You might be wondering: is online OCR safe? The answer is yes. To find out everything you should know, click here today!
We all have that one friend with terrible handwriting. Maybe they’re the stereotype of the illegible doctor. Or maybe they just have chicken scratch handwriting. Either way, trying to make sense of what they’ve written is a real pain.
Now imagine trying to do that as a computer. It’s pretty close to impossible. After all, all a computer sees in a picture of text is some pixels. To the computer, they don’t really have any meaning.
That’s where OCR or Optical Character Recognition comes in. It’s a means to take an image of text and turn it into something that a computer can understand. OCR is at the heart of many businesses and products today. It’s used in everything from mail services to digital bookkeeping. It’s integral to digital scanners as well.
Like everything else these days, there are plenty of online OCR services out there. As with anything else online, the question always remains; is it safe?
Let’s take a closer look at online OCR, and how safe and easy it is to use.
What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?
We already gave a brief outline of what OCR does, but to explain why it’s safe we should take a closer look at how it works.
OCR operates on two basic principles; pattern recognition and feature recognition. This is great because we as humans use both of those constantly in our lives.
You have to remember that a computer can’t really think. No matter what function they’re performing, a computer is only ever following a set of instructions. They can’t deviate from that. This means a computer can’t intuitively know what a letter or word is just from the text. Computers don’t use context clues.
For this reason, they make use of these two techniques to try and identify a specific letter during OCR.
Pattern recognition is used to teach the computer some semblance of context clues. The computer will take note of what letters are used together with the most often. It will also make note of how they look in different fonts, and other features like that.
Then, when it is trying to decipher a set of text, it can compare each letter it comes across to that information. This helps it narrow down the available options.
The other tool is feature recognition. This is similar but involves the letters themselves, rather than how they are used.
This involves the computer forming a bank of common features to certain letters. This includes things like dots for the letter “i”, or lines in letters like “A” or “T”. It does this across all different kinds of fonts, handwriting styles, and languages.
Used together, these two techniques create a kind of “memory”, from which the program can take context clues. These clues are used to translate the image of text into actual text that the computer can understand.
What is OCR Used For?
Why do we need OCR? What kinds of benefits does it provide? The answer to that is a lot. OCR is an invaluable tool in the digital world.
It has applications in everything from security, where it can be used to match handwriting and signatures, to databases and sorting. Mail services make heavy use of OCR when sorting and identifying mail, for example. An OCR program is a lot faster than doing that by hand.
It can also be used to convert a document into an OCR PDF, or another type of digital word document. This is great for digital record keeping, as these kinds of documents can be easily stored, transferred, and shared whenever they need to be. Say goodbye to cumbersome documents and paper waste.
Is Online OCR Safe?
There’s always a concern when using online services, especially free services that deal with potentially sensitive information like OCR can. Is it actually safe to use?
Thankfully, the answer to that is yes.
First off, since all OCR really does is translate text from an image, that means that it can’t really do much else to your documents or your computer. There’s no fear, for example, of it corrupting the data in your documents.
These services also do not store any of your information themselves. The translated text is stored in a separate file, not kept in the OCR software itself. This means that the software cannot be compromised to gain access to your information.
Online OCR is also greatly improving in terms of accuracy and quality. Many services now offer accuracy rates well into the high ninety percent rate. This means that the odds of critical information being lost in translation are very slim.
Because it’s online, there is ample information available to ensure you make the right choice in your OCR service. Users all across the internet write posts and reviews regularly, and this information is easy to find online. This information should make it simple to find the perfect safe online OCR service to meet your needs.
Use Online OCR In Your Work Today
Online OCR is an invaluable tool in today’s environment. There are plenty of options readily available. It’s a safe, easy, and reliable tool with a huge array of applications.
You can easily use it to scan any document, and from there you can do anything you could do with any other text document. You can easily convert paper documents to text or PDFs, share them with others, search for keywords, and so much more.
With so many tools readily available, it’s no trouble at all to find a free online OCR tool and put it to use in your life.
Hop online and find an OCR service now. Scan your documents in, and do anything with them that you might need. You’ll probably find your digital document work to be a lot simpler and easier with the help of online OCR.
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