The usage of Optical Character Recognition or OCR Technology is widely prevalent across industries. This technology helps in extracting data from various files including printed documents, images, PDFs, and others. With the effective use of the OCR system, you can make edits to the original content.

It’s been nearly 50 years since the implementation of OCR has revolutionized the document maintenance capacity. This technology is encouraging businesses to go paperless and store data in digital storage. In today’s time, the essence of this technology lies in its core, which allows static content to be converted into a searchable file.

This blog will help you explore the OCR technology from scratch. Also, it will provide a detailed assessment of how this technology works and what are its types.

A. What is the OCR System?

Put simply, the OCR technology helps to convert printed documents into digitally editable image files. This technology is now used in many sectors that want to become automated. It allows companies to make scanned documents, which are also machine-readable. While you cannot edit the content in your general files, with this technology you can make easy edits to the original files and save them in digital format.

The main reason behind the implementation of OCR is to eliminate the process of manual entry of data. With this amazing technology, data can be recorded by scanning the document directly. At present, the OCR technology is widely applied in Deep Learning facilities to bring more accurate results.

B. Brief History of OCR Technology

Ray Kurzweil is the mastermind behind the development of the OCR system, which was aimed at helping blind people to read. He, in 1974, created a machine that could convert text-to-speech and that marked the beginning of the development of this technology.

Throughout the 1990s, the implementation of OCR became widely popular among newspaper agencies. The technology has been used to digitize old newspapers to keep a record of history. Before this technology, people had only one option to store data digitally, which was by manually typing it. But with this technology, the process of manual entry of records in digital spaces has gone forever from the process.

C. OCR Types and Explanation

Classification of the OCR types is done based on their application. Different types of OCR technology are developed to fulfill different purposes. Data scientists have specifically mentioned the issue with OCR is ASCII standard maintenance. Through time, all these types of OCR have maintained the standard and followed all specific rules regarding the scanning work.

Here are some commonly identified OCR types mentioned below.

I. Intelligent Character Recognition Software

This is one of the fastest OCR types that can generate results in seconds and it reads texts like a human. At present, the development of high-quality software has become very crucial as half of the tasks are done via machines now. This modern OCR system has a high learning capacity like humans have, which has been developed through a Machine Learning (ML) system.

This type of OCR technology is capable of eliminating the insoluble problem for OCR readers, which is recognizing curves, intersections, loops, etc. The Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) system process the final results after going through different level of analysis.

II. Simple OCR

A simple OCR system can process general tasks like scanning images, and texts, and processing digital files. This system uses an algorithm to match patterns and compare images and characters with the internal database. This system can detect fonts and handwriting styles. This type of OCR is suitable for scanning handwritten data and checking words from written documents.

III. Optimal Mark Recognition

Optical Mark Recognition satisfies the needs of OCR developers to identify logos, symbols, watermarks, etc. Besides image recognition, recognizing the optical marks has become very necessary at present. Anyway, this OCR type can detect any symbols with ease and helps businesses record everything apart from texts and images.

D. How does this System Work?

A proper procedure is followed for the implementation of OCR into the system. This technology has a specific way of working, which is explained below in steps.

Step 1: Acquiring Images

The OCR scanner will capture the image of the document and read the matter of the document. Thereafter, the scanner will convert the information into binary data. The OCR system assesses the light areas of the scanned document and processes the dark areas as text.

Step 2: Removing Errors

Removal of errors from the document is a must to get a clean image of the record. The ASCII code is maintained while the error removal process happens in the system. One of the challenges of OCR is ASCII standard maintenance while doing the error removal work.

The technology uses different techniques to remove all kinds of errors from the system and maintain ASCII standards. To fix the alignments of the scan, a little tilting of the document can be done. The system uses the despeckling technique to remove spots from the digital image.

Step 3: Recognize Texts

Recognizing the text is mainly done in two simple mechanisms, one is pattern matching and the other one is feature extracting. The OCR system algorithm uses these two processes to recognize each latter pasted in the document.

  • I. Match Pattern

As discussed before, the OCR technology uses its algorithm to recognize texts, which works by recognizing glyphs. The space between texts is known as a glyph and the system recognizes the pattern of the glyph. Matching the pattern of glyph debunked the insoluble problem for OCR readers while recognizing the text patterns.

The system matches the pattern of the glyph in the scanned document only if the pattern is stored in the database. Each letter of the document gets recognized through the system by dictating the glyph phase.

  • II. Extract Features

Feature extraction is a little more depth process where the glyphs are assessed further. The system decomposes the features of glyphs as loops, lines, intersections, etc. The main purpose of decomposing the glyphs is to find the best match with the stored glyphs in the system.

Step 4: Conversion

After assessing the documents via pattern matching and feature extracting process, the OCR system finally converts the text data into a digital file. You can have this file saved in PDF format for easy accessibility or you can convert the file into other extensions also. Some software creates annotated PDFs where you can see both files, before and after changes.

E. Benefits Driven by the Implementation of OCR

Easing the data entry procedure is the main purpose of OCR technology and it evolves through time into this field. Companies have satisfied the needs of OCR developers at present and it contributed to the development of this technology. Through this technology, any type of document can become searchable, editable, and storable.

This technology allows businesses to store their digital files anywhere and take out files whenever want. It also collaborates in remote working and allows effortless and constant access to any document from remote locations.

Here are some other main benefits of the OCR system explained below;

I. Make Texts Searchable

The OCR technology makes the complete document searchable and prepares an archive with the documents that it scans. This technology supports automation in processing text documents. Therefore, it processes files using data analytics software to make the text completely searchable.

Through the implementation of OCR technology, companies can have all the files easily located in the central database. Therefore, employees can take out documents from that using the search option and make changes as per the instructions.

II. Automate Data Processing

With the help of the OCR system, companies can bring automation in processing the data and managing content. As the system scans and processes the images and texts into binary files it facilitates automation in the system. It can detect the files that have already been stored in the database and tag them as duplicates.

Therefore, with the help of this technology, companies can automate their data processing system and content management process. It will enhance the efficiency of the database and improve accuracy while storing the digital files in the database.

III. Secure Data

Storing the files in digital format to the cloud database will solve the insoluble problem for OCR readers. With cloud storage, the chances of data loss will be minimal and it gets the highest form of protection from external threats. Employees across your all departments can access the documents whenever they need when you store all physical files in the central database.

Moreover, you can enable more security options to protect your documents located in the central database. The content of the document will have much greater protection from fire incidents, theft, and others.

IV. Bring Efficiency

The main idea behind the integration of the OCR system into workflow management is to bring efficiency. After integration, the system can scan manually-filled forms and make them into digitally editable files. This makes the verification process easy and provides companies with more options like editing, reviewing, and other features.

Even if the document is hand-written the implementation of OCR will provide you with searchable options. You can search the key content of your document with textual input into your database. This technology also allows you to make handwritten notes into editable digital documents. These benefits help organizations bring efficiency in managing their storage and operation.

V. Make Things Easy for Visually Impaired Users

Besides proving the convenience of searching the document, the OCR system enables better access to content for blind people. This technology recognizes text and image inputs and converts them into speech. Therefore, visually impaired people can get the information accurately whatever is written in the document with this technology.

In the future, the OCR system will grow more and support more other features. The system helps businesses to grow more in the digital space as it provides a seamless flow of information. With this system, businesses can store their vital document digitally secured database. Nowadays, businesses outsource these facilities to make their physical document converted into digital files using OCR technology.

Tell us your Requirements & Speak to our Experts

We are always ready to help you!

ASK Data Entry has over a decade of outsourcing experience providing a range of data entry solutions to clients worldwide. Our team brings the highest quality and accuracy to every project, while ensuring confidentiality and compliance with global outsourcing best practices.

Start With Our FREE TRIAL

Add notice about your Privacy Policy here.