I am trying to extract the BASIC code from archive.org's copy of What to do After You Hit Return, a 1975 book of computer games.

The PDF is simply a series of images, without the underlying text. I would like to turn these back into ASCII source. The original text is reasonably high quality:

enter image description here

The only OCR I could find for the mac that I didn't have to pay for was LEADTools, it converted the first line...


... into ...

188 REM »-- nsvsnst; - A GAME or SKILL IIB

Now the 8's I get, the original font has a slash in the zeros, so... OK. But the rest, come on. The IIB at the end appears to be the "110" on the next line, although there is clear blank space between them and it adds that to the rest of line 110. In any event, the result is useless.

I am wondering if anyone might recommend an OCR on macOS that isn't useless. I'm willing to pay, but only if someone can test it on this text for me.

  • RE: "The original text is reasonably high quality:" -- If what you are running thru OCR is actually the image in your question then that is not at all reasonably high quality and actually is crap. I ran that image thru ABBYY FineReader and it did not do well. Dec 25, 2021 at 17:26
  • I have tried ABBYY on a number of documents in the past and it can't seem to do anything at all. Any sort of formating, especially columns or call-outs, utterly confused it. Dec 25, 2021 at 17:42
  • Isn‘t there OCR builtin nowadays? Not sure it will help though, at least on the iPhone it didn‘t turn out so well…
    – nohillside
    Dec 25, 2021 at 18:00
  • 1
    @nohillside The macOS 12 inbuilt OCR is not good on the OP's text.
    – Gilby
    Dec 25, 2021 at 21:37
  • 1
    I'd concur that that is pretty low-quality for OCR text. I'm also intrigued what you're running 1970s BASIC on!
    – benwiggy
    Dec 25, 2021 at 22:37


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