How does Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology work?


This tool allows devices to recognize the subject matter from physical documents and interpret it as data. 

If we talk generally,

When we read text on a device or a document, we know what word, letter, or symbol. But this is not the case for computers.

And that’s where OCR comes into the picture.

Multiple programs use OCR to permit users to edit the text from the scanned document like in a word processor. Moreover, it even allows users to highlight text, copy-paste it to some other forms or create a whole new section.

Another best usage is that full-text searching is a possibility with OCR. In the full-text searching process, OCR programs add the recognized text from a scanned document as metadata to the file, which further allows specific other programs to search for the document that contains similar text as in the document. 


How OCR Works

OCR software works distinctively depending on the developers and its intended purpose but follows some same basic principles. 

Generally, the software has a preprocessing stage where it attempts to make the document’s text clearer and easier to read. Not every scanner does their jobs perfectly; thus, there are high chances of imperfections in the image scanned.

OCR assists this by clearing up the image scanned and separating the characters. It ensures that pixels are smooth and the texts are adequately aligned. 

The next stage for OCR software is to set apart each character and recognize pixels consisting of characters and their spaces. It enables the system to process each character separately and acknowledge that a group of characters makes up a word.

The third OCR stage is different and the one that separates the entire OCR programs. It recognizes what constitutes a character and figures out what the character is, and further assigns the corresponding metadata to it. 

Uncomplicated OCR software looks for characters with similar fonts from a library to find out if they match or if data can be allocated.

However, in matchless fonts such as manually written text or atypical fonts, more sophisticated techniques are required. For that, you can also consult the best OCR data entry services.
More advanced stages of OCR programs compare characters with common patterns that help to identify characters. They recognize the word ‘A’ by two diagonal lines and with a line in the middle.

The most developed OCR software uses contextual signs to find out what words and characters are which.

If they find difficulty discovering a character that is either “1” or “I,” they look at the surrounding characters and make an educated guess. It’s more likely to read the following sentence as “Ice-cream Club,” rather than “1ce-cream Club.”


Jessica Campbell is an eCommerce Consultant and a Professional Content Strategist at Data4Amazon, a leading organization providing end-to-end Amazon consulting and marketplace management services. For over 7+ years, she has been writing about best practices, tips, and ways to enhance brand visibility and boost sales on the Amazon marketplace. So far, she has written several articles on Amazon listing optimization, Amazon SEO & marketing, Amazon store setup, Amazon product data entry, and more. She holds 12+ years of copywriting experience and has helped thousands of businesses and Amazon sellers build their presence in the marketplace, reach new customers, and register better sales & conversions through the power of a well-built copy.

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