Convert a Hard Copy into an Editable File with OCR

You may already be familiar with document scanning (also known as document imaging), which is a great tool when you need an electronic version of a hard copy Word document or other form for recordkeeping, emailing or posting on the Web. But, what happens when you want to edit this document? Since you can’t update text in a digital image, which is what a scanner creates, you probably start retyping, right?

Thankfully, there’s an easier way. OCR (optical character recognition) software can convert handwritten or printed text into a variety of compact, editable electronic files, including Microsoft Word and Excel, HTML, plain text and searchable PDF. A form of “artificial intelligence,” an OCR program is designed to recognize patterns among the pixels of a digitized document and translate them into characters, words and paragraphs.

Because OCR eliminates the need for recreating documents, it can:

  • Help boost office productivity.
  • Preserve data contained in older paper documents or printed from electronic files that are now corrupted.
  • Make text editable, searchable and generally more accessible.

Of course, OCR software is not perfect. It can lose some formatting, and its accuracy depends largely on the quality of the original document (the higher DPI the better). For a better reading, you may first need to clean up the document using imaging tools capable of removing background impressions and even straightening crooked text that resulted from a copier misfeed.

Learn more about Sharpdesk® 3.2 software with OCR and other document scanning options from Sharp. Or, contact us at Copeco. We can help you determine if OCR software would be a valuable tool for your business.

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