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ECIT Digital

ECIT Digital document processing platform uses AI and machine learning technologies to automate the processing of any document type, from invoices and receipts to contracts and HR documents. Seamlessly integrate ECIT Digital wit...Read more about ECIT Digital

5.0 (1 reviews)

DocuPhase

Docuphase offers a comprehensive suite of intelligent financial solutions that create predictability, visibility, and efficiency. Our solutions include Document Management, Invoice and Data Capture, Forms & Workflow, AP Automation...Read more about DocuPhase

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PDFelement

Wondershare PDFelement is a one-stop PDF solution powered by AI. Fast, smart, affordable, and easy way to manage (.pdf) documents across desktop, mobile, and web. It provides a great user experience and is an excellent alternativ...Read more about PDFelement

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Infrrd

Infrrd OCR, by Infrrd is a cloud-based data capturing tool that leverages Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and artificial intelligence algorithms to extract data from unstructured documents. The solution enables users to extrac...Read more about Infrrd

4.2 (5 reviews)

Nitro

Nitro is an electronic signature solution designed to help businesses create, edit, convert, sign, combine, share, review and secure PDF documents on a centralized platform. Professionals can insert text, images, fonts, layouts, l...Read more about Nitro

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Wolfram Mathematica

Wolfram Mathematica is a technical computing solution that provides businesses of all sizes with tools for image processing, data visualization and theoretic experiments. The notebook interface enables users to organize documents ...Read more about Wolfram Mathematica

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Grooper

Grooper was built from the ground up by BIS, a company with 35 years of continuous experience developing and delivering new technology. Grooper is an intelligent document processing and digital data integration solution that empo...Read more about Grooper

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Rossum

Powered by AI-based technology, Rossum is an intelligent cloud-based data extraction plugin solution that helps businesses capture required information from invoices, receipts, purchase orders, and bills of lading to streamline ac...Read more about Rossum

Klippa DocHorizon

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with digital transformation? Look no further than Klippa DocHorizon - the ultimate cloud-based Intelligent Document Processing solution. Our advanced technology uses Optical Ch...Read more about Klippa DocHorizon

Hypatos

Hypatos is a document processing solution that helps businesses leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning algorithms to automate data extraction and manage back-office operations. It comes with an appli...Read more about Hypatos

DocDigitizer

DocDigitizer is a SaaS document management and data capture solution that allows businesses to utilize AI and machine learning technology to analyze documents and capture data from files in multiple formats and layouts. It comes w...Read more about DocDigitizer

OCR Gateway

OCR Gateway is a data capture and document automation tool that helps businesses optimize document workflows. We are experienced in automating processes across several industries, like logistics, legal, healthcare, life sciences, ...Read more about OCR Gateway

5.0 (2 reviews)

Nanonets

Nanonets, recognized as a leader in intelligent automation AI, serves as a pivotal tool across diverse sectors, seamlessly integrating into complex business ecosystems. Its comprehensive suite of solutions caters to various indust...Read more about Nanonets

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Scanbot Document Scanner SDK

With the Scanbot Document Scanner SDK, enterprises can integrate mobile document scanning into their apps in just one week. With features such as self-explanatory user guidance, perspective correction, automatic scanning, blur det...Read more about Scanbot Document Scanner SDK

5.0 (1 reviews)

ABBYY FineReader PDF

ABBYY FineReader PDF allows users to convert, edit, and share PDF documents. It is suitable for individuals and businesses. This solution can help teams streamline collaboration on PDF workflows in the workplace. ABBYY FineReader ...Read more about ABBYY FineReader PDF

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Cognitive Workbench

ExB is the only Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) solution that works with every document (digital or not, structured like a form or completely unstructured like a report) for every workflow (also the most uncommon ones). Ou...Read more about Cognitive Workbench

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TrulySmall Accounting

TrulySmall Accounting is a financial reporting and accounting solution that is designed to assist small businesses automate and manage bookkeeping tasks. With machine learning technology, employees can categorize and reconcile exp...Read more about TrulySmall Accounting

3.6 (5 reviews)

Anyline

Anyline develops mobile optical character recognition (OCR) and Barcode technology, which gives businesses the power to read, interpret and process visual information with any mobile device. Anyline scanning solutions integrate ...Read more about Anyline

4.5 (4 reviews)

ITyX

ITyX is a robotic process automation software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to automate text-based workflows. It offers a digital mailroom module, which lets businesses utilize pre-configured fo...Read more about ITyX

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PDFpen

Nitro PDF Professional is a user-friendly and feature-rich PDF editor that provides business-critical capabilities for creating, editing, signing and sharing professional-quality documents. It includes an easy-to-use interface wit...Read more about PDFpen

4.3 (4 reviews)

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Imagine that you want to pull some text or data from a graphic or a printed contract—what are your options? Spend time retyping the entire thing and then correcting mistakes? Or simply use a tool that can convert the document into a digital format in several minutes? If you want a tool, then you've landed in the right place.

Optical character recognition software, or OCR software, helps you convert different types of documents such as scanned paper-based documents, PDF files, or images into editable and searchable text.The file can be saved in a new format such as DOC, RTF, XLS, PDF, HTML, TXT, etc. OCR software also allows you to export data directly to office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe Acrobat.

The entire process of text extraction and data conversion from the original paper document, image, or PDF takes very little time compared to doing it manually, and the final document looks just like the original.

In this buyer's guide, we’ll explain what OCR software is, its common features, its benefits, considerations to take into account when selecting a tool, and the latest trends that software buyers should not miss.

Here's what we'll cover:

What is OCR software?

OCR (optical character recognition) software is designed to help businesses convert different types of document formats, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files, or images, into editable and searchable electronic data files.

OCR solutions make it possible to recognize text in these documents and images by scanning them, processing content in the documents, and converting them into editable file formats like plain text, or Word or Excel documents. Documents processed with these platforms typically include client forms, invoices, and staff paperwork.

Various teams can use OCR solutions in their day-to-day operations such as accounting, human resources, and data entry teams to obtain important information from mass quantities of paper and digital files.

PDF-conversion-in-OCR-Gateway-Software

PDF conversion in OCR Gateway Software (Source)

Common features of OCR software

Below are some common features of OCR software:

Text extraction

Process various documents and image types and extract text from images (JPG, BMP, TIFF, GIF) into editable files.

Document conversion

Convert documents and images into editable file formats such as plain text, Word, or Excel.

Data validation

Validate extracted data after the conversion.

PDF conversion

Convert text and images from your scanned PDF document into editable file formats.

Data import/export

Import and export files to/from your existing computer system.

Multiple language support

Support, recognize, and process files in multiple languages with a single OCR tool.

Document archiving

Electronically archive converted digital documents that can be easily accessed for future use.

Mobile document capture

Capture text from documents and images using a mobile device and convert pictures to documents or different formats.

What type of buyer are you?

Before evaluating OCR software, it’s helpful to determine your business size and requirements for the tool:

  • Small and midsize businesses (SMBs—up to 500 employees): Small and midsize businesses with comparatively smaller teams and fewer clients will have to handle a limited amount of paper-based documents. These could include small retail shops or clinics. Your small or midsize business could opt for a free OCR tool or a basic version that’s reasonably priced and is good enough to process a small number of files.

  • Large enterprises (over 500 employees): Large enterprises that operate globally and have large teams and client bases will need to process a large number of documents. These businesses could be large banking and insurance businesses. Look for an enterprise OCR solution that provides functionality for multiple formats and language support, handwriting detection, role-based permissions to access the documents, and simultaneous processing of multiple document batches.

Benefits of OCR software

Here are the key benefits of OCR software:

  • High accuracy: Manual data entry and data logging pose many challenges, and inaccuracy is just one of them. OCR software can help you capture, scan, and process the exact text from an original document, reducing the chances of human errors or inaccuracies.

  • Reduced costs: OCR solutions can help businesses that carry out tasks like data/text extraction cut down costs. This is mostly helpful for departments such as HR and finance that deal with a large number of paper-based documents such as invoices and receipts. With OCR software, all the text from paper-based documents is converted into digital formats which helps reduce printing, shipping, and copying costs. In addition, OCR software enables businesses to store files in digital format, thus reducing the need for physical space to store paper documents.

  • Enhanced productivity: Manual data entry from non-editable documents, such as paper-based forms, takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. OCR solutions offer features such as text recognition, data extraction, and document conversion to automatically convert non-editable documents into editable file formats such as Word, Excel, or plain text. That means your team members don't need to manually enter the data into the systems, which saves time and leads to better productivity.

  • Improved data security: Paper-based forms can be easily misplaced, stolen, or destroyed by fire or moisture. With OCR software deployed, your files are scanned, analyzed, and stored in a digital format that cannot be destroyed. Further, all records are stored in a centralized database that can be accessed only by authorized users. OCR software also offers user authentication and data encryption capabilities to prevent mishandling or unauthorized access.

Key considerations when selecting OCR software

  • File formats: OCR is all about converting documents and images into different file formats. Make sure you look for an OCR solution that supports the different file formats your organization works with. Whether it’s TIFF, PNG, PDF, JPG, JPEG, or any combination of those, make sure the OCR software you’re planning to purchase supports all of them.

  • Features and cost: The overall cost of OCR software tools varies based on the features it offers. Make sure to identify your organization’s specific needs and which software features can help meet them. If you need help with processing just a small number of files, go for a free OCR tool or a basic software version that’s reasonably priced. But if you want premium features such as multiple formats and language support, handwriting detection, and simultaneous processing of multiple document batches, you'll have to opt for an enterprise solution that will be more expensive.

  • Accuracy: OCR software vendors may promise you between 97% to 99% accuracy, but these rates are mostly based on character errors, not word errors. Consider text and scanning specifications before you make your purchase decision. For the text part, ask about the availability of special fonts (typewriter) in the software which includes the capability to recognize handwritten documents with any degree of accuracy. As for the scanning part, getting a quality image is the first step in having the best and most accurate OCR experience, so don’t forget to ask about things such as resolution, brightness, straightness, and discoloration before purchasing the OCR software.

Market trends to understand

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) in OCR technology: AI-enabled OCR tools can not only scan text and convert it into different file formats but also make sense and meaning out of it. These OCR systems aren’t restricted to a fixed number of character sets and can accumulate knowledge and learn to recognize any number of characters. Therefore, combining AI and OCR is proving to be an effective strategy for both data capture and management. Many vendors have already implemented AI into their OCR software offerings, and more are expected to follow.

Note: The application selected in this guide is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been taken from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.