If you’ve been looking into book scanning, you must have come across the term “OCR scanning”. In this article we’ll discuss what that is exactly and why it’s one of the most important features of any document scanning software or app.
What is OCR scanning? What is it useful for?
OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. OCR scanning technology can be used to identify the letters in any text that is scanned using technology.
With OCR scanning technology, any printed or written text that has been scanned into a digitized form is then entirely machine-readable. And being machine-readable means that it can be used for data processing, such as for searching for particular words or phrases within the digitized text.
Does OCR scanning take longer?
Unfortunately, we can confirm that OCR scanning does take longer than regular book scanning. The OCR scanning takes place after the scan is complete, and can sometimes use up scanner time for several minutes after each scan.
How long OCR scanning takes depends on factors such as image quality and language.
Are there services for scanning books with OCR?
There are many book scanning services in the USA and pretty much all of them offer OCR scanning as a basic feature. For more information on this, please refer to our article: Book Scanning ServiceS in the US.
Does OCR scanning work for all languages?
OCR scanning can detect a wide variety of languages. What’s more, it can detect text characters not just on printed text, but also handwritten text also.
In addition, OCR scanning technology can be used to detect multiple different languages within a single scanned document.
Having said that, if you’re scanning a language that is not very common, you should check that the specific software or the type of book scanner you are purchasing supports that language.
It could also be that you are scanning an old book where the text is not clear or the font that was used is no longer common so the OCR will have trouble detecting the letters.
Book scanners with OCR scanning technology are typically set to detect all included languages by default, but it’s definitely something to consider before getting a document scanner.
You can also increase the efficiency of text recognition and detection by setting your preferred language. This can be particularly valuable when scanning handwritten text.
What book scanners have OCR?
It’s actually quite common for all types of book scanners to feature OCR scanning technology. For a great guide to about choosing a book scanner, you should check out our article titled “17 Best Book Scanners”
Most book scanners you will find in public libraries usually include OCR.
Do book scanning phone apps have OCR?
There are many text scanning phone apps that feature OCR scanning technology and you can review most of them in our article: Phone apps for book scanning.
One of our favorite apps with this feature is CamScanner, which is available for both Android and iOS smartphones. However, you don’t get this functionality with the free version, and will have to get the premium version for OCR scanning.
What is an OCR pen?
An OCR pen is, for want of a better term of phrase, basically a digital highlighter. You can use it to scan printed text, and thanks to its OCR scanning technology, the pen can interpret the text for you, identifying each word. But that’s not all…
Some also feature Bluetooth technology, which enables the device to send the text, word for word, directly to other devices, such as a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Not only does it save you time and effort, it’s also 30 times faster than manual typing. What’s more, they can work with multiple languages on a range of different operating systems, and some can even offer audio, too.
How to create a searchable PDF from a Scan?
If you scanned a document with a software that has OCR it is already readable by computers and therefore searchable.
SO Once you’ve created a PDF from a scan, you can make it searchable by using Adobe Acrobat, and this is possible on both Windows and Mac computers.
Here’s how to create a searchable PDF from a scan using Adobe Acrobat:
- Open the file in Adobe Acrobat
- Go to the Tools menu, and hit Enhance Scans
- Then hit Recognize Text, followed by In This File
- Then click Recognize Text, and the OCR process will start.
If for whatever reason you don’t have or want to download Adobe Acrobat, there are alternatives you can use, such as Protect PDF, and Shrink PDF.
What is RPA OCR?
OCR scanning is made possible by RPA. RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation.
What is a good free OCR software?
We have a great guide for you: List of Book Scanning Software where we cover softwares with or without OCR.
Although many book scanners and book scanning apps come with OCR scanning technology built in, this is not always available free of charge. However there are some. One of our favorites is VueScan, which is available for both Windows and Mac computers.
How to scan a book with OCR?
First of all, before you scan any book you better go over the legal compliance regarding scanning books in your country, if after that you decide to scan your books you should learn about the different types of book scanners, and the different brands.
Later you should read our guides about how to scan books, how to scan a book with your phone and how do book scanners work.
If you want to get fast results with high quality scanning you might also want to consider a book scanning service to do the digitization for you. These services usually use a professional automatic book scanner that has a high quality camera and speed.