OCR Scanning – Make your transition to paperless EASY!
If you hit Ctrl F right now, you’ll be able to search this whole page for a specific word. If you open a word document and hit Ctrl F, you’ll be able to do the same thing. It’s a little perk we’ve gotten used to that allows us to find what we need without reading through the whole text. If you scan 10,000 documents into PDF form, you’d want those to be searchable too, right? Lucky for you, there is software that exists to make your scanned documents searchable or completely ready for editing.
When I have an initial consultation with clients, I ask them if they’d like their documents searchable and most of them don’t even know that’s an option – but they jump on the chance!! Having your documents go from paper to electronic CAN be made easier with a few extra steps on the company’s end.
Making documents searchable is done through a process called Optical Character Recognition, or OCR. It is a software program that takes your documents from hard copy text, and converts them into a word document onto your computer, with some programs producing at a rate of 99% accuracy! It does this through an optical scanner that will scan the text on the page, and then creates what is called a bitmap. A bitmap is the series of dots that get created as a result of the scanner reading the font. Take note that I’ve said font!
So, why would you need this in your life? A couple of good examples for both business owners and regular consumers:
Are you a business owner with hundreds or thousands of invoices kicking around your office? Scan them with OCR software and have them converted to PDFs! John Smith calls asking about his bill – do a simple search for “Smith” and you’re presented with a said invoice!
Did you find an old book someone else typed but made handwritten corrections to? That can be scanned and converted to a regular word document. You’re able to edit, add, or delete anything you want to, and you’re saving yourself a lot of typing!
The pros greatly outweigh the cons, in my opinion. You’re getting papers out of your office and onto your computer. They’re 100% easier to find this way than they are in a box in your basement or storage facility, and nothing is ever “lost” – you have a permanent back up!
The only thing that would deter me from buying it if I didn’t already have every day access to it would be the price of the software. It is expensive if your plan is to do one or two things with it. Most scanning companies offer OCR scanning for a nominal fee. It does take a little longer to scan things with OCR software because of the process it has to go through recognizing characters.
I encourage you to look at your office or home and come up with a few ways that OCR scanning would help your daily activities.