Barcode OCR, sometimes called BCR, is how software applications read barcodes that are printed on documents or present in photos. Whereas traditional barcode readers use lasers to scan barcodes on physical objects, barcode OCR identifies and reads them from digital images in order to automate document scanning and forms processing workflows.
Some documents already have key information in barcode format on them. In many cases adding a barcode to a document is as simple using a barcode font. Adding barcodes to new documents is preferable as all the index data is on the document at the time it is created and in a format that can be read with near 100% accuracy.
As an alternative to placing barcodes on the individual documents, it is possible to print out a barcode cover page and place it on the file before it is scanned. The SimpleCoversheet application was designed to make this easy by providing a simple interface for selecting index values and printing a standard coversheet that contains these values in barcode format.
Barcode recognition can also be useful for document separation when you have files with a variable number of pages and irregular formatting. Generic barcode separator sheets (also called Patch Codes) can be used to separate the scanned images into multi-page files, one for each document.