Swift OCR example


After getting new M1 whanted to try some fancy machine learning stuff that avaliable. Got inspired when seen new post on reddit about OCRImage tool realse. As it was written in Object-C https://www.turbozen.com/sourceCode/ocrImage/ ,so I decided that is good learning task to read the code and reimplement all in Swift.


The whole working prototype can fit just in few lines of code. All you need to create is text recognition requester and handle that collect results. There is few example on apple doc page.

func recognizeImageUrl(_ url:URL, _ error: Error?) {
        var pieces:[TextPiece] = []
        var err:NSError?

        var textRequest = VNRecognizeTextRequest(completionHandler: recognizeTextHandler(request:error:))

        var handler = VNImageRequestHandler(url: url)
        do {
            try handler.perform([textRequest])
        } catch {
            print("Cannot perform request error:\(error)")

    func recognizeTextHandler(request: VNRequest, error: Error?) {
        print("Start recognize handler")
        guard let observations =
                    request.results as? [VNRecognizedTextObservation] else {

        let recognizedStrings = observations.compactMap { observation in
                // Return the string of the top VNRecognizedText instance.
                return observation.topCandidates(1).first?.string

How to use

Point to the image file with text

OCRImage --input-name sample.png

Stdout output will be recognized text

Source code

Example XCode project is located at http://git.main.lv/cgit.cgi/OCRImage.git/
clone it and launch with XCode

git clone http://git.main.lv/cgit.cgi/OCRImage.git/

Future developments

Could be nice to add sorting text, and some option to import location of text to json file with coordinates.

Drawing boxes around original image with detected text is next thing to add.

And there is alot of things that could be added to make it full featured OCR software.