Optical character recognition software might seem like a newer technology, but that is far from true. In fact, Reader’s Digest installed the first OCR optical character recognition machine in 1954.
At this time, OCR machines could read about one character per minute. Today, they can read more than 10,000 in the same amount of time! So, what exactly does an OCR machine and software do?
Keep reading to learn more about this interesting technology.
What Is Optical Character Recognition?
Optical character recognition (OCR) is a machine vision capability. It lets you recognize and extract text from images. Then you can further process and store the data.
OCR is an electronic conversion of a document into machine-encoded text. You can convert typed, handwritten, and printed text images. It’s instrumental when working with invoices, scanned forms, and signage.
The following industries commonly use OCR technology:
- Supply chain
Tesseract OCR is an open-source OCR with support for Unicode. It can recognize more than 100 languages out of the box, with the option for further training in other languages.
C# has one of the most accurate and fastest Tesseract Libraries available. You can easily find C# Tesseract OCR to use for your needs.
How Does OCR Work?
Before starting or choosing an algorithm, you need to preprocess the image or document. The preprocessing step allows the software to have a better chance of recognition.
Standard techniques in this step include:
- Line removal
- Layout analysis or “zoning”
- Line and word detection
- Script recognition
- Character isolation or “segmentation”
After preprocessing, the machine and software can begin feature extraction. There are two primary extraction methods.
The first uses an algorithm for feature detection. It defines a character by evaluating its lines and strokes.
The second uses pattern recognition. This method can identify the entire character.
After feature extraction, it’s time for post-processing. You can improve accuracy by limiting the output to a lexicon. However, this may not be efficient for documents with many proper nouns.
Thankfully, you can use Tesseract OCR to help improve your library.
During post-processing, you will also want to check for spelling errors and grammar. There are algorithms available to help maximize API outcomes and improve grammar.
Benefits of Using OCR
With OCR software, your scanned files become easily searchable. Employees can search them using almost any system. This makes data highly accessible and storable within the company.
Businesses can share the data with their customers when necessary too.
Additionally, it’s easy to edit documents using OCR. If you want to translate and store documents for broader access, it’s possible. The Unicode Standard and a computer translation program based on machine learning carry out these tasks.
Finally, your business can keep digital backups of all files rather than paper copies. This makes organization and document management much better than before.
OCR Optical Character Recognition Explained
While OCR optical character recognition technology is not new, it continues to evolve with advances in data technology. Using OCR Tesseract is an excellent way to learn how to use this technology and incorporate it into your business.
For more insights into business and technology, make sure you check out the rest of the blog.