OCR serves as a crucial link between analog and digital formats. This innovative technology streamlines the task of scanning and transforming data into a digital form, which can then be easily edited and searched.
OCR has proven itself to be an invaluable tool across various platforms including schools, hospitals, or storerooms. With text detection, the digitisation of new and aged records becomes a straightforward operation. This in turn makes the task of capturing documents significantly easier.
Advanced OCR software fuses data extraction and formatting, delivering an efficient solution for converting image to text data without disrupting the document structure.
Employing OCR for bidirectional information exchange, from paper documents or a PDF to cloud storage, facilitates unrestricted exploration of digitisation spaces. Regardless of the scenario, OCR can augment workflow and flawlessly merge with any software configuration.
Understanding the Influence of OCR
To draw an analogy, text recognition is to OCR what reading is for humans. It’s a protocol for obtaining and preserving information. The fundamental difference lies in humans needing cognition, whilst OCR software just performs the operation.
In fact, introducing OCR software can infuse an element of ease into data entry. OCR essentially has two business application areas:
- Securing information
- Repurposing information
OCR’s functionality isn’t limited to a specific type of document. It allows scanning a variety of paper documents such as receipts, invoices, handwritten notes, or even text documents like antiquated contracts.
The OCR software deciphers the text once the document is scanned. If the text is in an illegible handwriting or an unclear font, or sourced from a photo, a manual review of the scanned document is needed to ensure OCR precision.
A document, once scanned and verified, is as manageable and sortable as any other digital documents stored in your server, courtesy OCR. This technological marvel is vital for effective document management.
Technicalities of OCR
Traditional scanners tend to produce raster image comprising black and white pixels or colored dots. Nevertheless, this end product is perceived as a screenshot by humans and hence, serves no purpose for data entry or extraction. To overcome this limitation, a three-fold process is executed in OCR:
- Pre-processing: OCR software applies various methods to ensure a precise translation.
- Conversion: In OCR software, two algorithms, namely, Feature Extraction and Matrix Matching are executed for image translation.
- Post-processing: Aimed at enhancing the accuracy of conversions.
Innovation in OCR systems has readied them to recognise non-Latin alphabets, including Cyrillic and Japanese characters. Few software are equipped to recognise handwriting as well, although human script variations make it demanding to compile into datasets needed for machine learning applications.
OCR’s Role in Text and Document Digitization
OCR aids in the digitization of varied documents like invoices, receipts, age-old medical records, etc. that in turn benefits micro to macro enterprises by augmenting efficiency, reducing human error, managing records prudently, and improving data safety.
A Typical Day at Work Using OCR
- For Companies: It ensures the availability of editable electronic documents that amplifies the efficacy and agility of companies dealing with legalities, insurances, accounting, etc. A fine example is how compliance forms, HR documents, or legal paperwork can be retained as editable PDFs using OCR. This enables the team to quickly retrieve information by typing relevant keywords. Consequently, it boosts efficiency and secures data by restricting the exposure of confidential hard copy documents.
- For Cultural Activities: By recognising characters from varied languages, OCR could be a useful tool in several cultural and practical scenarios. A few applications of OCR include powering translations or digitalising books that are no longer in print or crucial historical documents highly valued by researchers and archivists.
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