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Old 06-18-2006, 02:32 AM   #1
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Computer ==> Paper ==> Computer

Computers seem to have a tough time recognizing text scanned from a paper document. Just look at any "Search inside this book" feature on and you will find a lot of gibberish that is typical of text scanners.

Now, if someone wanted to print out some records, what would be the best way to print this data, such that it could be scanned back to a computer, without flaw? Are there special fonts designed with this in mind?

Last edited by General; 06-18-2006 at 02:34 AM.
Old 06-18-2006, 02:44 AM   #2
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I would have thought that most scanners these days would have good OCR capability, but perhaps I could be wrong. I don't know if it is a font issue with the computer, because assuming that when a document is scanned it might give you the option to output it to plain text, or to a word processing format, PDF, etc. All I can really say is try searching around for a device that is specifically made to handle text scanning, since a scanner is more of a general device, for images as well.... I hope this might give you some kind of direction, but maybe somebody else here might have something to add?


It also could be the software itself. I am sure that also there is OCR software out there that might be able to do a better job, rather than a program like photoshop, etc.

Last edited by Jeebizz; 06-18-2006 at 02:45 AM.
Old 06-18-2006, 03:12 AM   #3
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The best way to do it is to scan it as an image.
Old 06-18-2006, 03:21 AM   #4
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I'm not an expert at this, but I believe OCR does best with simple fonts that are evenly spaced. Any clear, large fixed-width san-serif font should do, such as a terminal font. The more regular the design, the better. I don't know if making it bold would help, but the characters need to be spaced widely enough that each character stands out clearly (not too widely though, or it might think there are spaces where there shouldn't be).

The quality of the scanning is also a factor. You need to have a fairly high resolution at a decent contrast. I don't know what the optimal settings would be though. Also, different OCR programs use different recognition algorithms, so they may perform differently on the same text. You may want to print out some samples in a few different fonts as a test.

The main point I guess is simply to remove anything that might confuse the reader and give it the simplest, clearest text you can. Unfortunately, OCR on Linux is one of those areas still in need of improvement. Just be thankful you're using a simple alphabet and don't need to scan a Japanese document or something.


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