’s built-in OCR feature.

To use Img to Docs, you need to install it from the Google Workspace Marketplace first.

  1. Open a new document in Google Docs.
  2. Click Extensions in the top navigation bar, hover over Add-ons, and select Get add-ons.
    Get add-ons option in Google Docs

  3. Type Img to Docs – Image OCR in the search bar and press Enter.
    Typing Img to Docs - Image OCR in search field

  4. Click Install.
    Install button in Google Docs

  5. Click Continue to grant permission to start the installation.
    Continue option in Google Docs

  6. Once the installation is complete, close the Add-ons window.

Now, with the extension installed, all you need to do is drag and drop your image into the add-on and wait for OCR to do its magic.

  1. Click Extensions, hover over Img to Docs – Image OCR, and select Start.
    Start option in Google Docs

  2. The Img to Docs add-on will open in the right sidebar. Drag and drop the image into the add-on.
  3. The extracted text will appear in the text field. Click Insert to insert the extracted text into your document.
    Drag and drop option of Img to Docs - Image OCR

Alternatively, you can use the OCR Text Recognition add-on to extract text from PDFs, forms, or images. If none of the add-ons work out for you, you can use free online tools to convert images to text.

While most word processors have a built-in optical character recognition (OCR) feature, Google Docs does not yet offer this functionality. However, you can still extract text from an image in Google Docs using Google Drive or third-party add-ons.

By following these steps, you can avoid manually typing text from images and utilize Google Docs to its fullest potential.

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