I have the image of a matrix (download it to see it bigger):

a matrix

Is there a way to convert this into a Mathematica numerical matrix, using Mathematica?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you know the bounds of the values of your matrix? Are they all 0/1/-1/2? $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @rm-rf Yes. You can assume that the values are all in the set {-1, 0, 1, 2}. $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ ImageCorrelate is probably your friend here. $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Various methods are described here here. If you know the dimension of this matrix as well as how the columns are spatially distributed it might help, because a useful first step is probably to partition the image (and then use ImageCorrelate like rm -rf said). $\endgroup$
    – C. E.
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ @anon You can also assume that you know the dimensions of the matrix. In this example, the matrix is 46x34. The columns and rows are clearly delineated in the image. $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


TextRecognize works fine after some tweaks and error corrections:

x = Import["https://i.sstatic.net/NQr6I.png"];
res = TextRecognize[Binarize[ImageResize[x, Scaled[5]], 0.7],"SegmentationMode" -> 6];

m = ToExpression /@ StringSplit[#] & /@ 
     res, {"O" | "D" | "U" -> "0", "~" | "\"" -> "-", "I" -> "1"}], 

m // MatrixForm

enter image description here

I have used the undocumented option "SegmentationMode" -> 6.

  • $\begingroup$ SegmentationMode details here $\endgroup$
    – Murta
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Murta My last line is clickable with the same link :) $\endgroup$
    – ybeltukov
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for proving that TextRecognize works. It seems the text needs to be large enough for it to work. $\endgroup$
    – shrx
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ +1. But I've found one error: m[[28,28]] gives -1. It should be 1. $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 14:32

Here is one way:

data = ColorNegate@Import@"https://i.sstatic.net/NQr6I.png";

points=ComponentMeasurements[ MorphologicalComponents[Sharpen[Dilation[Binarize@data,1.5],1]] ,"Centroid"][[All,2]];
box=ComponentMeasurements[ MorphologicalComponents[Sharpen[Dilation[Binarize@data,1.5],1]] ,"BoundingBox"][[All,2]];


We can see that grid position worked in this plot:


enter image description here

Now let's do image partition:

imagePartition = ParallelMap[ImageTrim[Binarize@data, #] &, box];

Here is a sample:

imagePartition[[;; 15]]

enter image description here

Now the part that has to be improved, here is one attempt to recognize the numbers.


Two elements finds -1, one hole find 0, no hole with perimeter < 15 finds 1 and the rest is 2.

Applying it data partition as:


We get:

Grid[numberData,Spacings->0,Alignment-> NumberPoint,Dividers->LightGray,BaseStyle->{FontSize-> 11}]

enter image description here

Not perfect, but can be a start point. It's just improve getNumber.


With some calibration in getNumber and using Binarize intead of Sharpen, now all cases are ok.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related to the last part: coming soon. First application example $\endgroup$
    – Rojo
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I know! Tks for show that this documentation is already public :) $\endgroup$
    – Murta
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ +1 But it has some mistakes. numberData[[6, 5]] and numberData[[6, 6]] both give 0, but should be -1 and 1 respectively. $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 18:04

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