W O R D C O U N T ? A N Y C O U N T !
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Let’s imagine that you are a freelance translator and your customer asked you to translate a contract. You eagerly agree and get…a scanned copy of the document. That’s cool if you have previously agreed that for scan jobs you are paid on a per hour basis. But what if not? What if your customer demands job to be done on a per word basis? And even worse…requests you to send a quote immediately?

Well, if there is a wish, there is a will. Let’s get a free OCR tool and fight the problem.

1. After googling for free OCR tools I chose a SimpleOCR. It is absolutely free for typed text and can be downloaded here (straight link to EXE file).

2. Double click the file and proceed with the installation, until you see the this.

choosing simple ocr free mode
choosing simple orc free mode

3. Click “Machine print” to access the free feature (see screenshot above).

4. Click “Select” to proceed to ther OCR features.

how to proceed for OCR
how to proceed for OCR

5. Click Process button to load the image.

how to load the files into SimpleOCR
how to load the files into SimpleOCR

Note: this is a sample screenshot made from a scan.

test english screenshot for OCR
test english screenshot for OCR

.

6. Click “Convert to the text” button to start the OCR.

coverting image to the text
coverting image to the text

7. Edit the garbled and unrecognized words, to get a more accurate word count (the more spaces you have, the more “words” you are likely to get in the statistics later).

using suggestion tool to fix the document
using suggestion tool to fix the document

8. Export the result into a DOC file.

saving the ocred text as a doc
saving the ocred text as a doc

9. After you open the saved DOC you will see a surprise… There is an image file in the doc and the text is duplicated (i.e. originally OCRed and edited one). Delete the duplicate text and the picture.

deleting unnecessary data to get the correctstatistics
deleting unnecessary data to get the correctstatistics

10. Get some statistics using the MS Word built-in tool.

ms word stats after the ocr
ms word stats after the ocr

If it seems a bit complicated or time-consuming process to you, you can submit your file to a free online OCR at http://www.free-ocr.com/ (OCR available only for English, German, French, Italian, Dutch or Spanish). Again, before using anything free and web-based think twice of the privacy.

Of course this just a temporary and quick one-time solution. If you need a quick and extensive word count (or any other statistics, like character and line count), it is better to use a professional word count software (accuracy means budget here). Moreover the commercial word count tool will provide you with accurate word count statistics even for Cyrillic and Scandinavian languages, which is far more than 6 or 7 offered by free OCR tools.

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