Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff

My latest find – a great free scanner app

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OCR-A was a font developed to be easily recogn...

OCR-A was a font developed to be easily recognized by early Optical Character Recognition programs, as well as humans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ve probably heard me raving about our library. It really is great. However, over the years some of my material wasn’t checked in after I’d put it in the overnight drop box. That can be stressful because, the last time I looked, the library policy said the user must pay the replacement cost for disputed returns. And libraries pay a lot more for stuff than do regular folk.

It’s a questionable policy.

Fortunately most library employees can sense when you are telling the truth. Yes, I returned it..! And all of my reported returns eventually surfaced within the library. Sadly, however, some employees just don’t have those essential people skills. And running up against them makes you feel cold, cold, cold.

I’m a realist. I know the library is a busy place and to err is human. But still, if a movie-rental chain failed to check in materials three times (that’s how often it happened to me) and said I had to pay, I’d be tempted to notify the authorities that watch over shady business practices.

So being a realist, I’m using a free scanner app to “scan” (it doesn’t scan like conventional scanners) all the bar codes of material placed in the overnight box. This evening I put 6 items in. If they are all checked in Monday morning, that would be best. But if not, at least I have this as backup.

The iPad scanner used for this is CamScanner HD Pro. It apparently works with phones too. (I use an old phone so wouldn’t know for sure). After familiarizing myself with it today, I can say that it far surpasses other free portable scanner apps. This app not only saves to JPG, PDF or to a Cloud, but also has optical character recognition (OCR).

So, say you come across a great printed quote or passage that you ‘d like to blog later. With this app you

1 – take a picture

2 – crop and touch up the passage

3 – convert it to standard text

4 – and email it—all from a handheld device!

The app also has a standard version that works well. But the Pro version is now free. I suggest grabbing it while you can!

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Author: Michael Clark

I'm the administrator of Earthpages.org | Earthpages.ca with a Joint Honours B.A. in Psychology/Sociology at York and Trent U, an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Visva-Bharati, India, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at UOttawa.

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