Debitoor Dictionary

Accounting terms explained in a simple way

Over 150 Articles for Founders and Small Enterpreneurs

OCR system- What is an OCR system?

An OCR (Optical Character Recognition) system enables you to scan a text document into an electronic computer file that can then be edited on your computer

Our mobile app makes it easy to scan expense receipts on the go and upload them automatically to your accounts. Try Debitoor free.

Optical Character Recognition is the machine recognition of printed text characters.

OCR systems are able to recognize numerous kinds of text fonts and printed characters from typewriters and computers. Some advanced OCR systems can even identify handwriting.

How it works

When you scan a text document (such as an invoice or a page of a book) it is turned into a bitmap (aka a picture of the text.

An OCR system compares the light and dark aspects of this bitmap to determine each alphanumeric character. As the OCR recognizes each character, it turns them into ASCII text (raw text that can be edited in a word processor).

Then you can e.g. edit, search or copy the text as quickly and easily as you would a document in e.g Notepad.