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get numbers from a screen shot

Posted on 2013-05-26
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Last Modified: 2013-05-29
I am working with a program that uses long id numbers which I need to copy into emails.  It is a pain and prone to mistakes.  Is there any way to somehow pull a number from a screen shot?  A perfect solution, would be to use a tool like snip, drag a box around a number, then have it copied to your clipboard.  I am not sure what the program is written in, but it can't be copied.

I have onenone and evernote.  They can do some text searching, but I don't know how to leverage it the way I would need it.
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Question by:jackjohnson44
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by:insidetech
ID: 39197905
One simple but somewhat labor intensive way would be to snip the screen and try OCR on it.
Look for programs generally called "screen scrubber " there used to be some shareware out here.
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by:teomcam
ID: 39198080
A quality piece of software
http://www.abbyy.com.au/screenshot_reader/
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nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39198598
if the numbers appear always on the same place on the screen, you can make a macro, to record the number, and copy it in the mail automatically
her an example :  http://download.cnet.com/Easy-Macro-Recorder/3000-2094_4-10414139.html

so the proces is :
1-get the number on the screen in a fixed position
2-use the OCR software of your choice (many scanners have such software) to scan that portion
3-copy the number into the mail
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 250 total points
ID: 39199158
Where do these long numbers show for you to capture a screenshot?
Windows dialog?  Web page?  Other software interface window?

The reason that I ask this is because if the numbers appear in list-views, tree-views, list boxes, combo boxes, text-boxes, or WebBrowser/HTML controls, then a little utility application by Nir Sofer named SysExporter (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/sysexp.html) might help you capture the numbers as text rather than taking screenshots.

Of course, if the screenshots are all being automated, then this utility will not help you.  Unfortunately the utility is not a command line program, and must be used interactively.
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by:BillDL
ID: 39204486
Thank you Jack
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by:nobus
ID: 39204797
what was the solution you choose, Jack?
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by:jackjohnson44
ID: 39204850
I didn't use one, although they were plausible.

Any solution that mentioned scanning, saving, then opening an ocr program was too much work.  This needs to be quick an easy and isn't a big priority.  It isn't like I am doing this every day.

Answer #1 - labor intensive
Answer #2 - clicked on the link, clicked buy then get an error
Answer #3 - also required multiple programs
Answer #4 - I am not using any sort of program with windows controls.  I believe it is Java based

I was really looking for something like the snip tool that might have already been built.  I only did this operation a few times and have no idea if I will have to do it again.  I also am a developer and think this might come in handy down the road, but I don't want to spend the time to save an image, ocr it and save it to another program. I'd rather just type out the serial number.  If I had to do this 10K times, I'd probably consider some of the above solutions, but it doesn't seem worth it.  I have tried using ocr before to read scanned text and it was a pain but that was multiple pages.  I don't see it saving time for a 10 digit number.

It would be nice if I could do it with OneNote or EverNote since they do search the text in images.  They don't have a way to copy it though.  That way it would be a screen capture directly into EverNote, then highlight the text as if it were text then copy and paste.  Anything else would be overkill.

I am surprised nothing like this exists already.
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by:nobus
ID: 39205235
if you make a macro - you do this in mouseclick - exactly as you want
but ti takes some time to set it up

anyway tx for feedback
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Author Comment

by:jackjohnson44
ID: 39205242
Thanks for the help.  I was planning on trying that at home.  They block download.cnet.com at work.  I probably won't get to it soon, and I didn't want to keep you guys waiting.

Thanks!
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by:nobus
ID: 39205293
if you need more help, just ask
there's sme other freeware for it around too
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