What is OCR and How Does it Work?
Nowadays, document processing is easier thanks to the presence of OCR. Documents or data that were originally created manually can now be digitally edited on a computer with OCR technology. However, there are still many people who are not familiar with what OCR is despite the many benefits it offers. So, what is OCR?
OCR technology is a major requirement for those of you who want to experience the ease of processing documents. Before you have the software, you need to know in advance about OCR technology through this article.
Getting to Know What OCR is
To start the article off, what is OCR? Optical Character Recognition or OCR is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that functions to recognize characters in writing. At first glance, OCR is similar to a scanner, but with more advanced capabilities. OCR can distinguish characters in the form of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and others in scanned documents.
There are also types of documents that can be scanned by OCR, namely handwritten, typewriter, or computer-typed documents. In the use of this technology, data from a physical document that is scanned with OCR technology is then converted into a soft file. The contents of the soft file can be edited or changed again according to your wishes.
What Are the Benefits of OCR?
Almost all types of technology in this modern era always bring great benefits to its users, including OCR. There are five benefits that you can get from this technology, namely:
1. More Accurate
OCR is designed with two built-in algorithms, namely pattern recognition and feature detection. The two algorithms are able to analyze every character in a text. The results of the analysis are more accurate so that the document is free from the slightest error.
OCR is also a solution to simplify accounting work that often occurs repeatedly. This technology is able to detect and decipher the main data that is arranged with a static layout. You, employees, or customers no longer need to deal with manual data entry processes that are more complicated and not well coordinated.
3. More Practical
The convenience offered by OCR technology certainly makes employees more practical at work. Your employees no longer need to retype the data that was written manually, they just need to use OCR software to input data to make work easier. Employees no longer feel occupied so much with a single task because they can focus on other more important work.
4. More Detailed
OCR is very useful in any field, including finance. This technology is able to recognize optical characters in finance and accounting, especially when you are struggling with the audit process. OCR will provide more detailed and faster results so that the accuracy of financial reports is guaranteed.
Last but not least, OCR can save you time in your work, especially in the areas of administration and data entry. You can scan documents into digital form, then process the data on a computer so that it is faster than processing data manually. These benefits make the job done faster and the business can reach its target earlier.
Algorithms Used in the OCR Technology
Previously, it was briefly explained that OCR technology is built with two types of algorithms, namely pattern recognition and feature detection. What do these two algorithms mean?
1. Pattern Recognition
Every writing or document must have a certain pattern in it. Pattern recognition functions to recognize the pattern by using text or writing inserts as a comparison. This algorithm works by assessing and distinguishing patterns such as text, images, numbers in scanned documents. As a result, the content or content in the document appears digitally so that it can be edited or processed.
2. Feature Detection
In addition to patterns, there are also more specific characters, for example curved lines, arrows, straight lines, and so on. These specific characters were analyzed by feature detection algorithm. Without this algorithm, scanned documents actually leave a lot of free space because OCR technology is not able to detect these unique shapes.
How Does OCR Work in Detecting Document Contents
OCR technology works in six steps after a document has passed the scanning stage. How does OCR technology work?
1. Arranging Images’ Positions
The position of the scanned document often looks skewed or uneven. OCR will adjust the tilt and position of the document automatically so that it is more aligned and neater.
2. Analyzing the Text
OCR will detect the content in the document, then analyze the text and objects in it. During the analysis process, the document is converted into a bitmap form and consists of two different areas, namely the dark area and the light area. This bright area is known as the background, while the dark area is known as the character or object.
3. Performing Automatic Orientation
Next, OCR will perform automatic orientation to adjust the exact position of the scan results. This step starts by taking a sample from the document, then rotating it to change its direction or orientation.
Read Also: Why Should We Digitalize Documents?
4. Identifying Characters
Characters that appear in documents of various types, can be letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols. All of these characters are identified so you can edit their contents as needed.
5. Identifying Images
OCR also detects images separately from the character identification process. The detected images can be in the form of graphs, tables, diagrams, illustrations, logos, and so on. The image is also identified so that it can be entered into the data to be processed as a whole.
6. Converting the Final Result
Finally, OCR also has a feature for file conversion so that it can be saved in various formats. Yes, now you can save scanned documents in image, file, or PDF format, depending on the type of extension you want to use.
Examples of OCR Uses in Business
There are many software with OCR technology implementation nowadays. AdIns also has useful OCR-based applications to make your work easier, such as Intelligent Data Capture. This application has helped many employees in doing work that is classified as redundant, one of which is the data input process. The company data collection process is also more practical because each character is directly converted into ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) form.
So, what is OCR? Now that you know what it is, are you now interested in trying OCR with reliable quality? Just use this OCR application from AdIns with the various advantages previously mentioned. Contact AdIns now to try a demo version of this OCR application!