How many times have you gone to situations when you needed to extract text embedded in an image but went helpless because no app can quickly and perfectly do just that?

Well, not probably once.

To anyone who wants to be more productive on their online gigs, you should go and check out Kevin Kwok's latest work: Project Naptha, a mind-blowing browser extension currently available in Chrome that allows you to copy text from any images straight from any websites.

And yes, it works great.

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But how was it possible?

As with any other text extraction software, Project Naptha is powered by a complex Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology which quickly identifies and builds a model of text regions, letters and words that you can extract and copy from virtually any images you encounter on the web.

One notable feature of Project Naptha is the "Erase Text" functionality which allows you remove text from any images -- useful if you want to grab images online free from captions or annotations.

Project Naptha has already making a lot of headlines today, and the media attention it gets can potentially attract tech giants like Google, Bing or Yahoo who might consider acquiring it and incorporate into their search engines.

Here's why:

Project Naptha is a clear demonstration that it's possible for search bots to decipher and index all images flooded online, similar to how search engines index the standard text-based websites. And that's music to the ear for search engine companies who might want to take a big step  forward in search. Sooner or later images we embed in our websites will be as valuable as text. And those online images' copyright violators will get the biggest Google slap.

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There's not such an abundance of OCR apps both desktop and online that works out of the box without requiring you to upload the source files for remote processing. With Project Naptha, OCR processing all takes place straight from your web browser. And that's a work of genius.

Project Naptha Firefox extension is expected to arrive in the coming months.



LINK: Project Naptha

Project Naptha: A Mind-Blowing Chrome Add-on that Lets You Copy, Extract Text from Any Images Online

artyline converts sketches to interactive prototypes

The latest advancement of AI continues to offer us a whole new way to experience our digital lives. We’ve seen how Google predicts traffic delays & bus crowdedness, well, thanks to AI. We’ve also seen how YouTube enables you to virtually try on makeup and help you with your purchases decisions, thanks to its immersive AR Beauty Try-On.

With millions of power users’ growing appetite for anything automated, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where mundane, routinary tasks are being kept to a minimum. And fact is : it has already begun.

One of the coolest finds we’ve come across is Artyline, a free iOS & time-saver app that converts hand-drawn sketches into digital equivalent in realtime. All you have to do is to give a good scan on your sketches and you’re done.

Not everyone will appreciate this app, but such an app comes in handy if you’re an app developer or designer who wants to skip NinjaMock or any online mockup tools to quickly visualize your ideas.

Why Artyline is such a great app

The trouble with hand-drawn sketches is that it can potentially be misunderstood by most clients who normally aren’t adept in UX design elements. So whether it’s a simple app or not, the best way to present your idea and get their approval is to give prototypes as realistic as possible.

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With Artyline, generating prototypes is as simple as scanning your sketches and you immediately get an interactive version of our mockup. Think of it as an additional team member in your UX / design department where design sketches drawn from whiteboard or paper are quickly converted to digital formats. So you’d come well-prepared when meeting your client to discuss the next big app.

Artyline limitations

Because Artyline is powered by AI, it has a limited set of training to recognize basic shapes and transform them into design elements. Good thing is Artyline has this easy-to-follow guideline to make your sketches more recognizable by their AI.

Pro Tip: Use markers instead of writing pens. Don’t use pencils as they’re too illegible to recognize by Artyline scanner.

Artyline is still in its infancy and got tons of areas to improve especially in the execution side. However, I can’t easily denigrate an app idea this good just because of those hiccups. So, we are still impressed.

Give your app designs workflows an upgrade. Get this iOS app while it’s free. Thank me later!

Download: Artyline [Apple App Store]

Finally, An AI-Powered App That Transforms Sketches Into Interactive Digital Prototypes in Realtime

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

Just like Microsoft's Excel, Google Sheet has equally powerful functions hidden up its sleeve. It can help you do routinary, mundane tasks fast and perform time-saving complex operations.

With Google Sheet, being an open-source software and with its collaboration support, it's likely that you'll end up using the app more often than not. It's one indispensable tool every web master and virtual assistant can't live without.

While you may not use below's list of useful Google Sheet functions everyday, it pays to be familiar and well-verse with these shortcuts. We hand-picked this shortlist of five essential Google Sheets hacks to help you save time in dealing with spreadsheets.

1. Use SPLIT function and obtain the first word from a phrase

google sheet split function

Suppose you want to extract the first word from a string in a Google Sheet column. You can use SPLIT() function to split a string and obtain first word , as follows:

=index(SPLIT(A2, " "), 0, 1)

With the above function, a string “10042 Ferrara” yields “10042”.

To obtain the n word, just replace 1 with n accordingly.

2. Use REGEXEXTRACT to retrieve number from a string

google sheet regexextract

Suppose you have this data in a column and you wish to obtain the price

<p>Lined Linen Tunic with Silk Hem</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>RRP    $99.95</strong></p>

You can do so with REGEXEXTRACT function to extract the price, as follows:

=REGEXEXTRACT(C2, "[0-9]*\.[0-9]+[0-9]+")

3. Using CONTACT to combine multiple values

google sheet concat combine values

Suppose in Column A you want to get the first word and combine it with the value in Column J, you can achieve it using CONCAT function.

=concat( index(SPLIT(A2, " "), 0, 1), concat("-", J2) )

Or use ampersand to combine multiple values:

="RRP "&value(REGEXEXTRACT(E12, "[0-9]*\.[0-9]+[0-9]+"))

4. Use SUBSTITUTE() & RegexReplace() to search and replace

google sheet substitude regexreplace

Say you have a column of data that contains HTML ASCII codes and you want to get rid of them. Here's how you do it:

=SUBSTITUTE(B2,"&nbsp;", "")

Or you can go creative, do a nested SUBSTITUTE

=SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(B2, "</p>", ""),"<p>", "")

Or you can go use RegExReplace to get rid all HTML tags

=RegexReplace( B2, "<\/\w+>|<\w+.*?>", "" )

Or a combination of Substitute and RegexReplace

=SUBSTITUTE(RegexReplace( B3, "<\/\w+>|<\w+.*?>", "" ),"&nbsp;", " " )

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5. Use VLOOKUP to search by keyword and return a specified cell from another sheet

Google Sheet's vertical lookup is a powerful function you need to master. It lets you search down the first column of a range for a key and returns the value of a specified cell in the row found.

If that doesn't make sense, imagine you have Sheet14 containing sku and color columns

Sheet14

And wanted to append the color initial found inside a separate table from Sheet15

Sheet15

You can do a quick search using VLOOKUP and return the color initial (from Sheet15) by providing color from Sheet14.

The full formula:

=VLOOKUP(I2, Sheet15!A1:B7,2, false)

Where I2 is the keyword, Sheet15!A1:B7 is the range, and 2 is column position from Sheet15 we want to retrieve.

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So next time you are asked to update a Google Sheet and do dead boring, repetitive tasks, try to look around inside Google Sheet list of functions and see if you can automate stuff and save huge amount of time in the process.

5 Handy Google Sheet Tricks To Help You Work Fast & Save Time

Whether you're using Instagram for business or not, writing a killer caption and well-optimized hashtags is a must. Ask any Instagram marketer it's second most tricky part immediately next to generating the visuals to post on Instagram.

A good caption should drive user engagements and virality, while a relevant set of hashtags ensures you have the most optimal reach to get the exposure you need. People discover interesting posts thru hashtags, and it's a good opportunity for your brand to get discovered and ultimately earn followers.

While the best way to come up with words to accompany your Instagram post is to write it yourself, it doesn't hurt to try and get some assistance from new breed of apps to do just that.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

In this post, we'll be featuring an Android and iOS app that should help you decide what captions to post next.

Caption AI - Your Smart Instagram Caption Assistant ()

Caption AI currently hosts 15,000 captions (and growing) grouped into easy to navigate categories. Running out of caption idea for your next Instagram post? Just launch the app, open an image to post and Caption AI will automatically detect what caption and hashtags to post based on your picture.

Not happy with the generated caption? Just tap on any of the categories like Nature, Fitness, Travel, and Caption AI automatically suggests a caption for you.

Of course the auto-generated captions aren't original. They're mostly coming from third-party sources that curate popular lines and quotes from notable people and writers. Perhaps in the next update the developer gives proper attribution to each line.

This Android app can also suggest the most popular hashtags relevant to your post. So next time you're stuck deciding what to post, check out this app.

Auto Caption - Get Caption Ideas for Instagram (, )

Another app that I am pretty much impressed is Auto Caption for iOS. The moment you open a photo to post, it automatically detects whether it's ocean, mountain or food. Auto Caption will then suggest a caption and hashtags based on what it sees.

It's pretty clever and helpful app ideally recommended for Instagram marketers or casual Instagrammers.

Wrapping it up

Again, the above-mentioned apps aren't for everyone. A more personalized and well-thought out captions will still do wonders in your Instagram marketing efforts. But if doing so takes you forever, then, maybe time to explore those apps?

New AI-Powered Apps Help You Generate Captions, Hashtags for Instagram

Microsoft just rolled out an update to their spreadsheet editing app Excel that allows you to point your phone's camera into printed tables and turn them into editable spreadsheets.

The update is made possible by artificial intelligence (AI) trained to recognize characters and detect datasets inside printed tables before finally importing them as spreadsheets. If you're familiar with how Google Translate app works that translates words in realtime when you point your camera to a foreign text, you can expect the same capability with this update but for printed tables.

The update is first available on Android, but iOS should expect the roll out in the coming days.

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Excel is not the first app that gets AI treatment from Microsoft. A few weeks ago, Microsoft-owned Skype also gets AI-assisted background-blur support that smartly obscures your often messy, distracting background.

Satya Nadella's helm at Microsoft continues to deliver the much-needed disruptions and innovations. And with its billions of cash being pumped into their Machine Learning (ML) department, we can expect few more nifty advancements in AI in the next few years.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

How do you like if your phone can turn any printed documents, notes and other personal docs into an instant PDF? How do you like if your handy-dandy phone can digitize any text written in a chalk/white board by simply pointing your camera to the board?

While there are a lot of people who’ve got high-end phones but never bothered to try out something cool about their phone, there are also a few people who can’t seem to appreciate the beauty of owning advanced mobile handsets like that of iPhone and Android. This is due to the fact that they’re way too pricey. But have you ever thought of the amount of time and money you can save if the desktop operations you normally do in PCs can be carried out with your smartphone? If you’re a student, a working professional or a businessman, here is your chance to consider again getting an Android or iPhone so you can experience real mobility you deserve.

Turn your iPhone, Android into a Scanner – Create Instant PDF Using Your Phone

CamScanner is another killer app for the iPhone and Android. If you have heard about Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology of Nokia (MultiScanner), CamScanner is a much improved version of it.

CamScanner turns your iPhone or Android into an instant portable scanner. As a portable scanner, you’ll be able to scan all paper documents, printed receipts, notes, and even whiteboard discussions anywhere and anytime. This is an award-winning mobile scanner technology that uses Smart Image cropping and Image enhancement technique to ensure that the scanned images are perfectly clear and recognizable.

So how does it work?

CamScanner lets you to digitize any printed documents by photo shooting. Simply take a picture of any paper documents such as receipts, whiteboards, notes, agreement and so forth, and CamScanner can auto-crop image, enhance image quality and to create an industry standard PDF file.

Notable features of CamScanner include:
  • Anti-shake snapshots: Intelligent scene recognition and auto-snapshots when shooting conditions are smart-fit. 
  • Multi-page file(s) support: multi-page files are supported.
  • Image processing: Use enhanced image processing algorithms to help perform auto-cropping, color and brightness adjustment to ultimately make images clear and recognizable.
  • Saving image(s) to photo album: save processed images to photo album.
  • Creating PDF: Preview and create PDF files.
  • Multi-size PDF support: over 10 different sizes of PDF files are available (Letter, A4, B5 and etc.)
  • Email: Send files (PDF) via email.
  • Uploading: Upload files to online storage such as Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net and etc.
“CamScanner is the greatest invention in 21th century”, says Jose Michael. “I can scan newspapers articles to keep as file and share it on the internet and scan personal docs to my own records. It as simplify my everyday tasks”, added Zed Ruger.

CamScanner is available for the iPhone in the AppStore for free. For Android, there’s also a free version. Get it here:
CamScanner for Android
CamScanner for iPhone

Turn Any Printed Documents, Notes, White Board Discussions into PDF Using Your Phone


We have already seen how fast mobile technology changes and improves our lives. We have already witnessed how this tiny piece of device takes us to the next wave of portability and convenience. Today, mobile phones are not anymore used as an attraction device nor are they used as a communication device. Smartphones today are little too advanced that they’re even slowly killing those desktop applications we’ve been dependent for quite some time.

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Before I dive into the most advanced document scanner apps for the iPhone and Android, I am going to reborn this innovative solution of Nokia first. To the best of my knowledge, Nokia was the first mobile platform to produce a “working” document scanning software that can convert any text from a printed document and turn it into an instant eBook or PDF. The process is simple: just point your camera to the document or anywhere that has recognizable characters and let your phone do the magic.

Let Your Phone Recognizes Texts From Books, Printed Documents Using Phone’s Camera

The application is called MultiScanner for Nokia, a free scanning software designed for Nokia Symbian s60 handsets. This application uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, making it possible for your phone to recognize texts/characters from any given printed sources such as books, newspaper, among others. By just simply pointing your camera to the paper documents, you can instantly turn any printed material into an instant PDF.

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Alright, screenshot speaks better so here’s a quick walkthrough (just click the image to enlarge):


Nokia’s MultiScanner can be handy if you hate to write or simply you find yourself in a situation where you need to obtain the same copy of document but no scanning or fax machine available in your area. The application works fine with N95 8G and should work Download MultiScanner for Nokia below:




Download MultiScanner

How To: Convert Texts From Printed Documents, Books Into PDF Using Phone’s Camera