Pearl Document Scanning Blog

News and updates related to the document scanning industry.

Scanning: The Easy Way to Capture Data

Data Capture services

Scanning: The Easy Way to Capture Data

Digitising information and going paperless is no longer a futuristic ideal. It’s happening as we speak. But as with all transitions, having a good strategy is paramount. If you’re taking steps to reduce the use of paper in your organisation, scanning is the easiest and most effective way to catalogue your documents and the information they contain.

Scanning is faster, less expensive, and often more accurate than other types of data capture. Manually entering data is simply not a reasonable strategy if your organisation has many documents that need to be digitised. Even if you choose to employ the services of a third party data entry company that utilizes manual keying of information, you’ll likely find it’s more expensive and takes longer than utilizing the services of a professional scanning company like Pearl Scan.

Innovative technologies

Many people are unaware of just how sophisticated scanning software has become in recent years. Optical Character Recognition and Intelligent Character Recognition have become exceptionally effective, which means that having your documents scanned isn’t simply a process of transforming them into digital images.

On the contrary, top of the line scanning services can not only scan your documents, but they can also capture the data those documents contain. For example, Pearl Scan is able to scan a document, index each document in order to gather relative information, and then provide you with that data in a searchable database.

In addition to being used to index data from printed materials, OCR can also be used to ensure that the document files themselves are searchable. This is an enormous advantage over traditional media.

Flexibility and convenience

Having your documents scanned by a professional scanning service in order to capture your data provides you with enormous flexibility in terms of how you want your information organised, indexed, and saved. If there’s a particular file type your industry has a preference for, for example, it’s very likely that a professional scanning service can provide your documents in that form.

If you need your employees to be able to access this data, anytime and anywhere, it can be uploaded to a cloud storage service. If, on the other hand, you wish to restrict access to this data, you can opt for keeping it on a USB thumb drive or CDs, etc.

Scanning your documents to capture data is one of the best choices you’ll make in the transition to a paperless workplace.

Text Formats Explained

text formats explained


Text Formats Explained

Here at Pearl Scan we offer a lot of choice when it comes to document formats, as we understand that different companies and individuals have different needs. But we also know that too much choice can get confusing! All formats have their advantages and can be used for a number of purposes, but some will be more appropriate than others for a particular project.

In case you’re unsure of which format to choose once your documents or book has been scanned, we’ve put together this blog to help you make the right decision. Perhaps you haven’t heard of some the formats before or always lean to Microsoft Word when in fact another choice would be more suitable. Read on for some jargon-free advice from our scanning experts.

PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, invented by Adobe. This software is now free, so sending PDFs is easy and you know that the receiver will be able to open the document, regardless of the device they are using. PDFs can include text, images, graphics and hyperlinks, so they are especially useful as a format for online brochures or media packs.

CSV

A CSV (Comma Separated Value) file is good for recording data in tables. It’s basically a spreadsheet, supported by applications such as Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. This type of file format is useful for importing and exporting data.

HTML

A HTML file can only be read by web browsers. Therefore, if you want to create a document to be accessed 24/7, with or without an internet connection, this option probably isn’t suitable.

XML

XML is similar to HTML, as the document is only readable online. Files are coded to be machine-readable and human-readable, and can be shared on the web or on intranets. If you need a spreadsheet of data to be available on an intranet, such as contact details, this is a good choice of file format.

Microsoft Word and Excel

Any document can be scanned and then imported directly to Microsoft Word or Excel. If your business uses the programs often, this is probably the best choice for you. You can edit the documents as well as search them for particular text or numbers.

OCR Recognition

Don’t forget that all our scanned documents are fully OCR searchable, regardless of the format you choose. This means that you’ll be able to manually search through the document for any key words or dates you’re looking for. Additionally, you can use our software to type in names or dates and all documents relating to it will be identified. Goodbye, filing cabinets!

What Is Optical Character Recognition?

ocr technology

What Is Optical Character Recognition and Why Is It Important?

If you’ve never heard of optical character recognition technology and you’re a bit confused about what it all means, you’re in the right place. The scanning team at Pearl Scan have broken it all down for you – read on for everything you need to know.

What is OCR?

Optical character recognition is a type of technology which recognises characters in different types of files, allowing it to identify data and make it searchable. It can convert a range of files including scanned paper text documents, digital images and PDF files.

It gives users the opportunity to edit text from a scanned image – something that isn’t usually possible. For example, if you receive an email with an attachment of a scanned image of a letter, you cannot then edit the letter in Microsoft Word or quickly search and retrieve certain data from it.

Traditionally, scanners only have the capacity to take a snapshot of a document and create an image file. You cannot edit the image of the document; OCR technology enables people to extract and edit the content of the document for a number of purposes.

How does it work?

OCR technology analyses the structure of a document and breaks it down into different elements. Blocks of text, images and other formatting features are all separated, and the program starts work on the text. Lines are divided into word, and then it begins to recognise each individual character.

Benefits of Using OCR

The development of optical character recognition brings so many benefits, especially to businesses. Here are just a few:

Data capture

OCR can be used to rapidly capture data from a number of documents, including feedback forms, surveys and questionnaires. Once these are scanned and stored digitally, in Excel or any other program you choose, the technology allows for fast searching, creating searchable PDF documents, to analyse the results.

Easier sharing

With most people having smartphones with cameras, it’s never been easier to snap things on-the-go and email to colleagues. However, most people wouldn’t have done this for important docs such as medical files or legal transcripts, as it’s not usually possible to save images as text files. With OCR it’s easy to convert, and then edit the documents if needed. This saves precious time in busy offices where there is no time for walking up ten floors to different departments to pass files and documents!

Editing old documents

Maybe you’re a publisher and want to re-visit old texts – simply send them to Pearl Scan headquarters to scan, and you can easily edit them from your computer. Perhaps you’re an office manager or HR manager and want to convert to a paperless office – scan all your paperwork and edit employment records, work processes and more instantly.

To find out more about OCR scanning, visit our dedicated page: pearl-scan.co.uk/scanning-services/ocr-scanning-conversion