Using the free OCR Technology to read the “fineprint”
Have you ever wished that you press “Ctrl + F” and search through the printed material for the specific information you’re looking for? Or that you have to edit the contents of a magazine or a PDF document without having to retype the complete document? The classical solution in all these cases was to re-type the entire content and edit it. That is still the normal practice when it comes to editing printed contracts, brochures or magazine pages. But we all know how laborious and hectic this solution can get. Free OCR, on the other hand, is something that can solve your problem, save you money, save your precious time and deliver quick and efficient results just by a few clicks
What is OCR?
Optical Character Recognition or OCR is a technology that enables you to convert printed or handwritten documents into editable text files. Just by scanning the printed documents through the OCR text scanner software you can easily convert the files into soft copies which can be edited, copied or shared as per your requirements. The OCR text scanners are highly versatile and can scan text from images, printed documents and PDF files. The OCR software can be downloaded or used as OCR online services.
How the OCR works
Although, the concept of “machines” reading “texts” is not new and was introduced as early as the 1960s. Though at that time the computer could have read only one type of font called the OCR-A. With the advancement of technology, OCR text scanners became more advanced and enabled the users to utilize the technology for a wider array of applications. Currently, the OCR text scanners majorly use two different methods to pick up the printed text and convert it to the editable format.
The Matrix Matching method
The first method is the matrix matching technique. This method works on the principle of matching the printed text with a database of character templates and fonts. The OCR text scanner scans through the printed text, compares it with the existing library of templates and once a match is found, it transforms the data into the corresponding ASCII code. You can then manipulate this data as per your requirements. This method is quick in returning results but due to the limitation of the database the matrix matching method has its limitations. The method fails when it has to read the text not present in its database and outputs incorrect text. Hence the users have to remain vigilant while using this method as it can create errors that need to be corrected manually.
Feature Extraction Method
The other method used by OCR software is the feature extraction method. This method is based on Artificial Intelligence, where the OCR online software is designed to pick up the common points in the shapes of the letters such as the curvatures, slanting and empty spaces of an alphabet. The OCR text scanners search for these common points in a text and return the results in ASCII code of characters after a certain percentage of “match” is found. Hence this method looks for recurring patterns that represent a letter and the software can predict the letter just by scanning through the common points found in the pattern. The method is more flexible and can work with a large number of printed or handwritten documents.
Further, the AI constantly updates its knowledge of different handwritings and fonts which makes it more versatile with usage.
The easiest way to convert your printed files into editable version is by using the OCR online services offered by our free OCR converter. It’s extremely easy to use the OCR online services as you only have to scan the document, upload it and the file will be converted into an editable version to be downloaded. Free OCR service is a great opportunity for businesses to take advantage of and save their precious time and money.
There are multiple benefits to using free OCR services online. These benefits include:
- The time taken for the complete process is greatly reduced and large documents can be prepared in just a few minutes. Editing contracts, magazine pages and brochures has become very easy now.
- Simplification of the process for data extraction from complex documents.
- Reducing the chance of human error involved in the read and retype method.
- Elimination of man-hour costs required for the hectic data entry process.
- The OCR text scanners are sophisticated and can detect difficult handwritings too that can take time for the human eye to read and process.
With faster turn-around times and advanced OCR text scanners, the technology can save a substantial amount of time and cost for the users that can be used for a variety of printed or PDF documents.