Use gImageReader on Linux to extract text from images and PDFs

Introduction: gImageReader is a GUI tool that can use the tesseract OCR engine to extract text from images and PDF files in Linux.

gImageReader Is the front end Tesseract open source OCR engine. Tesseract was originally developed by HP and then open sourced in 2006.

Basically, the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine allows you to scan text in pictures or documents (PDF). By default, it can detect multiple languages, and it also supports scanning through Unicode characters.

However, Tesseract itself is a command line tool without any GUI. Therefore, here, gImageReader can help any user to use it to extract text from images and files.

Let me focus on some of its content, and also mention my experience during the test.

gImageReader: Cross-platform front end for Tesseract OCR

For simplicity, gImageReader can easily extract text from PDF files or images containing any type of text.

It is needed for both spell checking and translation, and it should be useful for specific user groups.

To summarize the functions in the list, you can use the following methods:

  • Add PDF documents and images from disks, scanning devices, clipboards and screenshots
  • The ability to rotate the image
  • General image control can adjust brightness, contrast and resolution
  • Scan images directly through the app
  • Ability to process multiple images or files at once
  • Manual or automatic recognition of area definition
  • Recognized as plain text or Personality Documents
  • The editor displays the recognized text
  • Can spell check the extracted text
  • Convert/export from hOCR document to PDF document
  • Export the extracted text as a .txt file
  • Cross-platform (Windows)

Install gImageReader on Linux

notes: You need to explicitly install the Tesseract language pack to detect from the images/files in the software manager.

tesseract language pack

You can find gImageReader in the default repositories of some Linux distributions (such as Fedora and Debian).

For Ubuntu, you need to add a PPA before installing it. To do this, you need to enter the following in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sandromani/gimagereader
sudo apt update
sudo apt install gimagereader

You can also find it for openSUSE from its build service, and AUR will be the place for Arch Linux users.

All links to repositories and packages can be found in its links GitHub page.


Experience using gImageReader

gImageReader is a very useful tool that can extract text from images when needed. When you try to use PDF files, it works well.

In order to extract images from photos taken by smartphones, the detection is close, but a bit inaccurate. Maybe when you scan something, it might be better to recognize characters from the file.

Therefore, you must try it yourself to see how effective it is in your use case. I tried it on Linux Mint 20.1 (based on Ubuntu 20.04).

I just have a problem and cannot manage the language through settings, so I don’t have a quick solution. If you encounter this issue, you may need to troubleshoot it and learn more about how to resolve the issue.

gimagereader 1

Other than that, it works very well.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you! If you know something similar (better), please let me know in the comments below.

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