How to Use Google Keep OCR on Image or PDF and Its Alternatives

Connie Wisley
time November 13, 2020 Preview 3.8K
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Google Keep is an online note-taking program, resembling to Microsoft OneNote in many aspects. It is available on Web, on Android and iOS. While, Google Keep OCR, similar as OneNote OCR is offered to extract text from an image file, so users can directly create or take notes from the image texts.

In this post, we will introduce how to use Google Keep OCR on image or PDF files, also share with you the best alternatives to Google Keep OCR when it is not working or fail to output accurate OCR results.


Google Keep OCR Basics

Before using Google Keep to OCR image or PDF files on your device, here are some basic things you should know about Google Keep OCR, to check if this service can well meet your requirements.

Google Keep OCR Input Support

  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • WEBP

As you can see, Google Keep OCR support 5 image formats only. If you need to OCR images in other formats with Google Keep, convert them to above supported image formats first, then upload for text grabbing.

Google Keep OCR Output

  • Grab text and display in Google Keep Note
  • Copy to Google Docs

Google Keep OCR cannot allow users to export the image text to Text or other formats, you can only extract the text from image, then copy & paste to a Google Keep note or to Google Docs.

File Size and Pixel Limits

Google Keep allows uploading files less than 10MB and 25 megapixels. Before uploading for OCR, check if your files are up to the requirement, if not, please compress or adjust.

Can Google Keep OCR Convert Handwriting to Text?

Yes, it can OCR handwritten text, but the result depends on how complicate and clear your uploaded image is, the simpler and clearer, the result will be more accurate.

handwritten google keep ocr

How to Use Google Keep OCR PDF?

Google Keep doesn’t support PDF files, to Google Keep OCR PDF files, you will have to save PDF as image formats (GIF/JPEG/JPG/PNG/WEBP). And it is not a difficult task to save images as PDF format, since most of image viewers add Export as PDF feature.

How to Use Google Keep OCR on Mac/Windows/Android/iOS?

Google Keep can work on mobile devices and personal computers, the steps to use Google Keep OCR on Mac/Windows are quite similar to that on Android/iPhone.

How to Use Google Keep OCR on Mac/Windows?

There is no Mac or Windows desktop version, but you can utilize this service online free by logging into your Google account.

  1. Login into your Google account;
  2. Go to Google Keep;google keep ocr desktop01
  3. Click “New note with image” to upload one or more image files;google keep ocr desktop02
  4. Once the images are uploaded, click the three dots icon and choose Grab image text to start Google Keep keep ocr desktop03
  5. After the OCR, the image texts will be showed as note, you can copy and paste to Google Docs or other document keep ocr desktop02

How to Use Google Keep OCR on Android/iPhone?

Google Keep app is available on Google Play and Apple AppStore, Android and iPhone users can download and install this app to their mobile device for Google Keep OCR.

  1. Download and install Google Keep OCR to your Android or iPhone;
  2. Run the app, tap the image icon to take a photo or upload an existing picture;google keep ocr mobile01
  3. Once the image is imported to Google Keep, tap on the three dots icon and choose Grab image text;google keep ocr mobile02
  4. Now Google Keep OCR has recognized the image text, edit or copy & paste as needed.

Google Keep OCR Not Working? Fix It!

1. Google Keep OCR Not Grabbing Image Text?

Sometimes, we upload an image, but the Grab image text option remains gray and inactivated, what to do?

google keep ocr not

All we need to do is redoing the OCR in Google Keep.

  1. Close the file first;redo google keep ocr01
  2. Then go to the image, click on the three dots icon>grab image text, restart Google Keep OCR.redo google keep ocr02

2. Google Keep OCR Result Not Accurate? Use Alternative Google Keep OCR Software.

Google Keep OCR does an excellent job on recognizing simple and clear image files, but if your images have complicate layout and formatting, or not that clear to read, Google Keep OCR results won't be accurate. To get accurate and well-formatted OCR results, you are recommended to find an alternative to Google Keep OCR.

Best Google Keep OCR Software Alternative for Mac

Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is a mac OCR software to recognize texts from both images and PDFs. It cannot turn image and scanned PDF to texts, but also export them as searchable PDF, editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages, ePub, HTML, Text and RTFD. Cisdem works on native PDF too, helping users to convert native PDF to 16 popular formats. User are also allowed to convert multiple files at the same time.

Main Features of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR

  • OCR image and PDF;
  • Export image & scanned PDF as searchable PDF, Word, Excel, PPT, ePub, etc.;
  • Support batch OCR;
  • Accurate and advanced OCR;
  • Convert native PDF to 16 formats (Word, PPT, Keynote, Pages, ePub, Image, etc.)
  • Create PDF from image, Word, PowerPoint, etc.;

How to Use Cisdem PDF Converter OCR?

  1. Download and install Cisdem PDF Converter OCR to your Mac;
     Free Download
  2. Add image or scanned PDF to the program; cisdem google keep ocr alternative01
  3. Tweak the OCR settings;
    For images, the OCR feature is turned ON by default; for PDFs, you need to turn on the OCR feature. Choose file language and select output according to your need. cisdem google keep ocr alternative02
  4. Click Convert to OCR files on Mac.

Best Google Keep OCR Software Alternative for Windows

Icecream PDF Converter Pro is the recommended Windows OCR program to replace Google Keep OCR. Though it supports OCR PDF only, with its creator feature, you can save images as PDF first, then add for OCR too. It enables Windows users to convert PDF to Word, image, WMF and HTML, also it allows users to customize the output files.

How to Use Icecream PDF Converter Pro?

  1. Download and install Icecream PDF Converter Pro to your Windows PC;
  2. Choose From PDF interface; icecrea google keep ocr alternative01
  3. Add PDF files to the program, choose output as Word or other supported formats; icecream google keep ocr alternative02
  4. Click the Convert button and USE OCR;icecream google keep ocr alternative 03 


Google Keep OCR is indeed a great tool to grab texts from images, the OCR accuracy is higher than most of the online free OCR tools. However, it has its limits on file size, input support and allows grabbing texts only. If you want more accurate OCR result and need to export your images as well-formatted format, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, you need a Google Keep OCR alternative, Cisdem and Icecream are worth a try.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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