OCR form pages that have been filled out by hand and have data that needs collected and entered into a database can be automated with OCR and ICR technology using forms processing software applications.
Handprint recognition applications can provide dramatically different results in terms of accuracy depending on whether the form is designed with intelligent character recognition (ICR) in mind.
Forms Processing applications like ABBYY FlexiCapture have a built-in form design tool with ICR-optimized field layout elements and rules that validate whether your form uses best practices for recognition. These forms can be automatically converted to recognition templates for scanning for data capture. This saves you dozens of hours of trial and error during the design process and even more in data entry once the filled in forms are collected.
Best practice recommendations for ICR and OCR forms include:
- Plenty of space between form elements and labels, at least 0.5cm / 0.25in
- Use drop out colors for form backgrounds when possible
- Hand printed characters should be constrained with boxes or combs to force filler to write legible, separated, printed characters
- Use check boxes instead of handprint when possible since these are nearly 100% accurate
- Use numeric codes instead of alphanumeric text when possible to reduce the number of possible characters and increase accuracy
- Use validation rules to check against possible values and flag data with incorrect values
- Check box fields can be used to verify the presence of signatures