What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

You may have heard us talk about Optical Character Recognition or OCR, but wondered what it is and how it works. Well, we’re going to give you the 411 on OCR and how it relates to how we scan your documents and paperwork.

How does OCR software work?

OCR is a software that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze text in a digital scan and turn it into indexable letters and words.

First, the software scans the page to determine if the black and white dots on the page represent a known letter or punctuation. If so, it “digitizes” them so when it’s done, the text on your whole page is now searchable. The data can then be exported into many digital formats and database systems.

Law firms can make excellent use of this software. Let’s say they get boxes and boxes of legal documents to review for a case. They can digitally scan and use OCR software to make the text digitally indexable to search for JUST the text that they need for their case.

Paper medical records can be scanned and the data uploaded to digital patient records which are accessible by any physician at any time, which means it takes a new physician less time to get up to speed with new patients.

Our favourite OCR capture software

We’ve got a couple of favourite software programs we use for OCR:

  • ABBYY FlexiCapture: This world-leading OCR software provides a single entry point to automatically capture, translate, and export date from scanned documents into usable accessible data that can be exported into A/P, ERP, CRM, LOB, and DB systems.
  • Kofax Capture: This well-respected capture software is an all-in-one system that offers consistent capture, indexing, and validation of your digital scans and can automatically enhance scan quality.
  • PaperStream Capture Pro: This software includes advanced options for high-level data extraction and indexing, the import of electronic images and support for multi-station licencing.

What’s the alternative?

You could always opt NOT to use OCR software on your documents, but if you still want to digitize the content you’d have to manually type in every letter. This could take hours upon hours, and you could end up with typos. Digitally scanning and using OCR software takes seconds per page (a no brainer right?) and the technology less susceptible to human errors.

Have we convinced you that OCR is magic? Let us work our magic on your paper records, files, and invoices. Our team would be happy to provide a sample of our OCR software on your documents so you can see how easy and comprehensive it is. Contact us today for a free sample.