OCR – Optical Character Recognition – is a computer program that works with a scanner. It converts the scanned page to a text file. The text must be typeset (books, magazines, newspapers), manually typed (a machine we used to use before PC’s and laser printers) or computer printed. OCR doesn’t work with hand-written pages. Scanning a document is like taking a snapshot picture of the text and making a picture file of it on the hard drive. Software converts the file into another type of file and makes the text manageable. Optical recognition software is available with many scanners and printers.
Here are the things you need:
1. Find the page or area of text. Make certain the text is free of contaminants or anything that may alter or smudge the text while you scan it.
2. Wipe down the scanner’s glass surface to remove any dust or debris that may alter the text’s image after scanning. Glass cleaner is an appropriate substance to use.
3. Consider the file format for the newly scanned text. Most OCR software converts the imaged text into a rich text, or rtf, file. There are many other file formats to choose from so pick the one that suits the file’s needs.
4. Copy the text file into Word, proofread it, change the format, load it to a web site – do anything you would if you had typed it into the computer yourself. Some OCR loads directly to Word.
5. Many scanners come with OCR software. You can also buy an OCR package for your scanner (Download Our FREE OCR to Word Tool). The packages are expensive, however. Search on Google for brands and prices.