ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator App Review

ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator App Review

ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator App

While travelling, studying, browsing or simply reading a newspaper we consume huge amounts of data, and often in a foreign language. To keep pace with rapidly changing events, we have to find a way to deal with all the information quickly and efficiently, so that nothing gets lost or escapes our attention. Of cause, your smartphone can be helpful here. Especially if you have a convenient app, and here is a variant.

ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator is an application for iOS and Android that can easily extract text from different printed sources (both photographed by a mobile device’s camera and previously imported as images) and then translate it.

If you come to think of it, there are a lot of situations when you may need this. For example, if you want to read a street sign or a menu abroad, or if you liked a magazine article and want to keep it. You may also need to read an operating manual for your new gadget or foodstuff ingredients in a supermarket. As for students, they often need to get an idea of the contents of scientific papers or articles that were only published in a foreign language.


Technical Characteristics

ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator Mobile OCR Engine at the core of the app is responsible for the recognizing function. It employs a set of algorithms that analyze the image detecting letters and joining them into words. Modern Optic Character Recognition technologies allow recognizing texts with 95% accuracy (or even higher) provided that a few conditions are met (we will get back to this).

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ABBYY TextGrabber performs on-device OCR, which means it does not require internet connection to recognize texts in more than 60 languages. All you need to do is take a photo, and the app will convert the text into digital format automatically. The requirements for the camera are that it should be 3 MPX minimum, and it should support autofocus.

The app is well suited for short texts, because when the letters look bigger on the screen, the recognition tends to be more accurate. A very small font or a poor printing quality can impede the process – to digitize such documents you will need a more powerful tool.



The interface of ABBYY TextGrabber is quite simple and can be mastered intuitively. If you want to select only a part of a document for processing it, you can tap on the icon that turns the crop tool on and off. To get the best possible recognition result, you should also try to provide enough lighting (to handle this, there is an icon that activates the smartphone’s torch), and pre-select the languages that are used in a specific text (no more than 3 at a time). English is set as a default recognition language but can be changed.

Once the recognition is completed, the app will show the result, marking with red color the symbols it is not sure about. The user can edit the text before saving it if needed.

You can easily translate the recognized text as well. The app supports two types of translation: word-by-word translation with Lingvo Dictionaries and a full-text one via Google Translate service. Both of them are online, but ABBYY Lingvo Dictionaries can also be downloaded as a separate app that can perform the translation offline.

Overall, ABBYY TextGrabber can translate over 90 languages – this covers the needs of an average user and even includes such extraordinary languages as Maori, Zulu and Quechua. Click here to download for android and iOS.

The resulting texts are saved in the app history, and later can be copied to the clipboard, sent via SMS or E-Mail, shared on Facebook and Twitter, as well as imported to Evernote and Dropbox.

Apple users can also benefit from its VoiceOver text-to-speech function and listen to the translated text instead of reading it. Though in the first place the function is intended for visually impaired users, it can also be employed when it is not convenient for you to read in car or on the go, thus you can access the information you need any time.

 To sum up, the key features of ABBYY TextGrabber + Translator are:

  • Extracting snippets of text from printed sources.
  • Works with images taken with a smartphone camera or downloaded ones.
  • All captured texts are editable.
  • Accurate text recognition in more than 60 languages (no Internet connection required for OCR).
  • Instant translation from more than 90 languages (with Google Translate or Lingvo Dictionaries via Internet).
  • Apple’s VoiceOver text-to-speech supported.
  • Adjustable font sizes and sound tips for the app´s interface.
  • Convenient sharing options via Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, E-Mail or SMS.
  • All captured texts are backed up on the smartphone in the History folder.


Supported Languages (Recognition):

Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Breton, Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Catalan, Chechen, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Crimean Tatar, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Fijian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kabardian, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay (Malaysian), Moldavian, Mongol, Norwegian, Ossetic, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Provencal, Quechua, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian, Welsh.

Supported Languages (Full-Text Translation):

Afrikaans, Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chichewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hausa, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay (Malaysian), Malayalam, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, MyanmarB, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Punjabi, Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sesotho, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Welsh, Yoruba, Zulu.

Supported Languages (Word-by-Word Translation):

Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian.

 Current Version: 5.1.2 for iOS, 1.12 for Android

Last Updated: 18 May 2016

Size: 20M

Camera requirement: Minimum 3 MPX camera with an autofocus feature.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

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Savita Singh is the author of computergeekblog, She has a superlative knowledge of Graphic and Web designing. She is a part time and award winning tech blogger who loves to write about latest technology, social media and web design. Her blog focuses on creative things of designing and tech, providing professional opinions on designing products, performances and a variety of business.

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