Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the technology that is helping to reshape the world of documentation and data capturing. It is helping businesses to go paperless and be more efficient.
We live in an era where we need quick and accurate results for almost everything. Take a look at Uber for example. Earlier we used to wave hands and then a taxi would stop and then we would take a ride. Even then, some taxis would reject to pick you up. Thanks to Uber, that is no more the case. You can enter the pick-up location and within a few minutes, a taxi would arrive.
But the above-mentioned solution is on an individual basis. What about innovation for enterprises? How can small, medium and large-scale enterprises make their day-to-day activities more efficient?
Enterprises on daily basis deal with so much paperwork and at times, some of these are important documents that need to be easily discoverable in a few clicks. That is where the OCR image convertor comes into play.
Any type of handwritten document, a printed text document, or image from which the characters of such document can be recognised and captured is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
OCR’s history can be traced back to the 1930s when an Israeli scientist by the name of Emanuel Goldberg invented what can be termed as Statistical Machine. This patented technology is said to have been acquired by IBM later. Over the decades, technology has evolved a lot and with the emergence of artificial intelligence and deep learning technology, OCR solutions have only improved further.
OCR helps to improve your internal processes and makes your data entry job much faster with a higher rate of accuracy. Manual data entry could be a painstaking job as it is both, time-consuming and not free from errors. With OCR technology, the data entry job is automated and creates a hassle-free environment at work so that you can focus on your core business objectives.
There are various free online OCR image solutions that can help you extract and store text data from images and scanned documents. Below listed are some of them.
Adobe, the pioneer of documentation and editing solutions has an OCR tool in the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. This helps instant conversion of scanned and print-text files of PDFs into editable documents. Apart from this, you can also share, review, add notes from your mobile or tablet as well as a Desktop/Laptop device. This flexibility allows you to scan and edit the files on the go.
Advantages of Acrobat Pro DC:
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s OCR tool helps to convert files instantaneously. It also helps in mapping and matching the fonts and works with MS Word as well, the most common software used for creating print-text documents. It is also an appropriate tool for archiving and storing files.
Disadvantages of Acrobat Pro DC:
Most Adobe suite products have basic features in their free version and therefore, you will need to pay to use the full version or the premium version of Acrobat software. Also, it has plenty of rich features that could be overwhelming for you, especially if you are using it for the first time.
Microsoft OneNote is essentially a digital notebook wherein you can add, revise, highlight, or edit your written text. It has an inbuilt OCR tool, that allows you to extract data from an image or printed-text document. You can paste the data where ever you wish to and edit it.
Advantages of Microsoft OneNote:
With Microsoft OneNote, you can easily share the notebooks and edited documents with anyone you wish to share with. Be it your coworkers, family, friends, in a few clicks, you can easily share the extracted file. OneNote also allows access from multiple devices, providing a flexible approach for editing the document. It supports 21 languages including Mandarin, Turkish, Swedish, Portuguese, German and so on.
Disadvantages of Microsoft OneNote:
For those who are new to the OCR technology and OneNote interface, it may be slightly challenging to get them hang of the software and it’s features quickly.
FreeOCR is a free OCR convertor software for the Windows operating system. It supports the scanning of documents from most scanners and has the ability to also open PDF files as well as multi-page images and other popular image file formats like JPEG, PNG and so on.
Advantages of FreeOCR:
FreeOCR is easy to use. It supports multiple languages and has no limitations on file size to upload the document for scanning. FreeOCR can support up to 12 languages including French, Italian, German and Spanish.
Disadvantages of FreeOCR:
One major drawback of FreeOCR is that the UX/UI of the software is quite outdated and data can not be extracted properly if the pages are not aligned well.
Readiris software enables you to merge, split, edit, secure and sign your PDF documents. Within a few clicks, you can convert and transform all the physical documents into a number of digital formats. The OCR solution of this software allows you to extract data from all types of files with perfect accuracy and helps in preserving the original format of data.
Advantages of Readiris:
Readiris has several advantages as it can allow you to add notes, modify, sign and protect with a password. Apart from that, it has the ability to convert in multiple formats and also, allows you to edit the text within an image. It supports more than 130 languages
Disadvantages of Readiris:
Since business cards are small in size and shape, Readiris can not scan them.
Each and every software has a different methodology for extracting data through an OCR convertor. However, the common steps of how OCR image works are listed below:
Step 1: Upload the image or the scanned document
Step 2: Start the scan and let the software analyze and recognise the data
Step 3: Download the text-only file or copy the text where you wish to.
There could be additional steps in this process but these are the ones that are a must in all types of solutions, irrespective of the device type or the operating software you use.
OCR solutions help you reduce paperwork and help digitize your workplace. But Klearstack’s solutions take this a step further. KlearStack not only can extract entire text from each image/ document, but can also interpret the text and provide you interpreted structured data from each image/ document.
An enterprise has to deal with different vendors and since there is no universal standard of an invoice, manual extraction of data from scanned invoices becomes hard. Klearstack’s deep learning solution helps to automate and streamline this process. To know more about our advanced data capturing and storage solutions, click here to connect with our experts.