what is optical character recognition

What Is Optical Character Recognition?

Wizix TechMFPs, office tips

When shopping for a new scanner, you might notice that many modern machines come with built-in optical character recognition software (OCR). This software is an essential feature, but what does it do? OCR helps simplify office tasks, which is why we offer the latest scanners with OCR technology at WiZiX Technology Group. Continue reading to learn exactly what optical character recognition is and how OCR works. 

What Is Optical Character Recognition?

Optical character recognition is a process that converts an image of text into an editable document. So, when you scan a document with a machine using OCR software and upload it to your computer, you can start editing the document right away. Without OCR, a scanned document is just an image, meaning you cannot make changes or even highlight the text. 

How Does OCR Work?

In order to turn a scanned document image into text, optical character recognition software analyzes the individual letters and numbers in the document and converts everything it recognizes into editable text. The software uses an algorithm that helps it quickly recognize and convert each word. 

In the past, OCR software could only recognize text in one font, known as OCR-A. This font was used for important documents like bank checks so machines could efficiently read the text. However, modern OCR software has evolved to be capable of recognizing text in a wide range of fonts as well as handwritten text, making OCR more practical for office use.

Three Benefits of Optical Character Recognition Software

1. Saves Time, Money, and Space

Investing in equipment that has optical character recognition built-in saves your business the cost of paying for a subscription to use third-party software. OCR also saves time and increases productivity in the office because employees no longer have to enter data manually. 

Plus, OCR makes transitioning to an electronic document management system (DMS) much easier and faster. Using a DMS will save your business time, money, and space as well—employees can find documents quickly, and document storage will take up less space, leading to lower costs.

2. Simplifies Editing

It’s inevitable that a scanned document will require some changes. If your machine doesn’t have optical character recognition built-in, this task takes much longer. Without being able to convert the image to editable text, you have to create a new document, re-enter all of the information and then make the necessary changes. 

OCR allows you to start editing a document immediately, which speeds up and simplifies the editing process. OCR will also detect incorrect data and misspellings in documents, underlining them in red. This reduces the risk of human errors going unnoticed and makes editing more efficient. 

3. Makes Documents Searchable

OCR not only makes text editable, it also makes text searchable. When a scanned document is just an image, employees must read through the entire document to find certain information. The ability to search for specific text in a document makes employees’ jobs much more efficient. 

Scanners with Built-In OCR Software for California Businesses

Now that you understand what optical character recognition is, you can upgrade to a scanner that will streamline productivity in your office. At WiZiX Technology Group in California, we offer an array of high-quality scanners from Brother that have OCR built-in. Call 866-846-1411 to find a scanner that will meet all of your business’s needs.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/28/2022). Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash