What is ocr scanning and why is it beneficial?

Have you ever been in a situation where you see a text somewhere and you take a picture to save the content, but end up having to bring the content over by manually writing it down?  This is something a lot of people do with their mobile phones because it is more time effective than copying the text on the spot. Taking a look at our young adults, when college students see their weekly schedules pinned up on the notice board they immediately take out their phones and use their cameras to capture the information. Writing everything down in the middle of the hallway would be stressful and inefficient.

So what is OCR scanning? OCR scanning is a process through which you can scan content and retrieve text out of it. OCR stands for optical character recognition and it works in a similar fashion to how phones are able to provide a security measure that has users unlocking them with their face.

The same concept is applied here, as in the individual letters that are scanned within your image or even .pdf file are compared to already existing samples. This way, the scanning process is able to identify and edit text from normally unusable sources such as pictures.

To dabble in OCR scanning, you’ll need appropriate OCR Scanner software that lets you scan and process files. Sodapdf for example offers an extension to their regular pdf conversion tool that allows you to OCR scan a file. There are numerous such solutions and it’s up to you to figure out which one you like the best.

Most software of this nature comes with several settings that allow you to fine tune it before scanning away. Such settings include the ability of specifying what PDF version you are trying to scan, what quality you wish the scan to take place at, and even what language is the text you’re trying to scan in.

All these options make it so the results are much more accurate and you can smile more often because the software didn’t scan poorly. Speaking of scanning poorly, keep in mind that it’s not an exact science and even though some software might be very well tuned, sometimes results tend to be lacking or wrong.

There are many reasons for which this type of error occurs, such as lighting issues, shaky hands, bad phone camera or unclear text. It might be more difficult to convert a text that’s on a piece of crumpled paper for example, that it would be to process and scan the image of a clear, neat sheet of paper with black on white text.

That being said, don’t be hesitant to give OCR scanning a try. You can try different software and services and see which appeals to your style more.

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