OCR, ICR, and Bar Code Readers

In All, and Bar Code Readers, Archived, ICR, OCR by ChrisLeave a Comment

Question: Do I need just OCR for my files or do I also need to be concerned with ICR and bar code readers?

Answer: Most OCR (optical character recognition) engines do not automatically handle either handwritten character recognition (ICR) or bar codes. If these are important to your document workflow and indexing, then the correct modules need to be installed to find and recognize these instances.

Generally, ICR recognition rates are significantly lower than OCR recognition rates. ICR rates are higher where the text is hand printed and letters are topologically distinct, i.e., not allowed to touch each other. In analyzing general cursive script, with letters connected to each other, recognition rates are significantly lower.

If the ICR fields are known to be of a certain type, say numeric (e.g., social security numbers), then the ICR engine can be calibrated to expect this data type, with recognition rates going up considerably.

Bar code recognition is a generally an accurate process, even when the input scan is degraded, e.g., rescan. Bar codes allow for a certain degree of redundancy, even when the scan quality is poor. However, there are many classes of bar codes and the bar code class must be defined correctly for the recognition process to work properly. If the wrong bar code classification is used during the recognition process, then an incorrect ASCII string will be returned.

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