Dropbox will Soon Scan Images for Text

Dropbox Optical Character Recognition will soon allow subscribers to scan for text in images, including JPEG and PNG files…

Web-based file hosting service Dropbox has announced it will build OCR or Optical Character Recognition technology into its platform:

“Dropbox Professional, Business Advanced, and Enterprise accounts will be automatically and securely scanned, letting you search for text found within them. The best part is that it’s active for every JPEG, static GIF, PNG, TIFF, or PDF you have in Dropbox, including files you’ve added in the past—not just the ones you add going forward.”

For those unfamiliar, OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a technology which can scan images for text. With the tool, people are able to conduct searches for various files that aren’t exclusively text.

Dropbox Optical Character Recognition Announced

The new Dropbox OCR will also scan PDF files for embedded text. It’s a big change which allows users to more easily located what they’re looking for.

Over 20 billion images and PDFs have already been uploaded to the service. Of those, between 10 and 20 percent are photos of documents. Meaning, there’s no traditional method for searching out text within them.

Dropbox explains it’s using machine learning to help power the tool. Meaning, it will improve its accuracy over time. It’s ideal for documents like architecture blueprints or screenshots of flight itineraries.

The service will roll out in the next few months, beginning with English language recognition.

Bill Boyles

Bill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.