The full form of "OCR" is Optical Character Recognition. OCR can be used with any digital document (such as a PDF file) to extract its text and either create an editable text file, or a searchable PDF. Some scanner software includes OCR, so that when you scan a document, it is processed with OCR as it is scanned.
There's a free online tool at CVISION Tech's website if you want to try using OCR on any document file you might have.
In recent years, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology has been applied throughout the entire spectrum of industries, revolutionizing the document management process. OCR has enabled scanned documents to become more than just image files, turning into fully searchable documents with text content that is recognized by computers. With the help of OCR, people no longer need to manually retype important documents when entering them into electronic databases. Instead, OCR extracts relevant information and enters it automatically. The result is accurate, efficient information processing in less time.
The uses of OCR vary across different fields. One widely known application is in banking, where OCR is used to process checks without human involvement. A check can be inserted into a machine, the writing on it is scanned instantly, and the correct amount of money is transferred. This technology has nearly been perfected for printed checks, and is fairly accurate for handwritten checks as well, though it occasionally requires manual confirmation. Overall, this reduces wait times in many banks.
In the legal industry, there has also been a significant movement to digitize paper documents. In order to save space and eliminate the need to sift through boxes of paper files, documents are being scanned and entered into computer databases. OCR further simplifies the process by making documents text-searchable, so that they are easier to locate and work with once in the database. Legal professionals now have fast, easy access to a huge library of documents in electronic format, which they can find simply by typing in a few keywords.
Healthcare has also seen an increase in the use of OCR technology to process paperwork. Healthcare professionals always have to deal with large volumes of forms for each patient, including insurance forms as well as general health forms. To keep up with all of this information, it is useful to input relevant data into an electronic database that can be accessed as necessary. Form processing tools, powered by OCR, are able to extract information from forms and put it into databases, so that every patient's data is promptly recorded. As a result, healthcare providers can focus on delivering the best possible service to every patient.
OCR in Other Industries
OCR is widely used in many other fields, including education, finance, and government agencies. OCR has made countless texts available online, saving money for students and allowing knowledge to be shared. Invoice imaging applications are used in many businesses to keep track of financial records and prevent a backlog of payments from piling up. In government agencies and independent organizations, OCR simplifies data collection and analysis, among other processes. As the technology continues to develop, more and more applications are found for OCR technology, including increased use of handwriting recognition. Furthermore, other technologies related to OCR, such as barcode recognition, are used daily in retail and other industries. To learn more about OCR solutions for your office, you can download a free trial of Maestro Recognition Server, CVISION's OCR toolkit, or Trapeze, our automated form-processing solution.