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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Making Money from old Scripts

I was having coffee with a friend of mine, another playwright, whom I hadn’t seen for fifteen years.  He was telling me about the success he was having with online publishing and recommended me to try it.  I don’t mean vanity publishing, I mean publishing through a proper online agency that collects fees and royalties on the writer’s behalf.  Jamie, my friend, told me that he was making a bit of a wedge from it.  So I thought I’d give it a go.  The problem I have is that a lot of my saleable stuff is from the days long ago before I had a word processor, let alone a computer.  I have rows of potentially juicy income generating scripts sitting on my bookshelf but how am i going to get them into a digital format for online distribution?  The simple answer is to type them all up word by word.   After all, I will need to make revisions and format them differently for current readers. But, do you know, that’s a lot of work and I’ve got other things to do with my life.  There is another way, however. Optical character Recognition (OCR from now onwards).  You scan your hardcopy and OCR converts the scan into actual words in a text file.  Brilliant.  But where do i obtain such a piece of wonder software?  Without paying for it, of course.  I trawled the online chatrooms and i found that the soft ware most recommended by writers was a Microsoft own brand which is part of the Office 2007 suite.  Wait a minute, I’ve never seen it there.   No, because its one of those many features you pay for when you buy MS Office but isn’t activated.   To activate it you have to go through quite a rigmarole to find it in the program files (If you want the technical stuff I’ll put it in the comment section below) and, yes now I have OCR which works a treat.  It’s not 100% reliable but that’s fine because I still need to go through the material to edit it but it’s certainly taken the drudgery out of the process.  Except that now my scanner has blown up.  Back to manual labour.

3 comments:

Peter John Cooper said...

How to activate OCR in Microsoft Office.
(It’s a bit longwinded but worth it.)
Click Start – go to Control Panel
Click on Add or Remove Programs
Find Microsoft Office Systems and highlight
Click on Change (Don’t for goodness sake click on Remove. That would be a bad thing.)
Wait a minute for the page to load and then click on Add or Remove features and press Continue at the bottom
Find Office Tools and click on the little + sign next to it
Find Microsoft Office Document Imaging and click on the little + sign
Click on Scanning, OCR and Image Filter
And finally “Run from my computer”
You may have to restart your computer to get it working
Now when you go to Microsoft Office on your Start program under Microsoft Tools you will find a tag for Microsoft Office Document Imaging
• Open the file in Microsoft Office Document Imaging – File Open.
• Click the little eye icon – Recognize Text Using OCR.
• Click on MS Word Icon Send Text to Word.
• A MS Word File opens with the editable converted text.
• Alternatively, you can also use MS Paint to select a specific area and copy it to the clipboard. Open MS Office Document Imaging select Page and Paste Page to copy the selection for OCR.

Derek said...

How about Mac Word?

Peter John Cooper said...

Sorry, Derek. I don't know anything about Mac. If there's anyone out there who could help I'd be glad to pass it on.