Scanning your documents into a Document Management System is a great way to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of paper in your office. And, depending on what kind of paper you are scanning, there are lot of document capture tools available. Tools such as Full Text OCR, Zonal OCR, and ICR can greatly reduce time spent indexing and validating your documents once they are scanned.
Full Text OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is software that captures every character in the document being scanned and processing it into a fully searchable PDF. One effective use of this technology is when government users needing to search hundreds of pages of agendas and meeting minutes for a certain topic. The process of searching these documents is quite time-consuming and most OCR processing occurs overnight when there is less use on the company’s day-to-day activities.
Zonal OCR is similar in that it captures information, but in this case, the software is programmed to look in the same location or “zone” every time. This is helpful when scanning in documents where the information is in the same location, such as an invoice number. Most invoices are in a set format so zonal OCR is very effective in this scenario. When the operator is validating this information, the Zonal OCR zooms in on the zone area that has been predetermined where the information is captured from so they can easily read if the information captured is correct or not. Hence, one of the biggest advantages of Zonal OCR is that it improves the efficiency of searches which translates into a savings of both time and money. Some software available that features Zonal OCR also allows the user to draw a box to establish a zone around required text rather than typing in keywords therefore allowing the document to be automatically indexed.
ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) is the ability for the software to read hand-written information and process this into searchable information. This is especially beneficial in the financial industry. And although this tool can be very useful in some situations, the error rate is much higher because handwriting is so varied from person to person.
Andrea Latham, CDIA+