- optical character recognition
- optical character reader
ocr - Computer Definition
Application software that allows a computer to recognize printed or written characters, e.g., letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and pictograms using an optical scanner for input. Optical mark recognition (OMR) also employs an optical scanner, but does not employ a character recognition engine. See also OMR.
(Optical Character Recognition) The machine recognition of printed characters. OCR systems can recognize many different OCR fonts, as well as typewriter and computer-printed characters. Advanced OCR systems can recognize hand printing. When a text document is scanned into the computer, it is turned into a bitmap, which is a picture of the text. OCR software analyzes the light and dark areas of the bitmap in order to identify each alphabetic letter and numeric digit. When it recognizes a character, it converts it into ASCII text (see ASCII file). Hand printing is much more difficult to analyze than machine-printed characters. Old, worn and smudged documents are also difficult. Scanning documents and processing them with OCR is sometimes as much an art as it is a science.