Scan documents with tables and convert them to Excel files using OCR. Scan to Excel turns paper-bound reports into useful data.

Does ReadIRIS, FineReader or OmniPage support Zone OCR?

The “Pro” versions of most Desktop OCR applications support the creation of zone templates that can be used to OCR specific regions on batches of documents.

Most OCR applications have “Lite” versions that don’t have the ability to manually create zones so it’s important to get the correct version.

With these applications it is often not possible to output this data as “fields” in a structured data file like CSV, Excel or XML. What you typically get a text file for each document with a line of text for each zone. The zones are designed more for excluding regions you don’t want or manually overriding the detection of text, tables and images in the document.

If you need to capture specific data in multiple documents and output them to structured data files or a SQL database, Batch OCR Applications are the best option for this.

If you need to capture data formatted in tables and output to CSV or Excel, desktop OCR applications do this quite well as long as the tables have a regular format with well-defined columns.

To capture handprint, irregular tables, large numbers of data points, or data that doesn’t always appear in the same place on every page, Forms Processing software is what you need.

Using OCR to capture data from tables and reports

Data that repeats over and over again in a document can be OCR’d to Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and other spreadsheet formats, or a SQL Database like Access, SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle.

Inexpensive Desktop OCR products like FineReader, ReadIRIS and OmniPage can automatically convert data from tables to Excel and other spreadsheets, as long as the columns are standard and don’t “overlap” such that different field values appear in the same column area, like when one row of each record represents one set of columns and a second row has additional column data.

Converted data will require some clean-up before it is usable in any database or software application, and it is difficult to convert large numbers of documents in batches this way. But it’s a good way to produce structured data from large single reports or small batches of similar report data.

For more complex tables, tables with similar data but different formats on different documents (like Invoices), tables with nested structure like header and detail rows, Enterprise Forms Processing software is required to turn these documents into structured data like XML, JSON or SQL database tables.

OCR Guide

Optical Character Recognition

During your foray into the world of document scanning, you’ve likely encountered the term “OCR” and may even know that it stands for “Optical Character Recognition“. But what exactly is OCR and how can you make the best use of this sophisticated and valuable tool?

We’re here to give you a run-down of what you need to know about Optical Character Recognition, answer any questions you might have, and recommend the best OCR software solution for your scanning project.

Table of Contents:

What is OCR?

What Is OCR Barcode Scanning Recognition SoftwareThe primary purpose of Optical Character Recognition  is to quickly and automatically scanned or photographed document images into machine readable text that can be searched for keywords or edited in a word processor.

In general, an OCR engine analyzes the pixel data of scanned images and searches for patterns resembling letters, numbers, and other symbols to create a digitized record of characters.

The biggest OCR engines employ huge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models that have been trained on billions of documents collected over decades of development.

While the exact mechanics of this process can be complicated, OCR engines are a key automation tool for the digital age. It bridges the gap between knowledge stored on physical documents and digital data that can be edited, searched or parsed into structured data to automate data entry tasks.

OCR Output Types

Search Document OCR Recognized TextFull Page OCR converts the entire document into one of the following formats:

    […]

Applications

When you scan a document that has text or numeric data on it, you are able to read and understand what is written in the scanned image. However, to a computer, the resulting image file is just as meaningless an assortment of pixels as a landscape photo. In order to transform this information into an editable format that you can search through, copy, and modify without retyping it manually, you will need the an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

There is a wide variety of OCR software available. While they all share the ability to convert images of machine printed (not handwritten) text or numbers into an editable format, the various software often have different features, accuracy, prices, and language options.

You can find the various types of OCR software with a description of each below.

Users within a single department, working from home or who have a small business can simply scan their documents to a folder that is shared to everyone. In this “ad-hoc” scenario you only need some basic document scanning software to simplify and bring consistency to your filing system.

If you want to move to the next level, there are Desktop Document Management options that provide an all-in-one means for capture, storage, search and retrieval of documents. Additionally, they provide security, advanced capabilities and ease of use above that of the ad-hoc methods

And let’s not forget cloud-based options that alleviate the need to maintain storage servers or keep software up to date.

Need a simple, no frills OCR solution without spending hundreds of dollars on a professional software package? Look no further. There is a no cost, donation optional, OCR freeware solution for […]

2022-06-21T12:06:06-04:00Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Compare OCR Software

ABBYY OCR

ABBYY is one of the leading OCR (Optical Character Recognition) companies in a world. They offer a large variety of document capture and automation products starting with FineReader Pro for individual or small business scale companies and FineReader Corporate. If you need to process many thousands or millions of pages, ABBYY has FineReader Server for full-text OCR and FlexiCapture for OCR data capture. Many companies are using their products for its flexibility and scalability, there is always a way to customize ABBYY OCR products to fit your automation needs.

ABBYY FineReader OCR software helps individuals turn scans of paper documents, PDF files, and digital photographs into searchable and editable formats. Unmatched text recognition accuracy and document conversion capabilities virtually eliminate retyping and reformatting. Intuitive use and one-click automated conversion tasks let you do more with this OCR software in fewer steps. Up to 190 languages supported for text recognition and document conversion – absolute record on OCR/PDF software market!

ABBYY FlexiCapture is a powerful data capture and document processing solution. It is designed to transform streams of documents of any structure and complexity into business-ready data.  Solid recognition technologies, automatic document classification and a highly scalable and customizable architecture, will allow it to help companies and organizations of any size to streamline their business processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

ABBYY FineReader Server is powerful server-based OCR software for automated document capture and PDF conversion. Designed for mid- to high-volume batch processing, it enables organizations and scanning service providers to establish cost-efficient processes for converting paper, as well as TIFF, JPEG, and PDF image documents into electronic files suitable for full-text search and long-term digital archiving.

ScanStore and SimpleSoftware are highly experienced integrators of ABBYY […]

MAC OCR Software

While the majority of OCR software is written for the Windows platform, a few of the major OCR engines have released versions for MacOS systems as well. Mac OCR software are often slightly more limited than their PC counterparts, and may not have the latest version of the OCR engine. However if you need to convert documents to text, Excel or searchable PDF files on your Mac, these are the best software options.

Currently, there are are professional versions of ABBYY FineReader and both pro and corporate versions of ReadIRIS available for MacOS.

When you scan a document that has text or numeric data on it, you are able to read and understand what is written in the scanned image. However, to a computer, the resulting image file is just as meaningless an assortment of pixels as a landscape photo. In order to transform this information into an editable format that you can search through, copy, and modify without retyping it manually, you will need the an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

There is a wide variety of OCR software available. While they all share the ability to convert images of machine printed (not handwritten) text or numbers into an editable format, the various software often have different features, accuracy, prices, and language options.

Creates editable, searchable files and e-books from scans, PDFs and digital photographs. The most accurate OCR available for OSX, its unmatched recognition and conversion eliminates retyping and reformatting. Sophisticated yet remarkably intuitive, FineReader has an easy-to-use interface that makes even the most complex tasks simple.

Kofax Power PDF for Mac makes it easy to gain control […]

PDF OCR

Searchable PDF OCR

Adobe Acrobat OCR to Searchable PDFCreating searchable PDF files using optical character recognition is one of the most common PDF OCR applications.

The PDF format works great with scanned documents because it allows the OCR text to be hidden in an invisible layer behind the original document image. So you see a perfect replica of the original instead of OCR text that lacks formatting and may contain artifacts and errors.

OCR PDF to Other Formats

Batch OCR PDF to Text, Excel, Word

PDF OCR can also mean converting scanned PDF files to Word, Excel, text and other formats. This can be done with any desktop OCR or OCR server application. However there are several OCR applications called PDF Converters that are only designed to convert documents to searchable PDF files rather than converting PDF files to other formats. This is an important distinction to make when searching for PDF OCR software.

PDF Converters often cost less than their full-featured desktop OCR counterparts since they only offer document scanning and conversion of images to searchable PDF files. They can also include the ability to convert other file formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, etc. to PDF automatically. Enterprise site licensing options let you enable this capability for any user in the organization. Contact us for a quote on site licenses for any PDF OCR application.

PDF OCR Compression

PDF also offers advanced compression options like MRC, JPEG2000 and JBIG that can produce much smaller files than traditional TIFF images. Foxit PDF Compressor is even able to parse the document and apply different compression to images, text and backgrounds to reduce the size even further. This can produce huge savings in cloud storage and access […]

Convert Scanned Image to Text Document

The primary purpose of Optical Character Recognition is to quickly and automatically convert scanned images of machine-printed (typed) text – which to a computer are no more meaningful a collection of pixels than any other image, such as a landscape photo – into actual text data that you can search through and modify.

OCR Software comes in many different types, which vary in price range based on their features, speed, and accuracy. One of the main qualities that OCR producers are using to differentiate their products is volume of the documents OCR will allow you to process. That may be a bit counter intuitive but features that are needed to process hundreds, thousands or millions pages a year are rather different ones.

In case of several hundreds of pages (receipts, checks, medical, tax or legal forms, personal memorabilia)  you need to scan for personal use you would need light, highly versatile, easy to use, not expensive software that will convert images just to text. It may not have automation features, and processing data further will be done manually by you. Thou it is not too hard since volume of documents is not very large and you can treat each of them individually.

Small business users usually process thousands of pages a year and require some automation features. Images need to be converted not just to text, but also to spreadsheets to be processed further. Once the system is set up it is assumed that it will run without much of the interference, and people in charge of document processing would be able to do that with certain ease.

Larger companies processing millions of documents require much larger levels of automation when each small, fine tuned feature would save thousands of work hours in a long run. Multiple machines will be processing documents […]

Document Scanning

One Source, Many Solutions

There are many document scanning solutions to choose from. ScanStore offers many of the top document imaging solutions under one virtual roof. ScanStore‘s CDIA+ consultants can work with you to explain the strengths and weaknesses of each option and even provide a demo of the products using samples that you provide.

You’ll find flexibility with each of these products allowing a one-person shop to jump right in, or scale up to enterprise or service bureau proportions. If you need to throw some data capture into the document imaging mix, ScanStore also carries OCR, forms processing and document management tools.

Information and Advice

Take a look at the Scanning Solutions Comparison page to find in-depth information on the features of the available offerings and for more insight in finding the best fit.

And be sure not to miss the detailed comparison of the favorite Batch Scanning solutions in the exclusive Document Scanning Software Review.

What’s Right for You

You want a paperless office and document scanning is part of the path to get you there. Simply buying a scanner and feeding paper into it isn’t going to save you money. Automation of the scanning process is what holds costs down and drives up your Return on Investment.

For example, if an OCR automation costs $3,000 to implement, but by doing so you save a $15/hr employee 10 hours per week of data entry, the feature has paid for itself in 20 weeks.

So how do we automate the data capture? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Full-Page OCR turns a scan into a full-text document you can search

  • Barcodes on each document contain key data like a customer name or invoice number

  • A single field […]

SimpleOCR | OCR Software Experts

Learn More Download Now

Document Scanners
& Scanner Parts

Accurate OCR starts with quality images. Efficient OCR starts with fast scanning. Find Document Scanners built for OCR at ScanStore.

Our Team of OCR experts is here to help! SimpleOCR is not just Freeware, we have every kind of OCR solution from PDF Converters to Enterprise Data Capture, OCR Servers and Handprint Recognition for Forms and Surveys. Live chat with an OCR specialist now or Contact Us for a consultation on your OCR project.

SimpleOCR is the popular freeware OCR Software with hundreds of thousands of users worldwide. SimpleOCR is also a royalty-free OCR SDK for developers to use in their custom applications.

SimpleIndex is OCR built for business, offering powerful batch scanning, OCR server, and data capture features with a simple user interface and affordable licensing.

If you like free stuff, freeware versions of our SimpleView Document Viewer (with Tesseract OCR), SimpleCoversheet Bar Code Printer, and SimpleExport CSV to XML Converter are also available.

If you have a scanner and want to avoid retyping your documents, SimpleOCR is the fast, free way to do it. The SimpleOCR freeware is 100% free and not limited in any way. Anyone can use SimpleOCR for free–home users, educational institutions, even corporate users.

If your documents have multi-column layouts, non-standard fonts, tables, poor quality or digital camera images, you will not have much success with applications based on free and open source engines like SimpleOCR and Tesseract. You will need a commercial OCR application to get an accurate read. Our OCR Guide compares desktop and […]

Simple Software

SimpleIndex can bring speed and efficiency to your scanning or doc filing no matter the process. Even if all you are doing is hand keying a few basic details about a document, breaking those details into individual indexes and adding tools like drop down choice lists, automatic orientation, and blank page deletion ensure a smoother, more consistent process.

Automation

Here’s where things start to get interesting. From basic tasks like splitting individual documents within at stack of pages by spotting a blank page, a specific mark, or a barcode separator to capturing index data directly from the page or looking up additional details about a document in a database, SimpleIndex has a host of powerful tools to tame your piles of paper or drives full of digital files. Let’s look at a few.

OCR

Optical Character Recognition is the ability to take a scan, which is merely a picture of a page, and turn it into words that the computer can understand and use to index your files. SimpleIndex leverages the power of ABBYY FineReader, recognized as one of the best OCR engines on the market, to accurately capture names, dates, important numbers, document types, and other details about your file. Some products have you set a box and capture whatever information happens to fall in that zone. SimpleIndex takes it further with Dynamic Zone OCR to enable you to set an oversized zone that allows for shifting of the pages between scans, but still captures just the date you need by matching against templates, lists, or even Regular Expressions (RegEx). You can also skip the zones entirely and use the full text of a page to find matches for your index data.

Barcodes

Receipt Scanning

When you’re managing your small business’ finances, filing taxes or just dealing with a results of your shopping spree, it’s necessary to know and record where your money is being spent. But receipts from your purchases may get lost in a sea of other documents and miscellaneous papers.

And when it comes to record keeping, tracking a pile of receipts can become daunting, especially if you travel often for business and need to organize them for expense tracking, or you run your own company and want to write-off all expenses you can.

If you struggle to keep track of your receipts, a receipt scanner can become incredibly useful. Some receipt scanners include online tools and apps that allow you to keep and access your receipts from anywhere, so receipts will be consolidated and you can access them whenever you need them.

At the same time, just having a mobile phone with Scanner App offer a lighter and easier alternative. Receipt Scanner Apps make it easy to scan receipts with any mobile device. Having the ability to transcribe key data and record the information without manual data entry will save you time, and best of all, you can toss those paper receipts.



The Neat app transforms your device’s camera into a powerful mobile receipt scanner that’s always at your side, making it easy to stay organized. The Neat mobile app is especially helpful for tracking expenses while traveling for business or on the road. As soon as you have a receipt or document, just snap a pic and into Neat it goes. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to run an expense report with the click of a button.

Intuit offers a large accounting and record keeping ecosystem Quickbooks. Luckily, […]

Invoice Processing

What is Invoice Processing?

Invoice Processing Software uses OCR data capture technology and page layout analysis to automatically identify the common data elements in an invoice, such as vendor, date, amount, invoice number, line item data, etc.. Invoice Processing applications are built using the same technology as other data extraction applications, but have been specifically configured to recognize Invoices since they are one of the most common documents that companies need to automate.

Who can benefit from Invoice Processing software?

Data Capture Forms OCRAny organization that receives a large number of vendor invoices on paper can benefit from invoice processing technology. The more data from each invoice that you are hand-keying into your accounting software the more benefit you can get from each page you automate.

Accounting firms and other companies that do outsourced accounts payable processing stand to gain the most return on investment from automation. It also has the benefit of on-shoring the data entry, providing additional security and piece of mind to your customers.

A robust OCR invoice processing solution becomes justifiable when you have over 1,000 invoices per month. When dealing with smaller volumes the potential return on investment does not justify investment in an enterprise solution. However, a simple document scanning solution to digitize and store scanned invoices can still provide many benefits.

How does it lower the cost of AP processing?

There are many benefits to OCR invoice systems when it comes to AP processing that give these systems a very high return on investment.

  • Automate data entry tasks
  • Eliminate data entry errors with validation rules and improved UI
  • Automate retrieval of invoices from vendor websites or email
  • Assign Profit Centers and GL Codes based on business rules
  • Match invoices against open POs
  • […]

OCR to Database

Data is Everything. It does not matter in what field your company works, after all everything will be distilled into digits of data and accumulated in Database to be processed, stored, repurposed and reassembled again, again and again.  All organizations have database, that acts as a repository for all of their information. And you may survive with manual data entry, or using spreadsheets or just folders with documents for some time, but eventually just mare amount of Data will become overwhelming.

Luckily there are plenty of solutions for your Database. You can choose between SQL (MySQL, Access, Postgres, …) or NoSQL (Mongo, AWS, …) solutions for storing and processing Data, but there will be always an issue of how raw unprocessed digits get from images or texts into more structured form of your Database. Identifying and transferring all of this data can be a bit of a task. Misreading data or mismatching of data to fields could easily ruin your data processing system. Thus, precision of data character recognition becomes essential.

One of the solutions is to keep these processes of scanning and data transferring separate. You can use one software for character recognition and transferring data from image to PDF or text document. And then to use PDF (or text) to database converters to extract that data into your database format. The very obvious disadvantage of this approach is that it adds the whole extra step into your data processing. You will start accumulate additional errors, will add time for setting up additional conversion, will add time to data processing and will add time for inevitable error identifying and bug fixing. It may work for smaller companies, but on larger enterprise level it becomes cost prohibitive.

Another solution is OCR to Database direct approach. […]

Knowledge Base

The SimpleOCR Knowledge Base contains frequently asked questions and answers, technical guides and general information on a broad range of optical character recognition, handprint recognition, data capture, PDF OCR, AP invoice scanning and zone OCR applications.

Contact Us for FREE Consultation on Your OCR Project

OCR Data Capture

What is OCR Data Capture?

document OCR process automationOCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and is the technology that allows software to interpret text on scanned images. When this technology is applied to automating business data entry processes it’s referred to as OCR Data Capture.

Many are familiar with popular desktop OCR applications designed to convert scanned images to editable documents. When this process is applied to specific areas of the document containing data fields it’s called zone OCR. But OCR data capture software is more than just simple zone OCR. Modern applications use some or all of these technologies:

Enterprise data capture systems provide interfaces for scanning, recognition, data verification and export, as well as management and monitoring tools to track large volumes of documents and data through the workflow.

Who can benefit from OCR data capture software?

messy business information made easy with ocr data captureAny organization that collects data from paper documents, or electronic files like PDF and Office documents, can get a very high return on investment by automating the data entry with OCR data capture software.

You do need to have a significant number of documents to […]

OCR Consulting Services

OCR Experts for Any Project

Our unique team of OCR experts are equipped to help out with OCR projects of any size or complexity. We have support specialists that can remotely configure desktop solutions in a matter of minutes and expert systems integrators with years of programming, database design, and robotic process automation experience.

Desktop OCR

Batch Document Scanning and OCRUse our online store to order desktop OCR applications and our staff will be happy to answer your setup questions via email or web chat.

Remote configuration and training services using GotoMeeting are available for a low hourly rate.

Let Us OCR That For You

Got a one-time conversion and don’t want to hassle with software? Upload your scanned document to us and we’ll send back the converted files. Optional verification service corrects recognition errors and layout issue for a low hourly rate.

Data processing for forms, reports, directories, and other documents is also available with output to CSV, Excel, XML, JSON, SQL, etc.

Contact us and if possible provide a sample, total pages, desired output and whether you want us to correct the results after OCR and we’ll reply back with a quote right away. Prices start at $50 for up to 1,000 pages.

Batch Scanning & OCR Servers

Data Capture Forms OCRAutomate document scanning and digital document archival processes using zone OCR, barcode recognition, database integration and other technologies.

Small business systems and single document workflows can be setup remotely via GotoMeeting, usually in just a few hours. Chat now if we’re online or leave a message to schedule a consultation.

Data Capture and Forms Processing

Advanced data extraction solutions that can turn the most complex documents into structured data ready […]

Robotic Process Automation

Introducing Robotic Process Automation

RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation and it represents a new approach to business automation that helps minimize the technical hurdles required for implementing new workflows.

Robotic Process Automation of Data Entry

Traditional business process automations rely on application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow systems to exchange data. This approach has two main drawbacks:

  1. The application vendor must make those APIs available
  2. A programmer needs to write custom code to interface with them

If your software vendor does not provide an interface for consuming the data you need to automate, then you’re out of luck. And even if they do, the development costs can eliminate the ROI if the transaction volume isn’t large enough.

RPA tools avoid the API problem by interfacing directly with the application user interface just like a human would do. They use artificial intelligence and machine learning to “watch” the operator perform a task within the application then creates its own program (called a “bot”) to mimic it. This means that:

  1. Bots can do anything a human can do within the application
  2. Users can create a bot without writing code

Practically speaking, an experienced robotic process automation consultant with programming experience is required to roll out an RPA solution enterprise-wide, and most users will only be able to automate small, routine tasks without assistance. Business-critical, high-volume automations will still involve coding. But RPA dramatically reduces the implementation time and avoids the need to retrofit APIs for software applications that were not designed to support them.

Using RPA with OCR Data Capture

UiPath Robotic Process Automation RPA OCROCR Data Capture is one of the most common business processes to automate with RPA. Taking data stored in paper or electronic documents and […]

Title

Go to Top