What do you do if:
1) You have a paper document and
2) You need to make changes on it
Making changes to a document on a computer is easy - simply create or edit the document in any word processing program.
But when the document is paper-based, that's another kettle of fish.
Basically you need to do two things:
1) Scan the document to get it into digital form. When you scan a document, you are basically just taking a picture of it. In the case of our document, this alone won't do the trick. Imagine taking a photograph of a document with your camera. You may get a nice crisp image, but can you change the wording? No, of course not. You need another tool to get that job done.
2) OCR software (optical character recognition) is a fancy term for a computer program that looks at the scanned document and figures out all the letters, converting them into actual text that you can then edit.
These programs often do a very good job, and the best ones make very few mistakes. The best ones cost money, however. There are some free alternatives though.
--ONLINE...there are many free sites on the internet that will allow you to upload your scanned document and convert it for free. One of the ones we use at the library is onlineocr.net
--APPS...do you have a smartphone, iPad, or Android tablet? There a a great many OCR apps you can download. After using the app to take a picture of your document, the app will then convert it into text for you. A free iPad app I tried recently had surprisingly good accuracy: Scanner with OCR is the name, made by SwissMadeApps.