optical character recognition


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optical character recognition

optical character recognition (OCR), method for the machine-reading of typeset, typed, and, in some cases, hand-printed letters, numbers, and symbols using optical sensing and a computer. The light reflected by a printed text, for example, is recorded as patterns of light and dark areas by an array of photoelectric cells in a optical scanner. A computer program analyzes the patterns and identifies the characters they represent, with some tolerance for less than perfect and uniform text. OCR is also used to produce text files from computer files that contain images of alphanumeric characters, such as those produced by fax transmissions. See also computer graphics; pen-based computer; personal digital assistant.
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optical character recognition

[′äp·tə·kəl ′kar·ik·tər ‚rek·ig‚nish·ən]
(computer science)
That branch of character recognition concerned with the automatic identification of handwritten or printed characters by any of various photoelectric methods. Abbreviated OCR. Also known as electrooptical character recognition.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Optical Character Recognition

(text)
(OCR, sometimes /oh'k*/) Recognition of printed or written characters by computer. Each page of text is converted to a digital using a scanner and OCR is then applied to this image to produce a text file. This involves complex image processing algorithms and rarely achieves 100% accuracy so manual proof reading is recommended.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

OCR

(Optical Character Recognition) The machine recognition of printed characters. OCR systems can recognize many different fonts, including those designed specifically for optical recognition as well as typewriter and computer-printed characters. Advanced OCR systems can recognize hand printing.

From Bitmaps to ASCII
When a text document is scanned into the computer, a picture is taken of each page. Just like a digital photo, the page becomes a bitmapped image of pixels. OCR software then analyzes the light and dark pixels in order to recognize each letter and digit, which is converted to an ASCII character. See bitmap, ASCII file and pixel.

Hand printing is much more difficult to analyze than machine printing. Old, worn and smudged documents are also problematic. OCR is sometimes as much an art as it is a science.


OCR A Font
This is an example of the OCR A font. OCR A was designed specifically for optical recognition in the late 1960s when the average computer's processing power was dramatically less than it is today.







OCR Processing
When text documents are scanned, they are "photographed" and stored as pictures in the computer. OCR software converts the pictures into actual text characters, which take up considerably less room on disk.







OCR Machines
The "football field-long" machine (top) from Recognition Equipment, Inc. was used in the 1970s to process checks and credit card slips. The machine at the bottom is a contemporary unit. Both machines can handle OCR and MICR processing. (Images courtesy of BancTec, Inc.)


OCR Machines
The "football field-long" machine (top) from Recognition Equipment, Inc. was used in the 1970s to process checks and credit card slips. The machine at the bottom is a contemporary unit. Both machines can handle OCR and MICR processing. (Images courtesy of BancTec, Inc.)
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References in periodicals archive ?
A comparative study of optical character recognition for Tamil script.
ABBYYEeA, a leading provider of document recognition, data capture and linguistic software, today announced the worldwide availability of ABBYY Recognition Server 3.0, the latest version of its award-winning solution for document capture and optical character recognition (OCR).
Document recognition, data capture and linguistic software provider ABBYY announced on Tuesday the worldwide availability of ABBYY Recognition Server 3.0, the latest version of its solution for document capture and optical character recognition (OCR).
The Economist's Innovation Award for Computing and Telecommunications was presented to Ray Kurzweil in October 2009 for contributions to optical character recognition (OCR) and speech recognition technology.
The Economist's Innovation Award for Computing and Telecommunications given to pioneer Raymond Kurzweil for contributions to optical character recognition and speech recognition technology
Google is scanning millions of books as part of its controversial book project and it said reCAPTCHA s Optical Character Recognition technology "improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text."
The journal issues will be full-text searchable, made possible through the use of optical character recognition (OCR) software.
The device has seven one-touch scan buttons to easily automate common scanner functions, such as optical character recognition, copy, fax, and e-mail, and it boasts high-speed scanning capabilities.
"To date, almost one million document pages have been digitalised using cutting edge optical character recognition software in preparation for storage in the new digital environment," he said.

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