TimeSnapper 2.3: Extract Text Using Optical Character Recognition
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TimeSnapper 2.3: Extract Text Using Optical Character Recognition

TimeSnapper 2.3 includes Optical Character Recognitiion

After much effort, we've now released the next incarnation of TimeSnapper -- version 2.3.

(Wondering what TimeSnapper is? Overview here)

The killer feature this time around is Optical Character Recognition. You can now select text straight out of the images you capture.

We've been keen to include this feature since day 1, and finally it's in!

Here's some pictures of it in action...

While viewing a screenshot taken by TimeSnapper -- right click and choose "Extract Text..."

right click and choose "Extract Text..."

The image is quickly analyzed for text. Highlight the words you're interested in...

Highlight the words you are interested in

Press view text... and the extracted words are shown in a "Notepad-like" window.

the extracted words are shown in a "Notepad-like" window

(Or press Copy text to move the text onto the clipboard).

For example, here's the text I extracted in the screenshots above:

Now we're really getting close to one of our original goals:

Never Lose Your Work Again

This feature is already getting a serious workout on my home computer. So many of the programs we use every day do not have any kind of auto-save feature. The Text Extractor in TimeSnapper completely overcomes that problem!

No more slaving over an email for an hour, only to close the browser and lose your work. There's no excuse now.

But also -- we should add that OCR technology is not magic. It doesn't get every letter right, and it can get confused by background images, and other 'artefacts' in the image. If the image you've captured is low fidelity (e.g. jpeg or gif) you're also going to get a lower quality OCR experience. Personally I use png at 100% quality, and I'm happy with the results.

And the credit goes to...

The OCR functionality relies on Microsoft Office Document Imaging -- which is installed with Office 2003 and Office 2007. They in turn licensed their OCR capabilities from TextBridge. So 'Extract Text...' will only work if you've got Office 2003 or Office 2007.

We probably would never have known that these features were available if it weren't for Martin Welker's excellent code project article "OCR with Microsoft® Office".

And also, Jon Galloway has been evangelising TimeSnapper, and writing about OCR -- so he gets an honourable mention.

The Unstoppable Feedback Machine That Never Sleeps

Another very helpful factor with this release was the incredible stream of feedback from Adam Cogan. (Adam's a Microsoft Regional director in Australia, and he runs Superior Software for Windows). Adam is a FEEDBACK MACHINE! Nights, weekends, early mornings, emails, IM, phone calls... he's relentless.. unstoppable... i'm just glad he harnesses his energy for good instead of evil.

As a result of his feedback there are numerous improvements to usability, consistency, attention to detail, quality. We haven't yet done everything he's asked for (we're only human) but we're a good part of the way there.

Also, we get a steady stream of emails from people using TimeSnapper who either give us suggestions or make us aware of bugs. In addition to the forum, we're pretty well equipped when it comes to feedback.

But More Feedback is still needed

But of course we still want more feedback. Does the text extraction work for you? Do you need something more from it? Anything that confuses, annoys or delights you with TimeSnapper?

Keep us informed!





'Haacked' on Sat, 24 Feb 2007 04:22:43 GMT, sez:

That is pretty hot!



'Jon Galloway' on Sat, 24 Feb 2007 05:23:20 GMT, sez:

Excellent! It's very difficult for an American to get an honourable mention - we're usually stuck with honorable mention, which is pretty boring. I'll gladly accept it.

My next bit of advice is that you need a mascot with a big clock medallion. I believe Flavor Flave is between jobs at the moment and may be available, but if not I'd humbly submit myself for your consideration.



'Matthew Martin' on Sat, 24 Feb 2007 15:20:18 GMT, sez:

Just finished installing the update. That is pure magic!



'NewUser' on Sat, 12 May 2007 07:42:27 GMT, sez:

Looks good. But I need to be able to export the flags - to txt, html etc. Do this and I'll register.



'lb' on Sat, 12 May 2007 10:09:04 GMT, sez:

Hi 'NewUser' -- we hear you loud and clear.

Version 2.4 is coming very soon. This was scheduled as a 'maybe' feature -- but now we'll ramp it up and see if we can shoehorn it in there. ;-)

Feedback! Damn we love feedback! Bring it on! BRING IT!

You won't necessarily get a lot of versatility with how you export flags though. You won't be able to like specify an xml schema to comply with and a port number with a monthly schedule to cause uploads, or anything like that. We'll see what we can do though.

Email support at timesnapper dot com to chat in person!

lb



'name goes here' on Sun, 18 May 2008 00:58:14 GMT, sez:

This is good however I would be interested in something faster, ways to make the program convert faster would be with user specifictext sections of the screen (perhaps a drag square on a priview screen or something), or a dynamic system where text is converted nonstop while recording, althogh that way may not be the most optimal



'Sourav Mohanty' on Sun, 22 Mar 2009 03:02:27 GMT, sez:

Thnks for the info , me needed some kind of above solution.
Thnks again.

Cheers,
Sourav Mohanty



'Yoga' on Wed, 14 Sep 2011 11:37:41 GMT, sez:

This tool also use for running letters ah?.. But You have any running letter extractor means please send with my mail id....



'Yoga' on Wed, 14 Sep 2011 11:39:41 GMT, sez:

MY mail id id.. yoga.sp198@gmail.com



'sam' on Wed, 15 Feb 2012 08:57:10 GMT, sez:

hi sir!
i am looking for source code of TEXT EXTRACTION FROM NATURAL SCENE IMAGE USING DOT NET, IF U HAVE IT PLEASE FORWARD TO
san084@rediffmail.com



'sumit' on Wed, 15 Feb 2012 08:58:25 GMT, sez:

hi sir!
i am looking for source code of TEXT EXTRACTION FROM NATURAL SCENE IMAGE USING DOT NET, IF U HAVE IT PLEASE FORWARD TO
sumitbasu101@gmail.com




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I'm the co-author of TimeSnapper, a life analysis system that stores and plays-back your computer use. It makes timesheet recording a breeze, helps you recover lost work and shows you how to sharpen your act.

 

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