Review: ABBYY TextGrabber + Translate

Review: ABBYY TextGrabber + Translate

I’ve dealt with a lot of mobile scanning apps in the past, but for the most part I’ve found that scanning apps for the iPhone or iPad do not provide nearly as accurate of results as an actual dedicated scanner. As such, at least in my opinion, iOS scanning apps must be able to do something beyond merely grabbing text to really be worth their salt. Fortunately, TextGrabber + Translator ($2.99, link) matches that guideline perfectly.


Developed by ABBYY, TextGrabber + Translator adds language translation and social sharing to the typical list of iOS scanning app features. The result is an affordable essential all for travelers, businessmen, or anyone who might be presented with documents in a foreign language.

TextGrabber + Translator uses your iPhone or iPod touch camera to capture text from books, magazines, road signs, menus, or other text, analyzes that text via OCR, and produces fully readable and editable text that can be translated to and from over 40 different languages.


While the translated text probably isn’t perfect or completely grammatical, it’s main purpose is to provide the user with a decent general idea of what a passage of text says – and according to the head og the linguistics department at the local university, it achieves this goal very well (at least in Spanish and German – that professor’s specialties).

Besides the ability to capture and translate text, the app also incorporates a number of sharing features, allowing you to email or text your results, or share them on Facebook, Twitter, or Evernote. The app is also extremely easy to use – it only requires a few clicks or taps, and is extremely intuitive.

Despite the overall usefulness of TextGrabber + Translate, the app is not without its weaknesses. While the app is able to capture text almost perfectly on matte paper under good lighting conditions, capturing text on glossy paper or in questionable lighting results in quite a few errors in the apps OCR. Even so, I found that the app was able to perform reasonable well under most normal lighting conditions – such as in an office, outdoors on a bright day, or in most stores or restaurants.

I was somewhat disappointed that the app does not preserve the formatting of what is being scanned. For instance, if you are scanning a two paragraph selection, the results is a single mashed-together paragraph that is significantly more difficult to read. I also found myself wishing that there was a version of the app available for the iPad.


While TextGrabber + Translate is not without its flaws, it does offer decent recognition and translation in most situations, and absolutely holds its own as an essential utility that no international businessman or world traveler should ever be without. That being said, the app still has a lot of room for improvement.

TextGrabber + Translate is available now for $2.99 from the App Store (link). For more information, head to the TextGrabber page on the ABBYY website.


  • Fast.
  • Affordable.
  • Excellent accuracy under most lighting conditions.


  • No iPad version.
  • Doesn’t work well in glossy surfaces or in dimly lit environments.

  1. TextGrabber user says:

    As for me, TextGrabber was more than useful at the library, allowing to quickly extract short pieces of text needed for my study

  2. 869973 967462fantastic post. Neer knew this, regards for letting me know. 889394

  3. 139216 494056hello!,I truly like your writing really a whole lot! percentage we maintain up a correspondence extra about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to unravel my issue. Could be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you. 299518

  4. Esport says:

    645378 116299Hi, have you ever before asked yourself to write about Nintendo or PSP? 374903

  5. 179597 864040Some genuinely wonderful blog posts on this internet internet site , thankyou for contribution. 70638

  6. 101298 101468Hi there! Excellent stuff, please do tell me when you finally post something like that! 419452

  7. 745104 700701Aw, this was a very good post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make an outstanding write-up?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and definitely not appear to get 1 thing done. 64424

  8. 53878 939862Merely wanna state that this really is very valuable , Thanks for taking your time to write this. 724142

  9. 198942 97249Read more on that great Post, I linked to you Thank you. 783361

  10. sbo says:

    54375 946641Hey mate, .This was an superb post for such a hard topic to talk about. I appear forward to seeing a lot of far more excellent posts like this one. Thanks 905760

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.