Best OCR Software in June 2022
Do you have a lot of paperwork that needs to be scanned? If so, it’s time to invest in OCR software. It scans invoices, documents, and other paper-based data into digital formats like PDF - making it easier for you to manage all your paperwork. Try one today!
updated May 18, 2022 11:43 AM
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Able2Extract Professional 17
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Easy Screen OCR
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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is an OCR software?
In the earlier years, you must retype a whole document to make a copy of it, especially when a softcopy is not available for editing and printing; it was certainly time-consuming. However, you don’t have to suffer from retyping every printed or electronic copy of that document. All you need is the optical character recognition (OCR) software. OCR is a software technology that enables you to easily convert scanned documents into machine-encoded text, which allows you to change, copy, edit, and do anything you regularly do on a text document.
Why do you need OCR software?
This software simply makes your life easier as it provides you fast search and easy editing features. With this, you will surely gain benefits and complete different work obligations. Take note of the benefits.
OCR software helps industries to achieve a higher level of productivity by making systematic data retrieval that can produce documents faster when required. If you have a business, you can utilize your employees more efficiently as it helps unload their work burden. Thus, having OCR software at work can minimize manual labor and enable staff to do other higher-value tasks. Handling redundant work can automatically boost productivity and customer satisfaction.
Unless you love working extra hours on your keyboard to recreate documents in printed or scanned format, you will save those extra hours when you convert those images files into searchable, editable text using OCR.
Using OCR can help you cut down your need for hiring professionals to carry out data extraction, which is the most important highlight of OCR software. This tool also helps minimize various other costs, such as copying, printing, shipping, etc.
OCR software provides you disaster recovery and health data backup for covered entities. As the software also must implement reasonable safeguards to protect your information. Since when you convert the data into a digital copy, it can be saved through a USB storage or email. And when there would be a sudden calamity, the digitized data or document can be quickly retrieved to ensure business continuity.
Increased Storage Space
OCR software can scan, document, and organize such information from your business-wide paper documents into data. It means the data can now be stored in an electronic format in servers, eliminating the need for maintaining huge paper files. This gives your office enough storage space for other materials.
Establishments that use OCR software increase the accessibility of data for customers using their systems as they can use their mobile phones or portable computers to extra data from paper. Basically, it makes it easy for users to become productive.
Instead of having to reproduce your file and give it out to people, you can use an OCR software scanner that can digitize your printed document or image. You can then send it via email to lessen the use of paper. This makes you efficient without harming the environment.
OCR software is a technology that allows you to change different types of files or images into editable and searchable data. In doing so, you can save your converted files with specific names. It would surely be easy for you to find them.
What are the core features of OCR software?
There are several OCR software solutions to convert your scanned file or images to text. The differences might be unclear as to why some of this OCR software price is higher than those of others. So here are some features you might want to consider before buying one:
Character recognition accuracy
The best-recommended resolution in scanning your document using an OCR software should be 300 dots per inch (DPI). Make sure that in doing so, your OCR software can convert your scanned file or image to text with accurate character recognition. And that, everything will be clear, and nothing is missing when you start to edit the document.
Page layout reconstruction accuracy
In scanning your printed document or image and converting it to text, you must check if it can also copy the page layout accurately. Doing so will lessen the burden of redoing the page layout of what you want to recreate.
Support for language
Does your OCR software have comprehensive language support? If it does, then you might have the best OCR software. Having an OCR software that has extensive language support produces an effective word recognition, which can convert your scanned document or image into text without worrying misspelled words.
User interface design
If you are not an expert with the technological advancements of today, and you want to make your business up to date, it is recommendable to find an OCR software that is user-friendly. Also, look for free OCR software to download for you to practice. Then, you can choose the best OCR software that can work for you.
Output File Formats
When you convert your file to readable text, you want to make sure that your OCR software is compatible with different file formats such as PDF, Word, Excel, eBook, etc. Simply knowing that it has that feature helps you choose the best OCR software for your needs.
Quality and processing speed
OCR software quality and processing speed go together in the conversion of your image or files. The general rule is that the recognition quality is directly proportional to the processing time. With this, low-quality documents do need more time to process—while higher definition images produce high-quality conversion. So you have to make sure that the OCR software API you buy or use online goes well with your central processing unit to give you a higher chance of having a better document conversion.
In converting your selected document or image file, you must make sure that the OCR software you are using can extract all the data presented in the file. Knowing how accurate the data extraction of OCR software would help minimize your workload of checking and retyping missing data after the conversion.
Sustainability of Materials
In choosing good OCR software, you must consider what kind of document or image material is highly suitable, since some OCR software does not convert slightly damaged documents. Thus, making sure the high functionality of its material recognition makes your chosen OCR software worth it.
Availability and Quality of Technical Support
When you are using an OCR software, and it is still new to you, you must find an open-source OCR software company that has available technical support in case you cannot understand the system. Especially when you are considering the OCR software price, you want to make sure that the OCR software you will be getting includes reliable technical support for the amount that you are paying.
Cloud Storage Capability
Some OCR software companies are now mobilizing their documents to the cloud instead of having a hardcopy. With this, you can now access documents easier. You can give access to your employee to edit, find, and read documents you require any time of the day. You can even collaborate with colleagues by synchronizing your folders while being offline.
With the evolution of technology, the OCR software system provides people who are blind or visually impaired the ability to scan printed or image text and then have it converted into audible speech. Nowadays, current OCR software technology provides better capabilities. With this, people who are blind or visually impaired can now enjoy life more without feeling a burden to others.
What are the types of OCR software?
Technically, there are a few types of OCR software that will be useful to the document you want to convert into an editable text. Knowing what you need saves you from buying different OCR software that has different converting functions.
Intelligence Word Recognition (IWR)
This type of OCR has an algorithm that works by recognizing an entire unconstrained handwritten word rather than picking up individual characters. With such a feature, identifying and converting handwritten words can be done in a much faster way—making you productive every time.
Intelligence Character Recognition (ICR)
It is the advanced version of OCR, or to be more specific, a handwriting recognition system that allows fonts and different styles of handwriting to be learned by a computer during processing to improve accuracy and recognition levels. The engine works by identifying a single character at a time and evolves with its embedded machine learning.
Optical Word Recognition (OWR)
This software is sometimes synonymous with the word OCR. It captures typewritten text and goes one character at a time. It is also useful in cases where glyphs of a language do not separate in cursive script.
Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)
It is a technique of gathering human input data by recognizing marks or patterns on a document. One example of this is identifying the shades on a survey paper. With this, you can check questionnaires and other examination papers with ease and accuracy.
Who needs OCR software?
Whether a government-owned or a private one, you can invest in an OCR system that could help unload the need for reproducing hundreds of paper school notes to be given to students. Having an OCR system could help convert these printed materials and make them a digitized file that the schools could send in their student designated emails. It helps lower the cost of buying paper and utilizing the advancement of technology.
In most office environments, you could find loads of paperwork lying around the area. And that ample amount of time goes to waste doing re-inputting old data, or searching through a pile of documents. Having an OCR system in your office can diminish doing all these unnecessary stuff and can give your team more time to focus on other operations.
Most courts now require electronic filing. Lawyers nowadays are having difficulty in securing a copy of any file case because it is usually hard to reproduce or reprint as some of these files can be expensive and time-consuming. With this, having OCR software could help to digitize loads of case pages that usually take up space in courts and could easily be accessed by lawyers without having to carry heavy loads of paper.
Lawyers handle cases that are usually documented, within hundreds of pages. And most of the time, it can be a handful to store in the office or even in the law firm itself. If you are a lawyer, availing OCR software may do the trick. With it, you can digitize cases and store them on your computer, which you can access anytime and anywhere. Having it in your law firm could also help you save storage and cost cut the need for paper.
Caring for the sick is hard, and finding patient documents can be time-consuming, which causes time management issues for nurses and doctors. That is why having OCR software in hospitals may make it easier to help professionals in storing patient logbooks and history. Also, it helps in editing patient files as they undergo further treatment. OCR will give way to systemized electronic filing and for easier file accessibility.
Having OCR software in your business helps you achieve your operational objectives and can ensure that you will provide excellent customer service. That is why it is a plus to have an OCR software marketing strategy. It helps your business eliminate multiple files from your physical store. This will surely help you expand your business with the extra space that you have. And by doing so, you can hire more professionals in doing your weekly or monthly report, as they will have access to the file that you’re editing.
Most entrepreneurs are known as an innovator, who’s a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures. It means that you need OCR software that could help you unload your printed files. Because as an entrepreneur, you usually deal with loads of paper files and could sometimes take up space in your office. And investing in OCR software could help you manage this problem since it can convert your printed files to editable text, which you can store in your computer/laptop or mobile phone and gives you access anytime.
Whether you are in high school, college, post-graduate studies, or in your doctorate studies, you need OCR software—especially when you are making your class notes. It is highly conventional and gives a lot of benefits when you want to store some of your school papers. It will be uneasy for you to bring all those school papers in your backpack as it gives more weight in your shoulders. Using the OCR software scanner, you can eliminate that problem.
What are the steps in choosing the right OCR software?
Step 1: Choose a good brand or name
It is important to choose software that is already established. It means you can count on its features to improve your productivity in scanning hard-copied files. Also, known brands have a reputation to keep, which means they offer the best service to their customers.
Step 2: It must have the features you need
Of course, you must select the software that contains every feature you need for scanning documents and converting printed text. Some customers don’t even bother, which is why they end up with regrets. Thus, you shouldn’t make the same mistake, so you wouldn’t be wasting your money.
Step 3: It should be compatible with your system
Before buying or downloading, you must check the compatibility of the software since there are usually different software versions for specific systems. If you found the one that is compatible with your device, confirm it. It should help you install the program without errors.
Step 4: Check the price
Know if the price is worth it. Some OCR software is too costly and isn’t even efficient in scanning documents. If you check the features properly, it would be easier for you to decide on whether to spend money on that software or not. If it’s too expensive (regardless of the function), cheaper alternatives are always available.
Step 5: Consider Recommendations if you’re not sure
If you can’t decide on your own because you’re afraid that your money would go to waste, ask recommendations from your peers. If they’ve used one, they could suggest the right OCR software for you.
What are the other functions of OCR software?
OCR software can be in different ways. As the technology evolves, so is its function. Here are some OCR software applications that you might not be aware of:
a. Data entry for business documents, such as check, passport, invoice, bank statement.
b. Automatic recognition of plate numbers.
c. Passport recognition and information extraction in the passport
d. Traffic sign recognition.
e. Extracting information in business cards for contact listing.
f. Turning electronic images of printed documents searchable.
g. Making handwriting to control a computer in real-time.
h. Archiving historical transcripts, especially those transcripts that are found by an archeologist, into a searchable format.
i. To sort mails for delivery.
j. Translating words into another language.
How does OCR software work?
Since it is optical software, it can easily scan a text on any file. The software has a scanning feature that breaks the fonts and images down into a series of dots—these dots are called a bitmap. Since the software can distinguish almost all kinds of fonts, it will recognize and convert the bitmap to an editable text, allowing you to edit all parts of the file with ease.
What are the algorithms used in OCR to identify characters?
There are two algorithms which the OCR uses to identify characters:
1. Pattern recognition in which OCR software programs are fed with examples of text in various fonts and formats, which, then used to compare and recognize characters in the scanned documents.
2. Feature detection in which OCR software programs apply rules regarding the feature of a specific symbol, such as the number of letters in the scanned documents. These features could be cursive or specific handwriting characters. And when a mark is recognized, it is then converted into a known code and will be stored in your computer systems to handle further manipulations
Can OCR detect lines, shapes, colors, or other features on a page?
OCR cannot detect lines, shapes, colors, or other features on a page. That, even advanced OCR software can only detect and retrieve text on a given document. To find other features, you need more comprehensive data capture software.
When is it better to transcribe text rather than to use OCR?
Manually retyping should be preferred when the material you want to reproduce is too old, damaged, complex, or otherwise eccentric to be converted into accurate OCR. It should also be preferred when you want to focus on 100% accuracy of the project.
How can you improve the accuracy of your OCR software?
OCR accuracy can improve in the following methods, not all of which are practicable within a single digitization workflow:
Select a document or image file on the primary basis that it is suitable for OCR.
Scan your document at a 300 DPI or more resolution.
You can test image optimization software for best results on specific content.
Clean the file converted by OCR software by manually retyping it.
You must use an appropriate or dedicated dictionary for the OCR engine to see if a more accurate vocabulary results in better accuracy.
You can use language modeling software within the OCR engine to improve the intelligent recognition of characters and words.
You can use optimization software that can automatically deskew every page on a vertical and horizontal grid so that the image text is as clear as possible.
What scanning setting will give the best OCR accuracy?
When scanning an image that you want to convert to text using OCR software, the best scanner settings are black and white, no grayscale or color, and a 300-dpi resolution. Most commercial OCR applications work well with color images, but black and white will usually give you better accuracy. Scanning at more than 300 dpi will only improve clearly for small print and may even decrease exactness in some cases. In most cases, 300 dpi would give you an optimized result.
Is there an OCR software app for mobile phones?
Whether you are an Android or iOS user, you can find OCR software apps that will be compatible with your phone. You just have to find one in your app store. However, most of that OCR software app would not be as highly functional as the OCR software scanner since OCR software scanner tends to convert image files to editable files accurately and which is better.
Is there any free OCR software?
There is a lot of free OCR software that you can search on the web; some of it allows you to download it, and some are just free online. All you must do is take the time to find the suitable OCR software that will suit your needs. However, be mindful of using free OCR software because you might be exposing your privacy at risk. Find the one which has better security to avoid future problems.
What is the best OCR software?
In the current software market, a lot of OCR software companies would claim that they have the best product that they could offer the public. Some of these OCR firms offer OCR software trials for a few days. However, these free OCR software trials are subject to additional payment if you want to unlock its full potential. So, if you are looking for the best OCR software, you might want to consider using its trial mode before really investing in it. It will save you money and give you the best output.
What does it mean to have OCR software as a document?
OCR software works hand in hand with your scanner to convert printed characters into digital text, allowing you to search for or edit your document in a word processing program.
Is it safe to use online OCR services?
Most of the online OCR services are well secured. However, it will personally depend on you, as to whether you want to store and save your file information in the digital world data. For example, if the file that you are about to convert using an online OCR service contains personal information of your clientele, you might want to think twice before doing so. If security is at the top of your concern, better find an online OCR service that you can trust.