What is Meant by OCR
Optical Character Recognition or OCR is a technology that has changed the way we manage our data. OCR is the process by which images from scanned documents are converted into searchable and editable text. This technology has eliminated the need for never-ending hours of data entry and storing stacks of paper. OCR involves the use of hardware, in the form of a scanner, and OCR software that converts the scanned image into text. The resolution of images is measured in dots per inch or dpi. Higher resolution images will have a higher dpi. Printed, typed and hand written documents can all be converted into text. Typically, the process involves scanning a document which is then saved as an image. The OCR software then scans the image and recognizes the characters by matching them with those stored in its database, and finally converts them into editable text strings.
Methods of OCR and the Need for OCR Software
OCR technology involves two methods of character recognition. Images are compared with patterns from the database, matched with each shape, and then converted to editable characters. Alternately, the program checks for lines and arcs and assigns a code to each shape. To increase accuracy OCR software are usually loaded with a powerful dictionary. OCR now forms an integral part of record retrieval. Most insurance companies use OCR software to convert thousands of insurance claims. The healthcare industry utilizes OCR to store and retrieve patient information on a large scale. The postal department also depends largely on OCR for sorting letters.
Upgrading OCR Software
Depending on your requirements, you may want to consider upgrading your OCR software. Judging by the limitations of your current version you ought to find a reasonable upgrade by searching online. Accuracy is crucial so make sure you test out a couple of OCR software on medium and low resolution pages. This will give you a fair idea of how capable the program really is. You won't want to end up with hours of manual data entry later on. Apart from accuracy, also check on the speed, accuracy, language support, and compatibility with different operating systems. These features are necessary for any good OCR software.