Windows 8.1 gets SkyDrive OCR Search indexing & Smart File features

A new feature of SkyDrive brings support for OCR. SkyDrive photos will use the Bing-powered SkyDrive OCR tool, that will be automatically run on your photos and display the extracted text on The text is extracted from photos in your Camera Roll folder and saved in the photo’s metadata. This process allows you to search for photos on your desktop referencing any part of the text.


If you had taken some photos of a menu of a restaurant, you can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search the text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. More and more such scenarios are happening, as people are taking more photos to keep track of everyday information. This valuable OCR search feature will start rolling out over the coming weeks – and which will allow you to search text extracted from the Camera Roll photos, right from the desktop

Apart from this, SkyDrive team in its latest blog post also talks of Smart Files. The Smart Files feature was developed when SkyDrive for Windows 8.1 was being designed, keeping in mind the fact that the growing storage needs were out-pacing the storage on hard disks on devices. These Smart files behave like regular files, but only download the full file from SkyDrive when you need it. Smart files allow you to always have your files with you, without using all your bandwidth or local storage. Smart files occupy a fraction of their original size, but behave identically to any other file. They take up 80% less disk space than if one not using Smart Files.

Actually this feature was earlier referred to as Placeholder Files – but they are now called as “Smart files”. We will shortly be posting about how to use these Smart files, in a separate post.

The SkyDrive team posted videos describing these features also posted this small video of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1

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Vasudev G. is a Technology Enthusiast. He is a Windows Insider MVP and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products.

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