With the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tech as powerful and accessible as it is right now, there are a lot of ways to pull text from a document, many of which involve uploading your file/s to an unknown website. However, here are a couple of free options and without worrying about who has your file.
Google Keep has unwittingly become my go-to note taking app, not the least because of the hidden intelligence gems available. The OCR function is simple to use: Upload the document (a good quality picture of it should do), then in the options, select 'grab text'. The note will get updated with the text it grabs from the image. While the character recognition is quite accurate, the text is now effectively 'separated' from the document.
Adobe Scan is a mobile app (Android and iPhone) that you use to take a picture of the document. It then converts the characters it recognizes as 'selectable' text and saves the file as a pdf. Although, in my experience, the OCR engine does not seem as powerful as Google's 'keep' version, this is really interesting as it keeps the integrity of the document really nicely.
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