Correct skewed images and apply OCR to document scans
The built-in Image Capture tool is fine for quick image-based scans, but if you want to extract text and other elements from scanned documents, you’ll need Prizmo. It works with a wide range of input sources, from your scanner or image file to iOS camera (over iCloud or USB) or even a captured portion of your desktop – particularly useful for translating text from one of over 40 languages supported by the program.
Once your image is imported, Prizmo has two modes: Prepare and Recognize. Prepare is where you crop your image, with a handy curvature tool for correcting warped objects like the pages of a book. You can also perform basic image corrections, such as colour balance and lighting. It works well, although the curvature tool is fiddly; changes are only shown after you’ve applied them, which can make for a frustrating experience.
In Recognize mode, Prizmo quickly carves up the text and images into individual elements and then attempts to generate editable text from them. The results depend on your original scan’s resolution, plus any corrections you’ve applied. If the quality’s good enough there’s little to be done, but you’ll find all the tools you need if more radical edits are required, from retyping text to adjusting selected objects and changing object types.
Version 3 is now Yosemite-only and takes full advantage of this fact; there’s a Yosemite-friendly redesign, support for Handoff (requires the £6.99 iOS app) and improvements to its Accessibility and VoiceOver features. It also introduces extensions to allow the image clean-up and OCR tools to be used in other compatible apps, plus slashes prices across the board. Nick Peers
Prizmo remains the go-to app for those who want to get more from their image and document scans.