Like corporations and enterprises, small businesses work on multiple papers and files. They handle plenty of overwhelming paperwork daily.
Traditionally, businesses work with physical paperwork, from tax filing, clients, suppliers, and more. The physical files consume plenty of space, and it can be a time-consuming process to go through them. Luckily, there are software programs available to manage forms and other documents.
OCR software is designed for businesses to take care of the papers and convert them into digital format. It allows any documents such as receipts, invoices, forms, documents, and more to be scanned and processed.
This type of technology saves time and resources for both the employee and business. It converts files into a precise and accurate form. Hence, it’s convenient and fits an organization’s workflow.
OCR software programs are tools applicable to various industries for better document processing.
So if your business works on plenty of paperwork, using one of these tools can help your team.
But what is OCR software exactly?
What is OCR Software?
OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a technology created to scan and recognize printed and handwritten characters in a digital image. It translates an image into codes for data processing.
It is used to convert physical, written documents into a digital and editable format. OCR software is a combination of a scanner and a complex technology that transforms the scanned file into a text that can be edited or managed.
Some OCRs have advanced software like artificial intelligence and ICR or Intelligent Character Recognition technology. ICR can recognize a document’s language and handwriting style.
Using OCR technology keeps things simple by converting handwritten and printed documents to a digital format, so you don’t have to manually encode the entire document.
Benefits of OCR
Once OCR converts a file, it becomes editable and searchable. It makes it easy for teams or employees to search for a document when needed. They can effortlessly type the name of the file, reference number, address, or so on. Hence, it avoids the time-consuming task of searching through thousands of files.
As mentioned earlier, the ability to locate files through the search function saves time for employees. Instead of going through a pile of paperwork, OCRs make it easy to manage and access files in just a snap of a finger.
Furthermore, it eliminates the need to encode the entire document.
When you scan images and documents using OCR software, you get an accurate and precise copy of the physical file. The best part of it, you can copy, paste, and edit the file. You can turn them into PDFs or Word documents faster.
OCR software improves the overall productivity in the workplace, as there is no more paperwork to go through and even missing deadlines. Hence, it improves the outcome of a project, boosts the morale of employees, and reduces stress.
Copying documents with a limited number of hours can lead to multiple errors. With OCR, you scan the files and get accurate files. Errors using OCR are less as compared to manually encoding documents.
Aside from converting files, OCR software in the market is equipped with technology that keeps every data in the system safe and secured. Users can also further protect their files by restricting who can edit, view, and leave a comment.
It saves the planet from cutting down trees and reducing waste. OCR software helps your business remain eco-friendly, which can be a good reputation for your business.
No Need for a Storage Space
You don’t have to rent physical space to store your paper works. Digital copies of your documents mean you keep them on the cloud, which is even protected. Using cloud storage is cheaper as compared to renting a physical location. You don’t even have to maintain it at all.
Now you have read about OCR benefits. It is time you learn which brand of OCR software tool you can use for your small business.
Best OCR software
If you want a complete OCR software tool to manage every document, Abbyy FineReader works well. It has been in the industry for years.
The OG document management software is packed with tools for scanning, editing, and organizing files. Users can convert their files to formats such as PDF, Microsoft Office, and other document formats.
It can recognize up to 99% text from 18 to 11 pts font size. It has a high accuracy whenever it scans a large-sized font.
Abbyy FineReader can also be used to add annotations and comments to the file. It’s excellent for teamwork and collaboration.
It’s possible to convert files into batches and convert them to various formats such as PDF, TIFF, HTML, TXT, PNG, and more.
There’s also a mobile version for Abbyy FineReader. It is a portable scanner that’s effective for any form of documents. You can easily create electronic copies in the formats you desire. You can use the mobile version even without an internet connection.
The mobile app works as a scanner for images, receipts, books, documents, and more. It becomes a handy tool that you can bring anywhere and use anytime.
As with most OCR software, it has a searchable feature by using filters and keywords.
Other features of Abbyy:
- Split files into multiple documents to meet the size requirement.
- Hide file content for confidentiality.
- Add password to protect the entire document
- Signature verification for authenticity.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Of course, Adobe won’t go missing on anyone’s list when it comes to document management.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has been a long-time PDF tool. It can convert files from formats such as Word and Excel to PDF and vice versa.
Acrobat Pro DC can be a solution to create and edit PDF, add a signature, include an image, and merge files. But, of course, Adobe has more to that.
The OCR tool provides an excellent way to create documents faster than ever. You scan your file, receipt, and other documents, then turn them into an editable format. Also, it is possible to create fillable forms with Adobe.
It has a built-in technology that can recognize a text or font and convert that to a PDF font available and similar to it.
Also, it permits the addition of comments, rearranging of pages, merging of files, and editing of an image on a scanned document.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a subscription-based version. You can pay monthly or yearly. Meanwhile, the Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 is a standalone program you pay once and have a lifetime license.
To see which version you prefer, read about the difference between Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC here.
Kofax has long been around for businesses to manage their files and scan their documents with accuracy. It’s a game-changing software that small businesses and enterprises can benefit from.
It’s a top-ranking document scanning software that can precisely recognize text on documents and convert them into digital form accurately.
You can use any scanner with Kofax’s OmniPage. Even mobile scanners are compatible.
It is possible to manage your converted files to pre-programmed workflows. And, you can use the eDiscovery Assistant to convert files in batches to searchable files.
OmniPage Ultimate has batch processing for large volumes of files with no supervision needed. Its wide range of format support makes it a recommendable tool for businesses that require such.
It can support up to 120 languages, so users from other countries can use the tool in their intended language.
If you need a lightweight and easy-to-use program, you can give Rossum a try. Although it is not a PDF management software packed with tools like Adobe and Abbyy FineReader, it still works great for converting your physical files digitally.
Rossum accepts scanning of text and images and converts to popular formats like DOCX, TXT, or PDF. The digital copies can be changed to editable format for users to make changes to their files.
The AI-powered technology organizes and extracts valuable data from documents for validation. In time, the program learns and improves until human feedback is less required.
The centralized platforms collect incoming documents from multiple sources and place them on a single feed for teams to easily access and manage files received.
All types of documents are accepted by Rossum. It can scan images (colored and grayscale), pages, receipts, and more.
You can try Rossum for free. They do have a paid version, but you need to request a quote.
Readiris is an OCR and PDF technology that creates high-quality scanned images. It turns scanned files into an editable and searchable form. It also gives users the freedom to convert to their desired format.
Its most prized feature is its faster document conversion and management. Readiris developers improve the performance of the software by straightforwardly recognizing text and converting them to any language.
Even conversion to audio form is possible with Readiris. You can add voice annotation and comments, convert them to the desired format, and add clickable links.
Like other OCR software programs, you can add a comment, annotate, edit content, convert to the desired format, and secure it with a signature.
Other features of Readiris are batch conversion of documents, splitting and merging of files, barcode reading, and conversion to EPUB format.
There are two versions available for businesses, Pro and Corporate.
Other OCR software:
- Microsoft OneNote
There are free and paid versions of the best OCR software in the market. But the requirements of which depend on your business. If you are starting your business, you can use free software and move to a paid version for better features.
The application of OCR on businesses is unlimited. With its power to convert bulky and space-consuming papers, it is possible to make the workflow faster and easier. Eliminate the need to encode the whole document. Instead, make your work easy with these OCR tools.
Start reading about their best features and decide which will work for your small business.