What is document scanning? Definition and applications

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Document processing

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. A complex acronym for a not-so-complex technology. The aim of OCR is to enable computers to understand printed (typewritten) and/or written (handwritten) text.


What is occlusion?


OCR is the technology used to extract text data from scanned documents. With OCR, there's no need to copy dozens of pages by hand: everything is processed in just a few moments, 100% automatically.

Increasingly, this technology is being integrated into many software applications. This makes scanning invoices, pay slips, contracts, etc. much faster. OCRs simplify many administrative tasks in many fields.


How OCR works: How do I transform a document?


OCR works by using algorithms to analyze the shapes and patterns of characters in a digital image. These algorithms include segmentation, pattern recognition and classification techniques. OCR software can then identify and convert characters into editable text.




Segmentation consists in dividing the image containing the text into distinct zones. These sets of bookmarks correspond to a single character or a group of characters. This step is crucial to effectively isolate each bookmark and minimize interference between multiple elements.


Pattern recognition


Pattern recognition involves analyzing the visual characteristics of each character or glyph. The recognition software identifies their shape, size and relative position. Pattern recognition algorithms compare these characteristics with a database of previously stored character shapes.




Once the characters have been identified, they are classified according to their meaning. For example, they can be classified into letters, numbers, punctuation symbols, etc. This step is essential to correctly interpret the text and make it comprehensible to users.


Occlustering applications


Ocerization has applications in a wide variety of fields. These range from administration and finance to medicine and education.


Ocerization for administration and finance


In the field of administration and finance, OCR is widely used to automate data entry. The recognition technology can use a screenshot, a digital photo, a scanned document, a pdf or even a simple png. From these elements, the document (such as an invoice, order form, bank statement, etc.) is converted into an editable format. This speeds up document processing and reduces human error.


Using OCR in medicine


In medicine, OCR is used to digitize and process medical records, prescriptions, test results and more. This facilitates access to medical information and helps improve the quality of care. In fact, electronic document management enables data to be shared rapidly and securely between healthcare professionals.


Education already uses occlusion


In the field of education, OCR is used to digitize books and educational documents. This technology enables teachers and students to access content easily and manipulate it interactively. In addition, OCR is often used in learning assistance tools to help students with reading or vision difficulties.


The benefits of occlusion


The benefits of OCR are numerous and have a positive impact on many aspects of our daily and professional lives.


Time saving


Automating data entry with OCR saves precious time. Tedious manual data entry and time-consuming formatting can be avoided. Processes that used to take hours or even days can now be completed in a matter of minutes. Time saved on office tasks can then be invested in more important, strategic work.


Precision and reliability


OCR considerably reduces the risk of data entry errors. This improves the accuracy and reliability of processed information. Human transcription errors are common and can have costly consequences. Using OCR minimizes this risk and ensures data integrity.


Research and organization


OCR transforms multi-page printed or handwritten documents into editable text. In this way, it makes the converted documents (in text format) searchable. This means it is now possible to search for words or phrases in these documents (Word, Docx, PDF, Docs, Txt, etc.).

This makes it possible to perform text searches within the content of documents, and to sort them according to different criteria. This feature is particularly useful for document management and electronic archiving.


Challenges and limitations of occlusion


Despite its many advantages, OCR also presents challenges and limitations that need to be taken into account.


Complex character recognition


OCR can encounter difficulties when recognizing complex characters. Such as handwritten characters, exotic or stylized fonts, or blurred or distorted characters. In such cases, OCR accuracy can be reduced, sometimes requiring human intervention to correct errors.


Languages and scripts


The accuracy of the recognition tool may vary depending on the language and script used in the document. Languages with special characters or non-Latin alphabets can pose additional challenges. Algorithms must be adapted to recognize, capture and interpret these characters correctly.


Quality of scanned documents


The quality of scanned documents can have a significant impact on the accuracy of the scanning software. Documents with smudges, folds, tears or distortions can be difficult to process. Similarly, low DPI (very poor image quality) can lead to recognition errors.




In conclusion, OCR is a revolutionary technology that has transformed the way we process and use printed information. By automating data capture, improving accuracy and reliability, and making it easier to find and organize information, OCR opens up new perspectives in many fields, and contributes to the efficiency and productivity of organizations. Although challenges remain, particularly with regard to the recognition of complex characters


Document processing

Our AI tools use OCR