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Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition
Marc F | 04-02-16

Have you ever had a PDF or picture file of a document that you wish you could turn back into an editable document? Maybe a fax or a printout that you lost the original file for?


What you need is to OCR it, a process that stands for Optical Character Recognition that uses a computer to recognise characters and turn the back into editable text. The OCR process is quick and most times only requires some minor editing afterwards.

When it comes to the OCR process you have three options; Use a free online OCR service, download and install a free basic OCR program, or buy a fully featured OCR software package. 

There are several free online OCR services that work by uploading your image file, and a few seconds later present you with converted, editable text. This option is best if you only occasionally need to convert a single page document. One such example of one of these sites is onlineocr.net which will quickly scan your uploaded image in a number of languages.

The second option is to install a free basic OCR program. This is the best option if you find yourself having to convert multiple pages on a more frequent basis, but don’t need advanced features. FreeOCR is a no nonsense OCR program that will quickly get the job done.

For the power user that finds themselves having to convert many, multiple page documents on a daily basis a fully featured commercial program like Readiris is the way to go. Readiris has been around forever and offers powerful features and options for someone needing to make the most of the OCR process.

There is one method that hasn’t been mentioned yet that doesn’t even require messing around with your computer. Qbit sells a range of Kyocera printers and multi function devices, some of which have the ability to scan, OCR and send you the finished document. All you need to do is feed your document into the machine and push a few buttons on the panel! This is a great option if several users in your company need to use OCR facilities. This is also perfect for turning those boxes and boxes of archived paper documents into nice tidy word documents, freeing up storage space.

Whichever method you use you will probably find your document will need some manual editing after it has been converted. Formatting may have been lost and smudges and stains on the original document might have rendered some words unreadable. A quick once over to tidy up the document and your image or PDF file is now brand new Word document ready for you to edit and update!

If you would like help with any of these options, or would like more info on a range of Kyocera devices please contact Qbit on (08) 6364 0600.

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