You can now upload a pdf document or an image of text to Google Drive and thanks to Google’s OCR (optical character recognition) technology it can convert those images into EDITABLE and SEARCHABLE Google Docs. As we move our way toward 1:1 and completely online texts, this technology is going to become absolutely necessary. The ability to change an image of text into editable text is new, and it was really only in the newest versions of Adobe Acrobat. Basically this means you can take a picture of some text and do whatever you want with it. Very exciting stuff!
Someone I know (ahem) used to scan pages from his text book and turn them into editable pdfs for students to use online to find information without spending time skimming through the text. But he couldn’t continue because his trial period ran out and he didn’t want to purchase an expensive piece of software for one job. This is another way to do that without having to spend money. Remember, everything is free with Google!
Check out this video that shows you how it works. They scan in a typed thesis and a (not-so-nicely) handwritten note and compare the results. Again, Google continues to amaze.