Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is OCR and how can it help me in my scanning project?

Ah, OCR, also known as Optical Character Recognition. Is it really necessary to use OCR software after scanning files to TIFF or PDF? What are the key benefits of OCR? How can I use OCR to create searchable or editable documents?

OCR technology has come a long way in the past few years, and the OCR engines on the market today utilize intelligence and speed to quickly and accurately convert scanned paper documents from plain old images, into searchable or editable documents. For a quick overview of OCR, ICR and OMR, click here.

When looking at OCR technolgies, you need to determine your end goal: is it searchability or a cleanly formatted, editable document. Is your goal speed, or accuracy?

There are a number of desktop applilcations (eCopy Desktop, Adobe, OmniPage, ReadIRIS), that can provide the ability to create searchable files, as well as Word Processing files, or even spreadsheets. These are perfect for low-volume, daily conversions.

If you are scanning a large volume of paper, and need rapid and accurate conversion, most of the Advanced Capture applications on the market can accomplish the task ( Psigen PsiCapture is an example). This capture software utilizes either the Expervision or OmniPage production OCR engines, and can convert a 1000 pages in 10 minutes to searchable PDF.

For more info on OCR and how it can work for you, see the links below:

OCR Software Links

Scanning and Document Management Articles and Research