By all means, OCR Technology, also known as Optical Character Recognition, has revolutionized the way we create and handle text-based information. But, OCR Technology has been around for decades and has been continuously evolving. It is improving the efficiency and accuracy of text creation and what it means for businesses and individuals alike.
Most business workflows involve receiving information from print media. Paper forms, invoices, scanned legal documents, and printed contracts are all part of it. These large volumes of paperwork take a lot of time and space to store and manage. Though paperless document management is the way to go, scanning the document into an image creates challenges.
The process requires manual intervention and can be tedious and slow. Moreover, digitizing this document content creates image files with the text hidden within them. Text in images cannot be processed by word processing software in the same way as text documents. OCR technology solves the problem by converting text images into text data.
Specifically, it outputs quality data to be easily and quickly analyzed by other business software. You can then use the data to conduct analytics, streamline operations, automate processes, and improve productivity. That said, in this article, we will discuss the ways in which OCR technology has improved productivity in terms of efficient and accurate text creation.
What Is OCR Technology?
By definition, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process that converts an image of text into a machine-readable text format. For example, if you scan a receipt, your computer saves the scan as an image file. You cannot use a text editor to edit, search, or count the words in the image file. However, you can use OCR to convert the image into a text document.
In particular, with its contents stored as text data. For your information, the first OCR systems were developed in the 1960s. In the early days of OCR technology, the recognition of text was limited and unreliable. However, with advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, OCR technology has greatly improved.
Today’s OCR software can accurately recognize text in a wide range of font styles, sizes, and languages. Now it is a valuable tool for businesses and individuals alike. Basically, an OCR technology recognizes and extracts text from scanned documents. The technology uses advanced algorithms to analyze the images and recognize the letters, numbers, and symbols.
Some examples of what OCR software can do:
- Scan hand-filled forms for automated verification, reviews, editing, and analysis. This saves the time required for manual document processing and data entry.
- Find the required documents by quickly searching for a term in the database so that you don’t have to manually sort through files in a box. As well as convert handwritten notes to editable texts and documents.
Data scientists classify different types of OCR technologies based on their use and application. Having said that, the following are a few examples of where OCR technology is being adopted based on usage and applications delivery methods:
1. Simple Optical Character Recognition Software
A simple OCR engine works by storing many different font and text image patterns as templates. The OCR software uses pattern-matching algorithms to compare text images, character by character, to its internal database. If the system matches the text word by word, it is called optical word recognition.
Unfortunately, this solution has limitations because there are virtually unlimited font and handwriting styles, and every single type cannot be captured and stored in the database.
2. Intelligent Character Recognition Software
Modern OCR systems use Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology to read the text in the same way humans do. They use advanced methods that train machines to behave like humans by using machine learning software. A machine learning system called a neural network analyzes the text over many levels, processing the image repeatedly.
It looks for different image attributes, such as curves, lines, intersections, and loops, and combines the results of all these different levels of analysis to get the final result. Even though ICR typically processes the images one character at a time, the process is fast, with results obtained in seconds.
3. Intelligent Word Recognition
Intelligent word recognition systems work on the same principles as ICR, but process whole word images instead of preprocessing the images into characters.
4. Optical Mark Recognition
Optical mark recognition identifies logos, watermarks, and other text symbols in a document.
How The OCR Technology Usually Works
As we aforementioned, OCR technology is a process that uses a software application. The software analyses the image and recognizes the text characters, converting them into digital text that can be edited, saved, and searched. It is a method of converting scanned images, such as scanned documents, into editable and searchable text data.
This technology has been around for several decades and has been widely adopted in a number of different industries and applications. OCR technology works by analyzing the image and recognizing the letters and numbers in the image. The software analyzes the image and recognizes the text characters.
It compares these characters to a pre-defined set of letters and numbers, known as a character set, to determine which characters are present in the image. The software then converts these characters into editable text data that can be searched, edited, and used in various applications. The OCR engine or OCR software works by using a few simple steps.
The simple steps:
Image Acquisition: A scanner reads documents and converts them to binary data. The OCR software analyzes the scanned image and classifies the light areas as background and the dark areas as text.
Image Preprocessing: The OCR software first cleans the image and removes errors to prepare it for reading.
Some of its basic cleaning techniques:
- Deskewing or tilting the scanned document slightly to fix alignment issues during the scan.
- Despeckling or removing any digital image spots or smoothing the edges of text images.
- Cleaning up boxes and lines in the image.
- Script recognition for multi-language OCR technology
Text Recognition: The two main types of OCR algorithms or software processes that OCR software uses for text recognition are called pattern matching and feature extraction.
Pattern Matching works by isolating a character image, called a glyph, and comparing it with a similarly stored glyph. Pattern recognition works only if the stored glyph has a similar font and scale to the input glyph. This method works well with scanned images of documents that have been typed in a known font.
Feature Extraction breaks down or decomposes the glyphs into features like lines, closed loops, line direction, and line intersections. It then uses these features to find the best match or the nearest neighbor among its various stored glyphs.
Data Postprocessing: After analysis, the system converts the extracted text data into a computerized file. Some OCR systems can create annotated PDF files that include both the before and after versions of the scanned document.
How OCR Technology Is Improving Text Creation Efficiency & Accuracy
In simple terms, the development of OCR technology has allowed for the automation of many manual tasks. The conversion of scanned documents into editable text leads to increased efficiency and accuracy in text creation. OCR technology has changed the way of work, saving time, increasing productivity, and reducing the risk of human error.
With OCR software, manual tasks, such as typing out text from scanned documents, can be automated. OCR technology eliminates the risk of human error. There have been several recent advancements in OCR technology that have improved its efficiency and accuracy. Like improving efficiency by automatically integrating document workflows.
Related Resource: Business OCR Solutions | IDV Systems Upgrade Via Automated Data
As well as seamlessly managing your digital workflows within your business. Always remember, scanning a document without OCR is not so good, because a scanner only makes a copy of the document in the form of an image file. Thus, you are unable to copy and paste from the original document. Instead, use OCR for files to be seen quickly and easily when needed.
With that in mind, below are the other key OCR technology advancements in terms of improving text creation and accuracy:
1. Improved Productivity
OCR technology helps to increase productivity by automating the process of converting text into editable and searchable digital formats. This process would otherwise require manual effort, which can be time-consuming and prone to error. The conversion process is quick, accurate, and can be completed in just a few seconds.
This not only saves time but also ensures that the text is accurate and free from any manual errors. OCR technology is an exciting and rapidly evolving field, and its impact on text creation will only continue to grow. As OCR technology becomes more advanced, it will become even more accurate, efficient, and useful for text creation and document management.
With the continued development of OCR technology, everyone can expect to see even more improvements in productivity. On the other hand, the optical character reader (OCR) converts a document into a format that can be edited. Furthermore, some database management systems are even capable of taking input directly from the OCR application.
2. Increased Efficiency
OCR technology has significantly impacted the text creation process by making it faster and more efficient. With OCR technology, text can be created in a fraction of the time it would take to manually enter the information. It has the ability to quickly convert scanned images or PDFs into editable text documents.
This means, that the information can be easily extracted from scanned documents. And then it can quickly be transformed into a format that is easier to work with. With OCR, the conversion of text into digital text files happens in a matter of seconds. One of the key tools is the JPG-To-Text Converter which is easily usable.
Perse, JPG-to-text converters work by analyzing the image of the document to identify the text. Once the text is identified, the tool uses OCR algorithms to convert the text into an editable digital format.
3. Improved Data Management
OCR technology provides benefits for data management, making it easier and more efficient to handle and store text-based data. The advancement of OCR technology has improved data management and made text creation more efficient and accessible. Obviously, this is because it helps to improve the overall data management processes.
Whilst, making it possible to store, organize, and access digital text more efficiently. Digital text can be easily searched, sorted, and retrieved, which is essential for effective data management. With OCR technology, organizations can easily manage large amounts of data, ensuring that it is accurate, reliable, and easily accessible.
It helps to preserve the original text-based data formatting and layout, ensuring that the info remains usable over time.
4. Searchable And Editable Text
In terms of the searchable text context, businesses can convert their existing and new documents into a fully searchable knowledge archive. They can also process the text database automatically by using data analytics software for further knowledge processing. With OCR, the days of manually transcribing paper documents or searching through file stacks are gone.
This cutting-edge technology has made it possible for businesses to quickly and easily convert scanned images and documents into searchable and editable text. OCR technology streamlines workflow and it saves valuable time for searchable and editable text. Once the text has been converted, it can be searched for specific information or edited as needed.
This makes it much easier to manage and organize digital information, as well as access the information quickly and efficiently. Equally important, OCR technology also makes it possible to store and archive digital text, which can be retrieved and used at any time.
5. Simplifying Manual Text Reading
OCR is often part of other artificial intelligence solutions that businesses might implement. For example, it scans and reads number plates and road signs in self-driving cars. It also detects brand logos in social media posts or even identifies product packaging in advertising images. Such artificial intelligence technology helps businesses make better marketing plans.
As well as operational decisions that reduce expenses and improve the customer experience. What’s more, logistics companies use OCR to track package labels, invoices, receipts, and other documents more efficiently. For example, the Foresight Group uses Amazon Textract to automate invoice processing in SAP.
Manual entry of these business documents was time-consuming and error-prone because Foresight employees had to enter the data into multiple accounting systems. As an example, with Amazon Textract, Foresight Software can read characters more accurately across many different layouts, which increases business efficiency.
Notably, OCR Technology has come a long way in recent years, revolutionizing the way to create, process, and store text. With its increased efficiency, improved accuracy increased productivity, and data management, it is an essential tool for organizations and individuals. To streamline the workflow and improve the text creation process accuracy and efficiency.
The future of OCR technology is exciting, and it will continue to play a crucial role in the digital transformation of both business organizations and individual brands alike. So, what’s your take on the role of OCR technology in text creation? Kindly let us know your thoughts in our comments section. Or rather, just Contact Us if you’ll need more support and help.