OCR or “Optical Character Recognition” is a technology that has been around for some time and allows you to scan a printed document and turn the picture of the text into real text. There are free OCR packages available and there are paid for packages. Some of these are incredibly good and are able to decipher page layout as well as the text eg newspaper columns. I have used OCR for many years on lots of different types of documents, particularly in connection with local and family history documents which can be quite challenging. One of the frustrations I have though is when I am in a school and want to grab the text from a printed document so I was very pleased to find a free web based OCR package that fulfils some of my needs.