Monthly Archives: January 2018

Using Google Drive for OCR

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is when a program looks at the image with text, recognises those shapes as in fact being text, and then leaves you with a document that is editable as text.  (or at least matches this text up against the orginal file making it keyword searchable.)

It used to be that if you needed to do this you needed to have an expensive specialized program.  These days, you can do this with your google drive and google docs.


For example,

here is a picture of a page in an old dictionary. You may have taken this picture with your phone.

The first thing we want to do is convert it to a pdf.  You can do this in a number of ways, but I do it by choosing to print the file, not to paper, but to a pdf. This looks like this on a Mac (see thet pdf pulldown in the lower left?)

Now I have a pdf.

Note that this page does not have columns.  This freebie method doesn’t handle columns well.  You could still do it, but you would want to slice the image up so that in each picture was just one column, and then put them back together in the final document.

Next you take your pdf, and load it to your google drive:

Select File upload.

browse to your file and select it.

When it is done uploading, select “recent” so the new files are at the top and easy to find.

Now right click  the pdf and choose Open with -> Google Docs.

When you open an image based pdf in google docs, it will automatically runs OCR, giving you a file that look like this:

and now you have an editable document.

Are you fully using echo360?

Lecture Recordings in lecture halls with echo360:

If you are teaching in a classroom that has SB Capture (Echo) installed, and you would like your course recorded, make sure you submit a request  as soon as possible. (You will need to log into your Stony Brook Google Account to access the form). Other classrooms are equipped with echo360 recording devices in them, please contact us to confirm if your classroom has echo360 installed! If you choose to publish recordings to Blackboard, you will need to add your recordings to your course. The option of live streaming to your enrolled students is also available for these facilities. For more information, visit:

Personal Capture is available if you are not teaching in a room that has Echo installed or you would prefer to record lectures from your personal computer, please know that you can install personal capture and request that recordings are published in Blackboard.  For more information , visit:

Student Engagement enhances the utility of echo360 captures in the cloud platform. Students can engage with content, peers and instructors using echo360’s ability to take notes, ask questions and place study or confusion markers as they watch the videos.

Every user has their own Library in echo360, where they can upload video and powerpoint content to the cloud to be shared to individual students, small groups, other instructors or their entire class. Login to get started.