Saturday, January 23, 2010

What is OCR, ICR and OMR?

What is OCR, ICR and OMR?

In the area of text conversion, there is often confusion on the acronyms that surround the industry, and what each one designates.  Below are some quick overviews of each of the recognition technologies, and what they accomplish:

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software

OCR Software takes images, and converts them to searchable text.  The output can be a plain text file, or the industry standard today is an image with hidden text PDF.  OCR can also be utilized to extract data from scanned images, providing a means to either harvest information, or create index fields for later search. OCR Software Definition

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) Software

ICR Software provides the ability to recognize handwritten, or hand printed text.  This process can be extrememly accurate when the printed text is bound by boxes, or combed form fields.  Hanwriting is a little more complex, and typically requires many samples to be accurate. ICR Software Definition

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) Software

OMR Software, somtimes called "mark sesnse", provides the ability to read checked boxes on forms or documents.  The software senses the difference between an unmarked and marked box using a baseline reading, and then allows the recognition to take place.

Many manufacturers combine all 3 into a single recognition engine that provides powerful analysis capabilities for scanned documents and forms.  OMR Software Definition