EML-txt2txt is a collection of three scripts (o4a-solver, EML-spellchecker, EML-normalizer) under a common GUI that work on Early Modern Latin (EML) texts. They transform the output of OCR4all (version of May 2019) into texts that have (1) abbreviations solved (OCR4all outputs unicode), (2) scanning mistakes corrected, and (3) orthography normalized.

The output of OCR4all aims to represent as much of the original form of the text as possible. This is achieved by representing the abbreviations with graphs from a UC-font optimized for the visualization of the graphic form of medieval Latin texts (e.g. Andron Scriptor Web). Such a text can be the basis for transformations into different orthographic representations to be used for different research purposes.

It should be noted that any transformation involves choices between orthographically equivalent forms (e.g. com-/con-) and numerous other decisions (e.g. resulting from the absence of hyphens). Thus a degree of normalization is inherent in every stage of the process. I will write about normalizations in a seperate blog post.

1. o4a-solver

o4a-solver expands the abbreviations normally used in Early Modern Latin prints. It is geared towards the output of OCR4all and can be used in automatic mode or interactively (with as yet unknown abbreviations). While it will work with any text containing abbreviations as uc-characters, its advantage lies in the fact that it displays the segmented lines of OCR4all to allow easy control of dubious or new abbreviations. o4a-solver can easily be trained to solve abbreviations differently.

2. EML-spellchecker

EML-spellchecker is an interactive tool that tests a text against the repertoire of forms of LatinISE. New forms can be accepted or rejected; thus additional dictionaries either specific to one text or future texts in general can be built. It can be used on any text, but is most useful for the output of OCR4all/o4a-solver, since it, too, displays the segmented lines of OCR4all to allow easy control and/or correction of scanning errors. At this stage also punctuation can be changed.

Hyphenation: Since EML books rarely have hyphens if a linebreak occurs within a word, EML-spellchecker allows you to insert missing hyphens manually (this is unfortunately a large part of manual post-correction). Hyphenated syllables are joined together by transferring the second part of a word into the preceding line (and deleting the hyphen, obviously).

3. EML-normalizer

EML-normalizer is an interactive tool that tests a text against wordlists extracted from classical (normalized) texts. It is trained to suggest normalizations for frequent variant forms. Also proper names are identified and capitalized. Results for individual and future texts can be improved by training (esp. important for proper names which have no consistent spelling). The aim is to produce a form of a text that can easily be used as basis for linguistic research needing lemmatization or normalized texts in general. The script can be used on any text with linebreaks.


All scripts are written in AutoIT (Windows only). All data are stored separately; scripts written in LINUX-friendly languages can easily use the same data. Both o4a-solver and EML-spellchecker have been used on several texts by me and are running stably. Tests of EML-normalizer will begin in the fall of 2019.

Updated on 17-9-2019.

Written on August 19, 2019