What is OCR Doing?
By Space Coast Daily // May 25, 2022
OCR or Optical Character Recognition is an advanced technology that is extremely popular today. It is a device that is finding more and more widespread use. Until now, it has been mainly used in universities, colleges, and schools, but it is also helping various businesses to deal with the challenges they face.
One of the most significant advantages of OCR is that it saves space. But besides what it is, another important question is: how does it copy text from images ?
What is OCR?
Optical Character Recognition allows you to convert various types of documents, scanned documents, PDF files, and images captured with a digital camera into files that can be edited.
Imagine you have a contract or other paper document, or it was emailed to you, and it’s in a PDF file. An ordinary scanner can only scan a document and present it to you in an electronic version, but not convert it so that you can work on the document using Microsoft Word, for example.
It is where OCR software comes in, converting the file so that you can use it to edit the content.
The creation of OCR began way back in the 1920s when an Austrian engineer named Gustav Tausacheck started developing a machine that could read characters. It was still hard to believe that it was possible to create such a thing during this period.
Thus, later, Gustav Tausacheck proved that it was quite possible. In 1929 he obtained a patent in Germany for his invention, namely OCR. In the beginning, the use of the machine was highly complicated. Over the years, it has simplified as much as possible to be easy to use.
OCR software’s core is three basic principles – integrity, purposefulness, and adaptability (IPA). When recognizing text, first and foremost, the software analyzes the document’s structure (image). It then divides each page into several separate elements – blocks of text, tables, images, etc. It is followed by the division of the words and then the characters (letters).
When OCR splits the characters, the software starts comparing against different image models to figure out what the given characters are. After this detailed analysis, OCR decides what the characters are and presents you with the text it has recognized.
Types of OCR
Today, technology has evolved tremendously, resulting in five main types of OCR that you can find. These are:
■ Optical Character Recognition – above, we mentioned precisely this type, whose task is to go through each character, recognize them and form them into words and then into sentences;
■ Optical Word Recognition – this is one of the newest technologies. What makes it different from the previous type is that it is used for word analysis. The change in this type is in its algorithm;
■ Optical Mark Recognition – this technology is a process of reading marks, including ticks and X marks made by humans on various types of paper;
■ Intelligent Word Recognition – this is the latest edition of digital and handwritten word recognition you will find today;
■ Intelligent Character Recognition – this is a modern technology that, like Intelligent Word Recognition, is the most common today. The difference comes in that this technology recognizes characters in a digital document.
Advantages of OCR
Many reasons prove OCR software is worth using. First of all, this technology facilitates processes related to entering, editing, searching, and storing texts. You can easily store documents on various devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and more. That is a considerable advantage, especially for businesses.
Moreover, other pros of OCR are:
■ improving and simplifying workflows
■ protection of sensitive data and confidential information
■ improving internal business processes and customer service
■ cost reduction.
In conclusion, we can say that OCR is being used more and more in different industries, which proves its importance.