Easily Copy Text from a Book with the Prizmo Go App

Taking notes while reading can be a time consuming process especially if you are wanting to copy text from the book you are reading. This often means having an iPad or computer out with the book next to you typing quotes and other notes from the book. This process often slows down the amount I read during a session.

Recently, I download the Prizmo Go app ( see the MacStories review for an in-depth look at the app ), which has been transformative in this process. The app allows you to take a picture of anything (I’ve just been using it for books) and then it will read the text on the page, allow you to select a certain portion, and then send it off to your favorite note taking app. So far, I’ve found that it is very accurate (see screenshots below).

You can highlight what text you want to export out. As you can see, below the image is the text that it copied out, which is 100% accurate. I normally will put the page number at the end (you can edit the text if you need to). Also, you can import photos so if you want to just take pictures as you go then do this process later you can do that as well.

You can highlight what text you want to export out. As you can see, below the image is the text that it copied out, which is 100% accurate. I normally will put the page number at the end (you can edit the text if you need to). Also, you can import photos so if you want to just take pictures as you go then do this process later you can do that as well.

Exporting to a new Evernote note

Exporting to a new Evernote note

Exporting to the Bear app. As you can see you can prepend or append text, which comes in really handy.

Exporting to the Bear app. As you can see you can prepend or append text, which comes in really handy.

In conjunction with this I’ve been testing out the Bear app for some note taking. Bear is a markdown writing app that syncs to many different devices (for more on using Markdown see here) (Casey Newton over at the Verge outlines why he switched from Evernote to Bear ). But one of the aspects that I like is that it allows you to prepend or append text from another app. So if I have a note file for a book that I am reading I can just add the text from my picture to the bottom or top of the note so I have a running list of quotes and notes.

This is all done from my phone and the process is fairly quick. You should definitely check it out if you have been frustrating with taking time of copying notes from your reading.

The Prizmo Go app is free with a couple in-app purchases.

  • $4.99 to export the text
  • $4.99 per 1000 scans for better text recognition (I found the default to work fairly well but paying for the better text recognition has worked flawlessly).

In my opinion, these small in-app purchases are definitely worth it.

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