Glossary: What is OCR and how does it work?
ON optical character recognition (OCR) It’s cutting-edge technology that powers dozens of tools we use every day. Simply put, it’s a type of software that “translates” scanned documents into a format that a computer can read.
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Beige OCR, the computer perceives each scanned document as a single image, the same way we see photographs or works of art. In this format, the computer does not recognize individual letters, words or phrases. This limits the ways in which the computer, and thus the user, can interact with a wide variety of documents.
ON OCR scanning software allows a computer to “see” a scanned document in the same way we see text-based documents created in Word, Excel, or equivalent programs. This allows you to work with scanned documents in the same way you would work with original documents, including:
- Use the search functions;
- Use comparison and analysis tools;
- Processing, storing, retrieving and sharing information.
ON optical character recognition can be used to translate printed text and includes two processes designed to capture handwritten data:
- Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR): the process of capturing and translating handwritten and written characters, such as structured shapes;
- Optical Mark Recognition (OMR): The process of capturing human-marked data in document forms such as multiple-choice surveys, quizzes, and tests as lines or shaded areas.
Together, these recognition software solutions are useful in a wide variety of applications and situations.
How OCR works
help OCR software for successful document translation, image enhancement technologies such as Kodak Alaris Perfect Page “cleaning” and automatically finding and correcting common document scanning errors or problems by performing:
- Adjusting distorted or crooked scans;
- Removal of stains, lines and other printing imperfections from the “vision” of the computer;
- Compensation for stains and other defects not printed on the page;
- Analysis of the layout of columns, images, tables and other resources.
This type of technology is already integrated into the brand’s scanner portfolio to optimize data clarity and maximize OCR accuracycreating the smallest possible file size.
After the data has been converted and enhanced, the next step in OCR is to understand what type of document entered the system and determine the next step for that type of document.
OCR, ICR, and OMR allow capture software such as Kodak Capture Pro and Kodak Info Input Solution to determine what type of document has been entered. The software can then take the images and apply classification rules based on document content, document appearance, barcodes, or indexing data.
The classification will determine whether the document is, for example, an invoice, a patient record, a credit file or a tax record. It is Information entry solution can do advanced document recording with only one or two samples to learn how to classify documents.
THE Kodak Alaris it does this through proprietary machine learning algorithms. The system uses several techniques for data classification: content search, images, barcodes and document merging.
If the system doesn’t have enough confidence in any document it’s trying to classify, the process could call on a human operator for confirmation, just as we’re called to check old texts that computers can’t decipher using Captcha.
- Data extraction
The last stage of OCR process is data extraction.
Extracting the most important information from a document for use as metadata or index data is vital for retrieval and processing. Automated rules-based sorting informs the system what key information should exist in a document and often where that information should be placed.
Kodak Alaris software solutions can identify the text in your document using pattern recognition and features. They identify the language of the document being scanned and classify the text into individual letters, words, sentences and paragraphs.
The software then extracts and creates a copy of that information for use as metadata in the next stage of the process. In the case of documents, metadata can be used to organize, locate, and/or insert documents into another type of business system.
With these solutions, you can extract data based on business rules and the information the company needs through database searches. Users can configure the indexing process to automatically extract key data from documents (via barcode, OCR, ICR or OMR), reducing processing time.
Why OCR is important
OCR technology offers numerous advantages in the personal and professional sphere. OCR software makes it possible to translate printed text from almost any material, and whether you realize it or not, you use many of these features every day. You also benefit from referrals from other people and organizations. For example, the police use OCR technology to identify license plates and help protect us. Banks’ use of digital signature recognition, a form of OCR, prevents would-be identity thieves from accessing and spending your money.
OCR in the workplace
ON OCR can be particularly useful in the workplace. For example, companies can digitize existing documents using OCR software and instantly transform them into formats compatible with text-to-speech programs. This can help companies, for example, to meet the needs of visually impaired customers in real time.
In other industries, such as healthcare, OCR technology can literally save lives. ON Scan-to-OCR software can save a huge amount of information in a patient’s medical historysearchable and auditable, improving accessibility and preventing dangerous errors.