how do I identify letters in an image? (before OCRing)

All I can find in the web is about OCR but I'm not there yet, I still have to recognize where the letters are in the image.


  • Generally speaking you'll be looking for small contiguous areas of nearly solid color. I would suggest sampling each pixel and building an array of nearby pixels that also fall within a threshold of the original pixels color (repeat for neighbours of each matching pixel). Put the entire array aside as a potential character (or check it now) and move on (potentially ignoring previously collected pixels for a speedup).

    Optimisations are possible if you know in advance the font-size, quality and/or color of the text. If not you'll want to be fairly generous with your thresholds of what constitutes a "contiguous area".