We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?

By K. Waterman
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a process of converting printed materials into text or word processing files that can be easily edited and stored. The technology has enabled such materials to be stored using much less storage space than the hard copy materials. OCR technology has made a huge impact on the way information is stored, shared and edited. Prior to optical character recognition, if someone wanted to turn a book into a word processing file, each page would have to be typed word for word.

OCR technology requires both hardware and software. In addition, sophisticated OCR systems require an additional circuit board in the computer itself to complete the process. An optical scanner scans the text on a page, then breaks the fonts down into a series of dots called a bitmap. The software can read most common fonts and distinguish where lines start and stop. This bitmap is then translated into computer text.

While optical character recognition has made huge advances in recent years, it still does not always perform well in recognizing handwriting or fonts that look similar to handwriting. There are systems within the banking industry that use OCR technology to try to read the amounts on hand-written checks, to go along with the computer's ability to read the routing and account numbers.

To give an idea of the power of OCR, it can help to take a look at a real-world example. Imagine a police department that has all its criminal records stored in vast file cabinets. Although scanning millions of pages would be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, the benefits are huge.

Once the OCR system has converted the pages into computer-readable text, a detective, for example, could search through the entire history in a few seconds. Manually finding a particular record might not be too difficult, but imagine a detective trying to search for all the crimes committed on a certain intersection between 8:00 and 8:30. This example only scratches the surface of the power of searchable text, and it is only one reason that many companies and institutions are spending millions of dollars to OCR their legacy data.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon77552 — On Apr 14, 2010

MICR is magnetic ink character recognition.

By anon67258 — On Feb 23, 2010

No. 1: Magnetic Ink Character Recognition.

By anon61323 — On Jan 19, 2010

I think it's on your C:\ drive some place.

By anon37280 — On Jul 18, 2009

I have scanned a 6-page item to OCR, but now cannot find it. Help, please.

By anon3731 — On Sep 14, 2007

What is MICR?

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.