[texhax] Scanning Mathematical Papers ?

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Mar 5 23:06:51 CET 2005

    I want to scan some mathematical books and save them on my computer
    in PDF- or Latex-Format.  Can you recommend me some programs for my
    challenge ?

These are very different problems.

Just about any modern scanning program will give you a PDF these days.
For instance, we're not doing anything special for scanning TUGboat; I
think it's some standard HP model (sorry, I don't know the specifics
offhand, but can find out, if it matters).

Some programs will do OCR and give back some approximation of the
original text.  There are free programs to do this, as well as plenty of
commercial ones (then the PDF will be searchable).  Just one example is
GNU ocrad, http://www.gnu.org/software/gnu/ocrad/ocrad.html.

However, trying to automate TeX or LaTeX markup from a scanned image
seems nearly impossible to me.  I don't know of anything that tries to
do that (though of course that doesn't mean it doesn't exist).  Usually
you're just happy if the OCR'd text remotely resembles the content of
the printed page ...


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