Businesses of all sizes rely on digitized documentation of knowledge and information. Effective documentation can stream business processes through enhanced workforce collaboration, quick and easy access to information, and improved employee productivity.
You can achieve all of these with the right documentation tools. Today, we’re focusing on 9 documentation tools that compare text, recognize scanned text, and convert document file formats.
Google Docs is arguably the most well-known online word processor in the world. It’s a direct answer to Microsoft Office without taking any hard drive space. Users can gain access to Google Docs via their Gmail account, which gives access to 15 GB of cloud storage space on their Google Drive to create, save, and share all sorts of files. Best of all, word documents in your inbox can be opened in Google Docs for individual and collaborative viewing, editing, and commenting. It’s also compatible with grammar-checking apps like Grammarly, though its built-in spell and grammar checker works fine over 90% of the time.
Confluence is a more team-oriented word processing tool that’s built for fast-paced companies. It’s a fantastic online app that helps team members get on the same page, record meeting notes, and organizing documented information through the cloud storage system. Like Google Docs, Confluence offers real-time documenting and editing in groups. The search engine to locate certain files is quick and accurate to help managers make more informed decisions more quickly. Confluence’s main downsides are its inability to retrieve Excel files and print tables without modifying its format.
Diffmerge is a downloadable text comparison tool that works on Windows, OS, and Linux. While programmers swear by Diffmerge’s uncanny ability to merge code, businesses can benefit from both its merging capabilities and its interactive text comparison feature that provides intra-line highlighting and editing. There’s also a neat Folder Diff function that compares the contents of two files to identify redundancies. Booting up can be slow at times, but comparing files and merging text is almost instantaneous.
Diffchecker is available as either a web browser app or a downloadable app for desktops. With Diffchecker, you have the ability to copy-paste text from two files to instantly compare the uniqueness of a modified text to its original. This app also lets you compare and identify the differences between two image files, two PDF files, two spreadsheet files, and the contents of two folders.
Smallpdf is an online PDF editor that comes with 21 PDF tools, including merging, splitting, compressing, signing, and transforming images to PDF format and vice versa. This online PDF converter also lets you manage and share documents with other users, though you will have to subscribe to one of its paid plans. As for the free version, you can only process as many as two files daily.
PDFChef is a lot like Smallpdf in how it provides identical PDF tools, including split PDF, merge PDF, sign PDF, rotate PDF, delete PDF pages, and so much more. The greatest benefit of PDFChef is that there is no premium plan or upload limits, and all users can convert as many PDF document files as they like. This platform is compatible with Word, Excel, EPUB, and image files (JPG, PNG, and many more).
FreeOCR is a user-friendly app that identifies letters in a scanned document. This service allows for both direct scanning and extracting text or extracting text from saved images or PDF files. FreeOCR is best for businesses that only need the text from images or PDFs since it doesn’t make an attempt to identify pictures. The main downside of FreeOCR is that you can only upload one image file at a time, which can be annoying for fast-paced businesses. Thankfully, it can take text from multi-page PDF files, such as work contracts and lengthy manuals. The final result of the extraction process is a modifiable wall of text without much attempt at retaining the original format.
i2OCR is another free-to-use text recognition service, but users can get started immediately without downloading bloated software or registering with the site. It comes with both image and PDF OCR compatibilities and can identify text in over 100 languages. Either upload a file onto the server or input a link to which i2OCR will automatically download and extract text. While it can extract text from tables, it makes no attempt at maintaining a logical format, so users will have to spend time on restructuring the now-modifiable text.