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Get scanner-like features for any camera with Prizmo 2

James Galbraith | May 2, 2013
For folks who want to digitize every paper note, receipt, or bill, a dedicated scanner--preferably one with a duplexing automatic document feeder--is a must. But if you aren't a hardcore paper-hater and you occasionally need to get the contents of printed material into your computer, you may not need a dedicated scanner that takes up precious desk space. Instead, you can use an app like Prizmo 2. With Prizmo you use your iPhone camera, point and shoot camera, or DSLR to capture images of documents, and then the software uses optical character recognition (OCR) to turn the scans into editable text. Prizmo also works with scanner that lacks OCR capabilities from companies like Brother, Canon, Xerox, Lexmark, Epson, and HP.

Prizmo has built-in translation tools for 39 languages, as well. I was able to take a photo of some fine print warranty information in French and translate it into English, Spanish, and Thai. The English translation worked well, but I'll have to trust Prizmo for the Spanish and Thai translations.

Prizmo requires OS X 10.7.5 or later and a Mac with a 64-bit processor. The software recognizes English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.

Bottom line

While scanning from your iPhone or camera can be more convenient than having a dedicated scanner plugged in and taking up space on your desk, the process does require more work on your end. If you only scan occasionally, then Prizmo 2 can help make that processing easier. Its OCR engine is pretty accurate and its included software tools make it easy to edit and improve the quality of the images after scanning for either text recognition or for photos. The software's onscreen text clipping feature is a handy bonus.

 

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