Did you know that you can convert scanned text into Google Doc format? This is particularly handy if you have hard copies of old records or documents that need to be in text format. Rather than spending hours typing them out you can scan them into JPEG, GIF, PNG or PDF format and import them into Google Docs. Their OCR technology will do the rest.
The original image is included in the doc to make it easier for you to edit and correct mistakes.
Interestingly, this came about as part of Google’s 20% time. Software Engineer, Jaron Schaeffer was presented with a problem. A colleague’s wife had found a stack of ancient family chronicles in the attic and wanted to continue writing them.
Here’s the tech bit – http://googledataapis.blogspot.com/2009/09/import-scans-or-go-multilingual.html.