What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) may sound complex, but in actual fact it is quite simple. OCR scanning essentially refers to the process of converting paper documents into fully searchable and editable electronic files. Extremely useful in a whole range of sectors, OCR makes one of the best uses of document and data scanning by converting traditional paper documents into a range of files, such as Microsoft Word, Excel spreadsheets, CSV, XML and PDF Searchable formats.

How Does OCR Scanning Work

When a page is scanned, it is usually stored as a bit-mapped file in TIF format. When that image is displayed on the screen, it is able to be read by us, however to the computer, it’s simply a series of black and white dots. OCR enables those ‘dots’ to be read by the computer in order to determine whether they represent a particular letter or number, and essentially decode it in order to be read by programmes.

The process begins by scanning the hard-copy – so a document, book, newspaper etc. to create digital images such as TIFF, PDF, PNG, JPEG. The software is then applied in order to convert images into searchable or editable text format. The software is extremely intelligent as it can help to remove any distortion and lines that may cause it to be read incorrectly. It is then able to detect lines of text and recognise characters in order for the file to be saved correctly.

OCR scanning was actually developed originally to help those who are sight-impaired gain access to printed information, but has been developed in order to be able to "read" computer files.

Where Can OCR Be Used?

As OCR becomes more and more recognised as a tangible solution for streamlining processes in the digital world, many businesses have jumped on the OCR bandwagon. Legal businesses, HR departments, educational institutions, medical establishments and the construction industry have all improved their efficiency with OCR document scanning.

What Are The Advantages of Using OCR

OCR scanning and conversion boasts a plethora of benefits and it could be your competitor who is receiving these benefits, including:

  • Reducing human error
  • Potentially reducing expenses
  • Time saving
  • Improving streamlining
  • Increasing efficiency

Have you considered OCR scanning as a way to improve your workflows? We have over 10 years’ experience working with businesses in a whole range of sectors. Get in touch with us now.

Half of Courtrooms in the UK Are Now 'High-Tech'

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Thanks to legal scanning, 50% of UK courtrooms now work completely digitally and they’re reaping some big benefits too!

Back in June last year, the Government announced its plans to have courtrooms in England and Wales fully digital by 2016 and they seem to be halfway there. It was believed that the ‘outdated reliance on paper’ in the criminal justice system was slowing down the efficiency of cases as well as costing the Government unnecessary funding so they set about the reducing the 160 million sheets of paper used on average by the Crown Prosecution Service.

In the past few years, the rules on paper documents in court have changed to enable a quicker, more efficient and cost saving solution and wifi has been installed into a large number of courtrooms to aid digitised hearings. Legal admissibility is no longer a problem as digital documents are now accepted as evidence in a court of law and can be transferred between relevant parties via email to save time. These steps by the Crown Prosecution Service have been made to turn the criminal justice system into a ‘digital and modern public service’.

Benefits of Going Digital

Courtrooms making the transition to digital can benefit in a number of ways;legal document

  • Files and documents can be shared instantly through email and shared platforms.
  • Money can be saved on paper, ink and printing.
  • Time will be saved with instant retrieval of digital documents.
  • There will be no need for hearing to be adjourned due to not having the correct documents as they can be found there and then.
  • There will be a reduced burden on administrative duties.
  • Sensitive data can be held more securely through password protection and file encryption.
  • There will be better overall efficiency of court proceedings.

What do you think about the Government and Crown Prosecution Service’s steps to convert the criminal justice system to digital?

Pearl Scan Legal Scanning Service

Here at Pearl Scan we provide document scanning services to companies in the legal sector wishing to benefit from cost savings, timedocument scanning image savings and better efficiency. Our legal scanning services are completely bespoke and can be tailored to suit the needs of each individual client.

Our e-Discovery and e-Disclosure service can help you to keep track of all of the documents involved in your case through digital document management and we provide consultancy throughout the scanning process to help you to get the most out of your documents.

For more information about the range of legal scanning services and document management solutions we offer, check out our dedicated site or get in touch today and you can also request a free, no obligation quote for your legal scanning project by following the relevant links below.

If you liked this article, why not take a look at some related articles:
Legal Scanning: Can You Afford Not To Go Digital?
The Oldest Law in England- Now Available Online
New York's Paperless Legislation

Reduce storage cost and digitize your files

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Store-to-Scan: Another option to reduce storage cost and digitize your files

Our store-to-scan model has revolutionised the way an organisation store documents. Our innovative process can help your company save in storage cost and retrieval costs.

This is how Store-to-Scan works

We collect your document boxes, from your offices or from your storage provider anywhere in the UK, we store the boxes in our safe warehouse facilities free of charge.

Based on your file storage period, we start scanning the most recent files and shred without scanning the expired files.

For example if your file storage period is 6 years and you have files in the archive dating back to 2008. We will start scanning the most recent year's files from 2014, then 2013, 2012 and shred the year 2008 files without scanning in 2015 and year 2009 files in year 2016, and 2010 files in 2017. So in three years the latest three years files will be scanned but the oldest three years shredded.

So in three years, you will eliminate the total cost of storage as well as will have received three years free storage service and spread the cost of scanning over three years.

Typically we scan the following types of documents:

  • HR Records
  • Legal Documents
  • Project Folders
  • Customers Files
  • Legal Case File
  • Property Files
  • Delivery Notes

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Pearl Scanning Company has different document scanning solutions that can be tailor for your company's needs. We provide record scanning solutions and record management solutions throughout the UK, no matter how small or big the project. We are a document scanning company certified ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001, find out more about our record management certifications.

Read more about Store-to-Scan

Please call or email us to discuss your requirements.