CTRL-F App Allows You To Search Physical Documents & Text in Real Time

Ever wished there was something similar to CTRL+F in real life so you could just press it and search for through real life pages and documents? Well your wish has been granted as an app, not so surprisingly named CTRL-F, has popped up on the smartphone realm.

All those years of skimming through books and reading hundreds of pages to find a certain word (or words) are gone. All you need is a smartphone with a camera, the CTRL-F app and you can search through books and real life documents.

The procedure is pretty straight forward, you take a picture of the document or text you want to search using the app. You outline the text and CTRL-F scans the image, making it searchable and creating a digital version of the document. When that’s done, you enter your search term and there you have it, your searched word as highlighted text on your document (if it is indeed in the document).

ctrl f app screenshots

Now for the “conditional” part. Your text needs to be well-lit, focused and straight. And the app won’t be very effective if you want it to read your handwriting or some strange fonts.

The app has the feature to export the digital documents as PDFs. Something which comes as paid solution in similar apps. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is another feature available, but only in paid apps. You can also search in 50 different languages, something which could come in handy when you don’t know the language you are searching in.

When you consider everything, including that the app is free and has no ads, you have to ask “Why didn’t anyone think of doing this earlier?” Well, at least we finally have such an app and it offers a simple solution in a nicely designed app.

As of now, the app is only available for Android, but the developers say it’s coming soon for iOS devices as well. They also plan to release some new features like batch scan and catalogue search.

The app can be downloaded from the Play Store here for Android devices.

He is the Editor at ProPakistani.


  • OCR-aware

    Nothing new. Tons of free OCR libraries for programmers are available with spelling, word, sentence and grammar correction by means of contextual analysis. Even better, they perform pre/post processing to an image for better OCR accuracy. And free document conversion libs are also in abundance that can export OCR extract as PDF, word etc.
    However, naming it CTRL-F for real world, is the only thing the developers can call new. Dont know what is their accuracy, and speed. If they have improved that, that will be another new thing. Otherwise, old dessert in a new packing.

    • Yasir Mahmood

      Agreed.
      Either CTRL-F or CTRL-V,
      The back end logic rely on OCR, but as stated ,a better and improved implementation can make a difference

  • just a tip:
    download” office lens” for straightening of pics…. and then use these kinda apps to get the text from pics..