Scan in some [hand]written Traditional Chinese

How to take a photo of some written Chinese and have it show up on the screen without, preferably, using any A Pee Pees? Recommendations for the best web based OCR tool basically. Thanks.


Google Translate.

Chinese to Chinese Traditional


Caveat: I make no claims; in fact I’m not even sure I know what you’re talking about. In the past, I tried an online OCR device for an image (or images) of English text (or a device that was downloadable–it was so long ago that I don’t remember exactly what kind of device it was), and the result was an unintentionally-humorous failure (ah, here’s a post with a quote of the failure).

But after an ordinary Google search, I just now found this device. I tested it with an image of a few Traditional Chinese characters screen-captured from a Google Translate page using IrfanView image software. (The text is a Chinese translation of a small part of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address–I didn’t use Google Translate for the translation–it had already been translated.)

For those few characters, it seems to have worked that one time. That’s all I can say.

Here’s an image of the results:

But again, I make no guarantees of any kind about this device, and that also means that I can’t guarantee that there’s nothing harmful about the device.

Anyway, I hope this helps, or at least does no harm.


Pleco’s “still image” OCR function is pretty good, assuming you have good lighting and you’re not trying to scan a book that has text too close to the center (warped image). It still gets similar characters wrong sometimes (估 vs 佔 was driving me nuts last week), but otherwise it gets most of the text right.

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It’s alright I’m not translating nuclear launch codes. Well not yet anyway, who knows what the future holds for me here.

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Thanks, you appear to love Pleco. Unfortunately my phone has what I am coining as ‘Android cancer’. The disk usage just keeps growing, I keep deleting apps, now there is not enough space to upgrade or do anything. Pleco is the last and only app I have left, I refuse to delete it because it is so useful. Perhaps it is the problem?

I hope I’m not the only person on here who loves Pleco. If you’re going to need one app for Chinese survival, Pleco would be the one. But I would imagine it takes up an enormous amount of space — it’s all offline, including the OCR. Maybe contact the Pleco people and ask? I know they’ve posted on Chinese Forums, but you might also get to them faster with an email

Anyone with some further recommendations for OCR on handwritten input? Many thanks.

I think that maybe Google Lens can sorta do that sometimes. :slight_smile: Or maybe it can do it regularly, but I don’t know.

For Chinese, that was a first-time thing for me. Earlier I tried handwritten English (a soldier writing a letter home), and it worked pretty well. Then I realized I’d read too hastily and misunderstood your post, so I went looking for handwritten Chinese.

Some time ago I tried it on something that looked like Arabic, but the image was pretty indistinct, if I remember correctly.

But I’m guessing you want something that can do a lot of it at one time. I’m not sure about that. This is terra incognita for me.

I wish I could be of better assistance, but that’s all I’ve got. Hopefully, someone will come up with something better.

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Thanks, apologies I was unclear, reading it back. I’m actually surprised recognition of handwriting isn’t further along, technologically I mean.

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No apology necessary. Really I should apologize. I’m really afraid I’m wasting your time, because you have practical concerns.

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