Versions

  • Do you plan to release Prizmo for other mobile phones?
    Creaceed is specialized in Mac and iPhone development. We started over 12 years ago to work with all Mac-related technologies (Cocoa, Objective-C, OpenGL...), and we think they are great. So, we want to go on this way. We have no plan for an Android version at this time.

  • Is Prizmo also available on computers?
    Yes, it is. You can use Prizmo for Mac on computers supporting OS X 10.7 and 10.8. More information here.

Supported Devices

  • Will Prizmo work with my iPad?
    Yes, it will. Prizmo 3 is a universal iOS application, working on both iPhones and iPads, with a dedicated user interface.
    However, Prizmo will only work accurately on the iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad mini because it needs at least 3-megapixel photos to perform OCR. Of course, there’s a camera on the iPad 2, but the image resolution is too low (under 1 megapixel). You wouldn’t get accurate OCR results with an iPad 2.


  • Can I use Prizmo on the iPod touch?
    Yes, if you have a 5th Generation iPod touch (i.e. the latest version which includes a 5-megapixel camera).
    The 4th Generation iPod touch too has a built-in camera, but it is less than 1 megapixel. Therefore, it is too low resolution for performing OCR accurately. 1 megapixel vs. 5 megapixels is indeed a major difference when it comes to image processing.


Scanning

  • I took a picture of a letter but it is upside down. How can I correct that in Prizmo?
    You can rotate the input photograph without any problem in Prizmo. This change is applied to each page separately, so don't worry if some pages of your Prizmo document need to be rotated, and some don't.

  • How can I scan multipage documents?
    There's no limit to the number of pages you can add to a Prizmo document. Import the 1st picture from your album, or take a picture of the 1st page. Then, tap the "+" in the lower left corner for adding the second picture.
    When working with PDF files as input, importing the file into Prizmo will automatically add all pages to the Prizmo document.


  • Which character sizes are supported?
    Prizmo can handle many sizes, from quite small to quite big. However, remember that you need a picture of good quality for accurately processing OCR. A blurry shot is not a good starting point for performing OCR.

  • It would be great if I could just use the scan/save feature without the OCR feature on certain items. Is this possible?
    You can select the Image mode for this. You have access to image processing tools like rotation, crop, perspective correction, brightness... but without OCR. The result will be an improved image you can export to any app or service (mail, Dropbox, Evernote...).

  • Is there a way to reduce the file size of the scanned documents?
    You can choose the image quality Prizmo will use by default when exporting PDF and JPEG files. Go to the Settings, select Export Options in the list, and choose between High, Normal and Low. The setting will be applied to all documents created with Prizmo.

Export

  • Which export options are available?
    There are several export options available for exporting each page individually.

    Text Documents
    Business Cards
    Images
    Copy to Clipboard X X X
    Send by Email X X X
    Send Message X X X
    Open in Another App* X X X
    Save in Photo Album X X X
    Read Text X
    Add to Contacts X

    * Open in another application installed on your iPhone/iPad like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive...

  • Which formats are available for export?

    Text Documents
    Business Cards
    Images
    Output Formats Prizmo Document
    Text Document as mail body
    Text Document as attachment
    JPEG Image
    PNG Image
    PDF (text)
    PDF (image + searchable text)
    Prizmo Document
    vCard
    JPEG Image
    PNG Image
    Prizmo Document
    JPEG Image
    PNG Image
    PDF (image)

  • Which online services can I export to?
    You can export to any compatible application installed on your iPhone/iPad that accepts either PDF, Text, or vCard file formats. Here are a few examples of these applications: Dropbox, Evernote, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive.



  • Can I export documents in PDF?
    Yes, PDF export is available when processing text documents and images.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

  • I tried Prizmo's OCR but I got poor results. What can I do?
    We checked the accuracy of the OCR engine in the 40+ available languages. Even with pictures taken in poor circumstances (document on several other documents, picture taken in front of the document rather than above...), we got very good results.

    Here are some recommendations for improved OCR results:
    • make sure the picture you've taken is not blurry, as this decreases OCR accuracy.
    • you should be right above the document you want to photograph.
    • use the camera flash when you take a picture.
    • make sure the text to be recognized is parallel to the horizontal sides of the blue cropping rectangle.
    • choose the language of the document in the list (you can recognize a letter in Spanish while using Prizmo in English).
    • optimize the character contrast. Choose the Readability tools, and zoom in to get the text in close-up. Then, play with the slider related to character thickness. You should be able to read the text properly on the whole page.
    • check characters are dark on a light background. If not, update the Text setting available in the Readability tools.


    Here are some additional recommendations for taking pictures:

    Perspective is distorted. Correct perspective with Prizmo before processing OCR
    The text is perspective distorted. As it is not perfectly straight, it will lower OCR accuracy.
    Text is tilted. Correct perspective with Prizmo before processing OCR
    The text is tilted. As it is not perfectly straight, it will lower OCR accuracy.
    Perspective is good. You should get good OCR results.
    Use the perspective tool to make the picture straight before OCR processing.









    You can't perform OCR accurately on blurry shots
    The image is blurry.
    As a result, OCR will perform badly.
    You can't perform OCR accurately on shots with poor contrast
    Contrast is poor.
    You'll get bad OCR results.
    You can read the text properly. OCR results should be good.
    For proper results, use the voice command to avoid motion while shooting. Use the flash of your iPhone 4S if lighting is bad.









    OCR results from a blurry shot
    If your picture is blurry,
    you'll get something like this.
    OCR results from a shot without perspective correction
    A photograph without perspective correction will lead to a poor OCR performance.
    OCR results from a good-quality picture
    With a good shot,
    you'll get very accurate OCR results.





  • Is the quality of my images good enough to perform OCR?
    Image quality is a major issue indeed. OCR results will most likely be disappointing if the input image quality is poor. Here are a few examples of what should be avoided:

    • The image is blurry. Check you are able to read the text on the picture. You can't in this example. Please take a new picture of better quality.

      Example of what should be avoided for processing with Prizmo: a blurry shot

    • The ticket is crumbled.

      Example of what should be avoided for processing with Prizmo: crumbled paper

    • It is a double-sided document. Characters, lines and colors which are printed on the other side could hinder OCR.

      Example of what should be avoided for processing with Prizmo: a double-sided ticket

  • Are you going to add new languages for OCR? Japanese, Chinese, Arabic,...?
    Yes, we would like to support additional languages, but we need a reliable OCR technology in these languages first. We are investigating...

  • Is OCR performed on the iPhone itself or on your servers?
    As stated in the App Store description, OCR is performed on the iPhone/iPad. No data is sent to our servers, everything stays on your device.

  • Can I recognize handwritten notes?
    No, Prizmo’s built-in OCR engine is only for typewritten texts and documents. There’s currently no reliable OCR engine for handwriting (remember sometimes it’s even difficult to read someone else’s handwriting, and our brain is a much more powerful engine than any OCR technology). But you can definitely scan it with Prizmo as an image, and use the image enhancement techniques.

Text-to-Speech (TTS)

  • Can I purchase several voices?
    There's no limitation whatsoever. You can purchase either several voices in a single language, or one voice in several languages.

  • Do I need an Internet connection for purchasing voices?
    Text-to-Speech voices are available in Prizmo through In-App Purchases only. Therefore, you need an Internet connection for purchasing and downloading the voice from iTunes. Once the voice is installed on your iPhone, no Internet connection is required for actually reading texts out loud.

Accessibility

  • I am a blind iPhone user. Can you tell me if Prizmo works with the VoiceOver screenreader on the iPhone?
    Yes, the user interface is compatible with VoiceOver.

    Prizmo 3 also features automatic page detection with voice guidance. It will instruct how to move your iPhone while shooting to get the entire page. Text orientation (left/right/up/down) can also be automatically determined if the corresponding switch is enabled in Prizmo settings.

    Besides, there’s another feature which might be really useful for you: text-to-speech. On the one hand, there are 36 regular voices in 26 languages available for free. On the other hand, there are 65 male and female high-quality voices available in 20 languages as in-app purchases ($2.99 or 2,69€ each). With a voice installed on your iPhone/iPad, Prizmo will read the text out loud for you. You can select the speaking rate, and make it even faster in Prizmo's settings.



Automation

  • Is it possible to invoke Prizmo from another app?
    Yes. Prizmo implements an x-callback-url interface both for capturing text and reading text out loud.

    This automation scheme can be directly invoked using the documentation below. Alternatively, it can be invoked from another app using the PrizmoAPI SDK (Objective-C).

    * Capturing Text
    Other apps can initiate text capture with Prizmo. Here is an example of how this is achieved:

    prizmo://x-callback-url/captureText?language=en&destination=pasteboard

    This will start Prizmo to take a picture and perform English OCR on it. The following options are supported:
    • language: language can be any ISO 639-1 language code (like en, fr, de) and will instruct which language should be picked in the OCR engine. If it is an optional language, it must have been previously installed by the user.
    • destination: destination can be either 'url' to send the captured text in the callback URL to the calling app, or 'pasteboard' to write the text in a pasteboard.
    • pasteboardName: when destination is set to 'pasteboard', this option can be used to determine which pasteboard should be used (the default value is the general pasteboard).
    • textParameterName: when destination is set to 'url', this option can be used to determine the name of the parameter that receives the captured text (if omitted, default value is 'text').
    • x-success: this is the URL to be invoked when processing is complete, and it serves to pass the result back to the calling app (or any other app). It must be URL encoded. The resulting text is passed as the text argument if destination is set to 'url' (see above).
    • x-cancel: this is the URL to invoke when the user cancels the processing within Prizmo. It must be URL encoded.
    • x-error: this is the URL to invoke when an error occurs during the processing in Prizmo. It must be URL encoded.


    * Reading Text
    Prizmo Voice Reader, which features high quality voices, can be invoked from other apps. Here is an example of how to achieve that:

    prizmo://x-callback-url/readText?voice=Ryan&text=Hello%20World

    This will read the provided text (Hello World) with the Ryan voice in Prizmo Voice Reader. The following options are supported:
    • text: this is the text to read in Prizmo Voice Reader. It must be URL encoded.
    • voice: this is the voice that should be used to read the text. The voice should have been previously installed by the user.
    • language: if a specific voice is not set, the language can be specified. It will pick the first available voice for that language.
    • x-success: this is the URL to be invoked when processing is complete. It must be URL encoded.
    • x-cancel: this is the URL to invoke when the user cancels the processing within Prizmo. It must be URL encoded.
    • x-error: this is the URL to invoke when an error occurs during the processing in Prizmo. It must be URL encoded.


  • Can I add that x-callback-url interaction in my app using an Objective-C SDK?
    Yes, Prizmo has an Objective-C SDK, called PrizmoAPI, that makes it easier to configure the x-callback-url sequence. More information can be found on the PrizmoAPI Github page.

Updates

  • Is the upgrade to Prizmo 3 for iOS free? Even if I want to install it on my new iPad?
    Yes, the upgrade is free for all users who downloaded Prizmo 2 from the App Store. Prizmo 3 is a universal application, meaning you can install it on your iPhone AND iPad without being charged a second time.

Issues

  • I can’t see some buttons/icons in the application although they should be there. What should I do?
    Your copy might have been corrupted for an unknown reason. Please delete it, and download a fresh copy from the App Store. You won’t be charged a second time if you use the same iTunes account. If the issue persists, try again and restart your iPhone before downloading Prizmo from the App Store.

  • I tried to take a picture of a text on my iPad 4 screen with my iPhone 5 and it didn't detect the text.
    Unfortunately, it is not the best way to use Prizmo. Taking a picture of a screen (either from an iPad or a computer) will lead to a picture of poor quality. On such a picture, the OCR magic won’t happen, and as a consequence, you will get inaccurate results.

    Using a screenshot of the iPhone/iPad screen that is made on the device itself (using the Home and Lock buttons) is supported, and typically leads to good results on devices with Retina displays.

  • I'd like to scan passages from my French textbook but it doesn't work properly. What can I do?
    The current version of Prizmo supports 40+ languages. Before taking the picture, you can choose the OCR language. Tap the button in the upper right corner of the camera view, and select the language in the list.

    If you've already taken the picture, you can change the OCR language afterwards, when processing the page (the OCR language button is next to the Recognize button in the top toolbar).



  • I couldn’t purchase a voice in the store. I even tried to restore purchases but unsuccessfully so far.
    The voice is around 20 MB, and it starts downloading after clicking the Buy button. Please try again with your iPhone/iPad connected to a Wi-Fi network. The server or the connection might have been unavailable the 1st time you tried to download the voice. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged a second time.

  • When I open Prizmo, I see a pop-up asking for my password in order to connect to my iTunes account. Why?
    You probably tried to purchase a voice but it wasn’t fully downloaded on your iPhone. Prizmo notices that issue, and wants to fix it asap by resuming the download. Please make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, and allow a few minutes for the voice to be downloaded.

  • I processed a business card but I can't save the entry. There's no export button.
    This is because you need to have either a person name or a company name for the contact to be valid. You can manually add that field. Then, the export button will be enabled.

  • I bought the iPhone version and imported the saved image onto my 2G iPod touch. It did not recognize the text.
    Pay attention to how you import images on the iPod touch. Using iPhoto and iTunes for transferring images will convert them into much smaller images (and as a result, OCR will perform poorly). You should rather import an image using Safari or send it by email. Then, tap the image and hold until you are asked to save the image in the album. Image quality will be preserved this way.


Can't find your answer? Need Help?

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