Sometimes it may be tedious to type all the matter from a non-searchable files. IndianScriptures is a great site to get any scriptures in both English and Sanskrit. Puranas are also available on WestBengal Dspace but only in English and that too in non-text searchable format. I found two methods to post answers from non-searchable documents.

1. Google Drive OCR (accurate and the best method):

In this method, upload the PDF (size must be below 10MB) to drive. Right Click on file - Open with Google docs.

enter image description here

In next tab, document will be opened in text searchable format. We can scan Devanagari with this method and accuracy is very good. No other OCR tools can scan Devanagari, even the paid software. Limitations of this method is, it will only allow upto 10MB file and if you have chunk of big file you need to split into a smaller file by using Splitting tools. PDFsam Basic can do this work for windows and you can use other tools for other platforms. Also, Google Drive OCR won't scan image files and you need to convert the image to PDF using ImagetoPdf converter tools.

2. Microsoft Onenote OCR :

This method can be used to scan Puranas from dspace. Accuracy of recognition is good but not great. This method cannot recognize Devanagari. To do this, take screenshot of text you want to scan using snipping tool (Windows)- copy and paste the image in Microsoft OneNote, which is part of Microsoft office. Right Click and use the option "copy text from Picture".

enter image description here

There are many free software to this. See these questions. Free OCR software that makes a PDF searchable (with searchable text at the right place) and Which tools can turn scanned paper documents into searchable text pdf on Mac?.

I personally use Google Drive OCR to answer questions from Shiva Purana (Indian Scriptures) which is not searchable. To copy small passages, i use OneNote OCR, though italicized must be edited. But you face no problems in Google Drive OCR.

  • 3
    good information Jul 22, 2016 at 10:23
  • 3
    Great job, thanks for sharing.
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:23
  • FYI: What is Free Software?, Definition.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jul 25, 2016 at 15:59
  • 1
    Very nice post , very useful and informative Oct 13, 2016 at 9:01
  • @The Destroyer Thanks! Also, if you have multiple docs, tesseract is very useful. The command woould be "tesseract veda.pdf veda.txt" When we run it is a batch file, we can convert multiple. I use this to extract text from photos :)
    – Rahul
    Apr 22, 2018 at 3:12
  • This doesn't work now due to changes in the Stack Exchange editor. Nov 1, 2018 at 0:01
  • @Sarvabhouma What do you mean by this doesn't work? These OCR tricks has nothing to do with Stack Exchange.
    – The Destroyer Mod
    Nov 1, 2018 at 4:25
  • There are changes to image editor yesterday. After new changes, we can not copy text from picture and post it directly to the editor. My reported bug got a status declined. Nov 1, 2018 at 5:40
  • @Sarvabhouma It works if you paste it as plain text. I tested now with Onenote 2016 on chrome. I will test again after few days as i'm out of town now.
    – The Destroyer Mod
    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:23


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