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Citation Software Inc.
 Specialists in variable-data publishing since 1986
 
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QUESTION: What is OCR?

ANSWER: OCR stands for "Optical Character Recognition." It is a computerized process that enables you to convert a paper document into a computer file that you can search and manipulate using a word processor.

An OCR system reads text from paper, translates the images of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. into a text-based form, and creates a computer file that contains the translated information. The computer file that gets created contains fonts and ASCII codes.

All OCR systems include a machine called a "scanner." This is a device with a clear glass surface on it and a camera inside it. You put a document face-down on the glass and the camera inside the scanner takes a picture of the document and stores that picture in the form of a bitmap file (also known as an "image file"). Then, the OCR software in your computer uses its intelligence to examine the patterns of dots in the image file and creates a file that contains text that is represented as fonts and ASCII codes.

With most OCR systems, the image file that is created by the scanner is discarded after the final file (the file containing the fonts and ASCII codes) has been created.
 




    
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