Document Text Tutorial

Audience

The goal of this tutorial is help you develop applications using Google Cloud Vision API Document Text Detection. It assumes you are familiar with basic programming constructs and techniques, but even if you are a beginning programmer, you should be able to follow along and run this tutorial without difficulty, then use the Cloud Vision API reference documentation to create basic applications.

Prerequisites

Annotating an image using Document Text OCR

This tutorial walks you through a basic Vision API application that makes a DOCUMENT_TEXT_DETECTION request, then processes the fullTextAnnotation response.

A fullTextAnnotation is a structured hierarchical response for the text extracted from the image, organized as Pages→Blocks→Paragraphs→Words→Symbols:

  • Page is a collection of blocks, plus meta-information about the page: sizes, resolutions (X resolution and Y resolution may differ).

  • Block represents one "logical" element of the page—for example, an area covered by text, or a picture or separator between columns. The text and table blocks contain the main information needed to extract the text.

  • Paragraph is a structural unit of text representing an ordered sequence of words. By default, words are considered to be separated by word breaks.

  • Word is the smallest unit of text. It is represented as an array of Symbols.

  • Symbol represents a character or a punctuation mark.

The fullTextAnnotation also can provide URLs to Web images that partially or fully match the image in the request.

Complete code listing

As you read the code, we recommend that you follow along by referring to the Cloud Vision API Python reference.

import argparse
from enum import Enum
import io

from google.cloud import vision
from google.cloud.vision import types
from PIL import Image, ImageDraw


class FeatureType(Enum):
    PAGE = 1
    BLOCK = 2
    PARA = 3
    WORD = 4
    SYMBOL = 5


def draw_boxes(image, bounds, color):
    """Draw a border around the image using the hints in the vector list."""
    draw = ImageDraw.Draw(image)

    for bound in bounds:
        draw.polygon([
            bound.vertices[0].x, bound.vertices[0].y,
            bound.vertices[1].x, bound.vertices[1].y,
            bound.vertices[2].x, bound.vertices[2].y,
            bound.vertices[3].x, bound.vertices[3].y], None, color)
    return image


def get_document_bounds(image_file, feature):
    """Returns document bounds given an image."""
    client = vision.ImageAnnotatorClient()

    bounds = []

    with io.open(image_file, 'rb') as image_file:
        content = image_file.read()

    image = types.Image(content=content)

    response = client.document_text_detection(image=image)
    document = response.full_text_annotation

    # Collect specified feature bounds by enumerating all document features
    for page in document.pages:
        for block in page.blocks:
            for paragraph in block.paragraphs:
                for word in paragraph.words:
                    for symbol in word.symbols:
                        if (feature == FeatureType.SYMBOL):
                            bounds.append(symbol.bounding_box)

                    if (feature == FeatureType.WORD):
                        bounds.append(word.bounding_box)

                if (feature == FeatureType.PARA):
                    bounds.append(paragraph.bounding_box)

            if (feature == FeatureType.BLOCK):
                bounds.append(block.bounding_box)

        if (feature == FeatureType.PAGE):
            bounds.append(block.bounding_box)

    # The list `bounds` contains the coordinates of the bounding boxes.
    return bounds


def render_doc_text(filein, fileout):
    image = Image.open(filein)
    bounds = get_document_bounds(filein, FeatureType.PAGE)
    draw_boxes(image, bounds, 'blue')
    bounds = get_document_bounds(filein, FeatureType.PARA)
    draw_boxes(image, bounds, 'red')
    bounds = get_document_bounds(filein, FeatureType.WORD)
    draw_boxes(image, bounds, 'yellow')

    if fileout is not 0:
        image.save(fileout)
    else:
        image.show()


if __name__ == '__main__':
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
    parser.add_argument('detect_file', help='The image for text detection.')
    parser.add_argument('-out_file', help='Optional output file', default=0)
    args = parser.parse_args()

    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
    render_doc_text(args.detect_file, args.out_file)

This simple application performs the following tasks:

  • Imports the libraries necessary to run the application
  • Takes three arguments passes it to the main()function:
    • image_file— the input image file to be annotated
    • output_file—the output filename into which Cloud Vision will generate an output image with polyboxes drawn
  • Creates an ImageAnnotatorClient instance to interact with the service
  • Sends the request and returns a response
  • Creates an output image with boxes drawn around the text

A closer look at the code

Importing libraries

import argparse
from enum import Enum
import io

from google.cloud import vision
from google.cloud.vision import types
from PIL import Image, ImageDraw

We import standard libraries:

  • argparse to allow the application to accept input file names as arguments
  • enum for the FeatureType enumeration
  • io for File I/O

Other imports:

  • The ImageAnnotatorClient class within the google.cloud.vision library for accessing the Vision API.
  • The types module within the google.cloud.vision library for constructing requests.
  • The Image and ImageDraw libraries from the PIL library are used to create the output image with boxes drawn on the input image.

Running the application

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
parser.add_argument('detect_file', help='The image for text detection.')
parser.add_argument('-out_file', help='Optional output file', default=0)
args = parser.parse_args()

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
render_doc_text(args.detect_file, args.out_file)

Here, we simply parse the passed-in arguments and pass it to the render_doc_text() function.

Authenticating to the API

Before communicating with the Vision API service, you must authenticate your service using previously acquired credentials. Within an application, the simplest way to obtain credentials is to use Application Default Credentials (ADC). By default, the Cloud client library will attempt to obtain credentials from the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable, which should be set to point to your service account's JSON key file (see Setting Up a Service Account for more information).

Making the API request and reading text bounds from the response

Now that our Vision API service is ready, we can access the service by calling the document_text_detection method of the ImageAnnotatorClient instance.

The client library encapsulates the details for requests and responses to the API. See the Vision API Reference for complete information on the structure of a request.

"""Returns document bounds given an image."""
client = vision.ImageAnnotatorClient()

bounds = []

with io.open(image_file, 'rb') as image_file:
    content = image_file.read()

image = types.Image(content=content)

response = client.document_text_detection(image=image)
document = response.full_text_annotation

# Collect specified feature bounds by enumerating all document features
for page in document.pages:
    for block in page.blocks:
        for paragraph in block.paragraphs:
            for word in paragraph.words:
                for symbol in word.symbols:
                    if (feature == FeatureType.SYMBOL):
                        bounds.append(symbol.bounding_box)

                if (feature == FeatureType.WORD):
                    bounds.append(word.bounding_box)

            if (feature == FeatureType.PARA):
                bounds.append(paragraph.bounding_box)

        if (feature == FeatureType.BLOCK):
            bounds.append(block.bounding_box)

    if (feature == FeatureType.PAGE):
        bounds.append(block.bounding_box)

# The list `bounds` contains the coordinates of the bounding boxes.

After the client library has handled the request, our response will contain an AnnotateImageResponse, which consists of a list of Image Annotation results, one for each image sent in the request. Because we sent only one image in the request, we walk through the full TextAnnotation, and collect the boundaries for the specified document feature.

Running the application

To run the application, you can download this receipt.jpg file (you may need to right-click the link), then pass the location where you downloaded the file on on your local machine to the tutorial application (doctext.py).

Here is the Python command, followed by the Text Annotation output images.

$ python doctext.py receipt.jpg -out_file out.jpg

The following image shows words in yellow boxes and sentences in red.

Congratulations! You've performed Text Detection using Google Cloud Vision Full Text Annotations!

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Google Cloud Vision API Documentation