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Electronic File Processing


Some file processing may be performed during the scanning process or upon entry into the DMS (Document Management System), if a DMS is part of your project. Some files may have been scanned years in the past and processing was not taken into consideration. Processing may be performed on legacy documents or incorporated into your daily image capture activities.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) - Capture of text from a document for use with content text searching. Once a document has undergone OCR, a DMS or file retrieval application can rapidly search your database of documents and return all files that contain a search term. Digital documents that have not been scanned (Word, Excel, etc) do not need to be OCR'd. Scanned documents in the form of PDF may provide more functionality than documents output in the form of TIF. OCR accuracy is dependant on the quality of the document and usually used in conjunction with indexed fields, not as a replacement.

Binding and Separating - Files that have been scanned as single files may be bound since they are much easier to manage than multiple page files. Files may also be scanned into bulk files using separators such as barcodes, blank pages, etc. and later separated in the processing tasks.

Data Capture and Indexing - Data can be automatically captured from documents and used to populate a DMS. Once the data has been captured, the DMS can index this information to return search results almost immediately. Some examples of data capture methods:

  • Forms Recognition - When repetitive forms are used, data may be captured and stored in a DMS without human interaction. Multiple form types can be processed with very little human interaction.
  • Form Memorization - The system can be set up to recognize forms which are input into the system. The system is trained to perform certain tasks when the memorized forms are recognized.

Conversion - Electronic files may be converted from their current file type to a preferred file type.

Routing - Documents may be routed and reorganized in an intelligent manner using indexed data or folder structure information. Routing may be used to file scanned documents into a folder file structure in replacement of a scanner operator manually placing every file into a particular series of file folders.


More on File Capturing

File processing can help make files more manageable. Examples of processing tasks include: separating and merging, OCR, zonal OCR, forms recognition, conversion, routing, and database (DMS) population. Some of the processing tasks can be completed with scanning software and/or your DMS. Files can be processed years after they are scanned or during the scanning process.

OCR allows scanned documents to undergo content text searching once the document is added into your system. Word, Excel, and other digital files do not have to undergo the OCR process to be content-searchable. Indexing the documents makes the content search very fast, even if you are searching through thousands of files.

Recent improvements in OCR make the process very accurate (up to 99%), however the accuracy of the OCR is dependant on the quality of the document and to some extent the hardware used to scan the documents. Most companies are happy to enjoy the benefits of OCR and content text search even with its imperfections.

Zonal OCR (OCR of a specific zone on a page) scanned documents can also be processed to find certain information on the document and input it into fields in your document management system. For example, an invoice number may be required to organize and store the document so that the invoice number location is predetermined in a template and then that number is read and input into the document management system. This process is called “forms recognition,” and may include many fields of information from a single document. Depending on the type of documents and the quantity of fields to be populated, this process can be both complex and expensive, so it is important to weigh the cost with the benefits.



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