OCR in document management systems

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OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is revolutionizing document management systems around the world. By using OCR, organizations are able to automate the entire process of converting paper documents into digital files and making them available for search and retrieval online. OCR technology has come a long way since it was first introduced in the late 1990s. This article will look at how OCR works and its role in document management systems. We’ll also explore how OCR can improve organizations’ efficiency by cutting costs and increasing productivity.

What is OCR?

OCR is an optical character recognition tool that can be used to convert scanned images of text into editable, searchable text files. OCR can be used to digitize paper documents, making them more easily accessible and searchable. OCR can also be used to extract data from images, such as receipts or business cards.

When a document is scanned, the scanner produces an image of the document. This image can be stored as a PDF file or other image file format. In order to convert this image into text that can be edited and searched, OCR software is used.

OCR software “reads” the document image and analyses the shapes of the letters and characters within it. It then compares these shapes to a database of known characters, in order to identify each character within the image. Once all of the characters have been identified, the OCR software outputs a text file that contains the recognized text from the document image.

There are a number of different OCR software programs available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some OCR programs are better at correctly identifying characters in poor-quality images, while others may be better at extracting data from specific types of images (such as receipts or business cards).

The Different Types of OCR

There are two main types of OCR: optical character recognition and intelligent character recognition.

Optical character recognition, or OCR, is a process of converting scanned images of text into editable text. This type of OCR is useful for digitizing printed documents, such as books, magazines, and newspapers.

Intelligent character recognition, or ICR, is a process of converting handwritten or typed images of text into editable text. This type of OCR is useful for digitizing hand-written documents, such as letters and forms.

Pros and Cons of OCR

There are many Optical Character Recognition (OCR) products on the market today. Some of these products are free, while others come at a cost. OCR can be a great tool for document management, but there are also some drawbacks to using this technology. Here are some pros and cons of using OCR in document management systems:


  1. OCR can save time by automatically extracting text from images.
  2. OCR can improve accuracy and efficiency in document search and retrieval.
  3. OCR can help you go paperless by digitizing your documents.
  4. OCR can make your documents more accessible to people with visual impairments.
  5. OCR can automate data entry tasks.
  6. OCR can be used to convert scanned PDFs into editable text files.
  7. OCR can be integrated into document management systems for streamlined workflow processing.


  1. Not all OCR software is accurate, and errors can introduce inaccuracies into your document management system.
  2. OCR requires human intervention to proofread and correct errors, which can add costs to your document management system implementation .
  3. Some file formats, such as TIFF or JPEG2000, cannot be processed by most OCR engines .

What are the Best Practices for Using OCR?

When it comes to OCR and document management, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that your OCR software is compatible with your document management system. This will ensure that the text in your documents can be properly indexed and searched.

Another best practice is to use high-quality scanned images when running OCR. This will help to minimize errors and ensure that the text is accurately recognized. Finally, be sure to proofread the final OCRed document to check for any errors.

How to Implement OCR in a Document Management System

There are a few different ways to implement OCR in a document management system. One way is to have a dedicated OCR server that runs the OCR software and outputs the text to be stored in the document management system. Another way is to have the OCR software run on the same server as the document management system.

The most important thing when implementing OCR into a document management system is to make sure that the OCR software is compatible with the document management system. Most OCR software will work with any type of document management system, but there are always a few exceptions. If possible, test out the OCR software with the document management system before deploying it to avoid any potential issues.

Once the OCR software is compatible with the document management system, it needs to be configured to output the text in the correct format. This usually involves setting up some kind of rule so that all text is outputted in plain text or HTML format. Once this is done, all that’s left is to add a button or link in the document management system that will launch the OCR process on any documents that need to be converted.


Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a powerful tool for document management systems, as it enables users to process and interact with digital documents much faster than manual methods. This helps organizations become more efficient and productive, save money on labor costs, reduce paper waste, and improve overall security. With the constant advancement of technology in document management systems, OCR will only continue to be an invaluable asset for businesses of all sizes.

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Shai Leviner
Shai Leviner
Responsible for CharacTell’s global sales, marketing, and business development outside the US.
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