Advantages of OCR | disadvantages of OCR

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of OCR. It mentions OCR advantages or benefits and OCR disadvantages or drawbacks. OCR stands for Optical Character Reader.

What is OCR?

The OCR not only detects the presence of characters but also differentiates them by their shape. OCR is used as input device to read numeric and alphanumeric characters from pre-printed documents produced by printers, type-writers etc.

OCR functioning

In OCR, scanner is equipped with character recognition software which converts bitmap images of characters to equivalent ASCII codes. The scanner first creates bitmap image of the document and then OCR software translates array of grid points into ASCII text which the computer can interpret as letters, numbers and special characters.

To translate bitmaps into text, OCR software examines bitmap of each character and compares it with the set of characters which the machine has been programmed to recognize. Whichever character pattern it matches or nearly matches, is considered to be character read. If a scanned character does not match with any of the already stored character patterns, it is rejected.

Benefits or advantages of OCR

Following are the benefits or advantages of OCR:
➨In spite of rough handling, one can read the OCR information with high degree of accuracy. Flatbed scanners are very accurate and can produce reasonably high quality images.
➨The processing of OCR information is fast. Large quantities of text can be input quickly.
➨A paper based form can be turned into an electronic form which is easy to store or send by mail.
➨It is cheaper than paying someone amount to manually enter large amount of text data. Moreover it takes less time to convert in the electronic form.
➨The latest software can re-create tables as well as original layout.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of OCR

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of OCR:
➨OCR text works well with printed text only and not with handwritten text. Handwriting needs to be learnt by the computer.
➨OCR systems are expensive.
➨Images produced by scanner consume lot of memory space.
➨Images lose some quality during scanning and digitizing process.
➨Quality of the final image depends on quality of the original image.
➨All the documents need to be checked over carefully and then manually corrected.

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