Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » O »

OCR - optical character recognition

Often abbreviated OCR, optical character recognition refers to the branch of computer science that involves reading text from paper and translating the images into a form that the computer can manipulate (for example, into ASCII codes). An OCR system enables you to take a book or a magazine article, feed it directly into an electronic computer file, and then edit the file using a word processor.

All OCR systems include an optical scanner for reading text, and sophisticated software for analyzing images. Most OCR systems use a combination of hardware (specialized circuit boards) and software to recognize characters, although some inexpensive systems do it entirely through software. Advanced OCR systems can read text in large variety of fonts, but they still have difficulty with handwritten text.

The potential of OCR systems is enormous because they enable users to harness the power of computers to access printed documents. OCR is already being used widely in the legal profession, where searches that once required hours or days can now be accomplished in a few seconds.

8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »