What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and How Does It Work

Optical character recognition (OCR) lets you search and find text in any PDF file. OCR can also help with: 

  • Scanning and recognizing text in any PDF, image or photo  
  • Converting any scanned, handwritten or printed text into digital files
  • Digitizing text documents to machine and searchable data 

What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)? 

Optical character recognition is a technology that was developed to make it easier to convert printed and handwritten text into digital formats.

Steps to Use the Lumin PDF OCR Tool

Users with a premium Lumin account can easily run OCR by selecting the OCR tab in the Lumin browser. Once selected: 

  • Users can upload their PDF file via their local drive or any cloud-based platform like Google Drive or Dropbox 
  • Users can also Drag and Drop their file into the browser to begin the OCR process 

How Do You Use OCR? 

OCR technology is built-in to many different programs like web browsers and other document readers, so users need only:

  • Open a PDF file or other document in their browser 

This allows users to view a text. But to edit, change or search a text, users need to install a specific OCR program or a PDF editor that also features OCR technology.

Once installed, users can then: 

How Does OCR Work?

The two main ways that OCR software can recognize and convert text are: 

  • Pattern recognition: The reader will look for fonts and text samples that have already been programmed into its algorithm. 
  • Feature detection: Users can program OCR software to detect distinguishing features of a certain letter (curved or straight lines, angled lines, etc.) to also help accurately scan and convert text

OCR Advantages

OCR technology presents users with a wide range of advantages, including: 

  • Turning hard-copy text into machine-readable or digital text makes it easier to change or edit
  • Giving users more control over previously hard-coded text by allowing them to add other design elements like images, graphs, and even more text
  • Eliminating the time, labor and costs of inputting text and data manually 
  • Ensuring an error-free conversion of handwritten or typed text into digital formats 

What Lumin Can Do For You

Lumin PDF is an online (and offline) PDF editor that employs OCR technology to: 

  • Make it easier to search large, text-heavy texts and to edit them
  • Scanned and uploaded documents can be saved in Lumin 
  • Users can employ OCR to edit their documents faster and more efficiently 
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