Optical Character Recognition, as known as OCR, is a process to automatically convert image files to digital text files. OCR data processing can extract character data and recognize them but it cannot recognize objects or understand the meaning of those character data. For example, when you scan a word, OCR program will detect and recognize that text but it doesn’t know the meaning of that word.
OCR types categorized by source of characters
- Online Character Recognition
It uses a digital pen exclusive for a notebook computer to input the data. The characters will be analyzed while they are being written. Comparing with offline character recognition, this type is easier because it gets more information about the direction and the stroke order. This type of OCR is usually accompanied by a writing device specifying an area to input data. It mostly needs to write one by one character using a special code.
2. Offline Character Recognition
Input of the system is a printed or written character image obtained from a scanner. There are both single character and connected characters. It needs to prepare, edit, and recognize the data before outputting the result into the characters. These steps are important to the overall performance of the system. Especially the recognition step is the main process of OCR to show the accurate characters.
If an error occurs in any part, it will also affect the other parts of the system. Of course, the output won’t be 100% correct.
The program can check and edit the text to increase the accuracy. It will preliminarily check the spellings and grammar and show some marks telling users that the words may not be correct, but it also depends on the users whether they want to modify those words or not.
Advantages of OCR technology
You can get the following advantages when using OCR to manage your document
- No need to input the data so it can save time to create the document
- Saving storage space and easy to search the document because it becomes the electronic file
- Easy and convenient to edit the result in MS Word or Excel
- The result can be stored in database so it is easy to interface with other systems
- OCR can be applied with RPA to create a software robot to do routine work instead of human.