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OCR scanning

Old 05-23-2016, 09:35 AM
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Default OCR scanning

I'd like to start scanning paper invoices and (hopefully) find an OCR scanner that will read the invoice number and categorize using that number. Is there such a thing without breaking the bank?
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:49 AM
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Depends. How many documents per day , per hour? How much time do you envision per document (both scanning time and operator input time)?
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:54 AM
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Not a lot at one time. Maybe 50-100 over the course of a week. Most will be 2 pages at a time (invoice and POD.) Operator time not important. Using a 3-in-1 now and have to manually enter invoice # upon scan completion. Trying to streamline the process a bit.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:00 AM
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Another question is - do you really need OCR or do you need filing keys, such as an invoice number and key words. There's a big difference both in time and effort.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:03 AM
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If you aqre entering supplier invoices then their numbers will be at different locations . . . harder to do that electronically with OCR . . . need more sophisticated software for that
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:09 AM
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You're asking a lot from OCR software to find an invoice number. Get a dedicated scanner like a Fujitsu N7100 and use the time saved to manually enter an invoice number.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:13 AM
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this would be for my invoices. to make a long story short: we use the same Unix system for our billing that we have been using for 20 years. It's stable, has 20 years of customer-specific history, and most importantly - it works very well. We do not however have a way to print invoices to a PDF or similar direct from UNIX, plus, the POD would need to be scanned either way even if we could generate the invoice, so there needs to be a human touch no matter what. Our invoice numbers are in the same place on every invoice.

I do not know what "filing keys" are...
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:15 AM
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cant you download a PDF converter to convert your invoices to PDF?
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:26 AM
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I use OCR for hyperlinking drawings and I can tell you that unless the font is a True Type font, OCR will not recognize the text or numbers and therefore they are not searchable. Here is an example of non-True Type Font. This is a zoomed in view of a detail call out. If you were to look at it under normal view, it looks perfect.

Name:  18195-albums1983-picture85952.png
Views: 174
Size:  22.2 KB

A True Type Font will have nice, smooth edges and looks, well, perfect.

Additionally, I was told by my Bluebeam guy, that OCR does not work on scanned documents.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
I use OCR for hyperlinking drawings and I can tell you that unless the font is a True Type font, OCR will not recognize the text or numbers and therefore they are not searchable. Here is an example of non-True Type Font. This is a zoomed in view of a detail call out. If you were to look at it under normal view, it looks perfect.
Well then I guess my handwriting is a True Type font because Evernote's OCR recognizes my handwriting. Scanning couldn't be easier than using a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500. Even an idiot (I mean I) can do it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TTB View Post
Well then I guess my handwriting is a True Type font because Evernote's OCR recognizes my handwriting. Scanning couldn't be easier than using a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500. Even an idiot (I mean I) can do it.
And it will "search" your handwriting??? Sure, they can "scan" just about anything but I was told in order for it to be "searchable", it had to be a searchable text, such as True Type.

Last edited by Just1more; 05-23-2016 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
And it will "search" your handwriting??? Sure, they can "scan" just about anything but I was told in order for it to be "searchable", it had to be a searchable text, such as True Type.
Yes, handwriting is searchable. It works best if you scan hi-res jpegs. I too didn't believe it work until I did it.

Last edited by TTB; 05-23-2016 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:59 PM
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Google docs my friend, Change everything to fully electronic if it's option.

Fill out online, send by email, receive back electronically signed etc.

If at all possible I suggest doing this.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TTB View Post
Yes, handwriting is searchable. It works best if you scan hi-res jpegs. I too didn't believe it work until I did it.
Hmmm, perhaps reading the call outs and page numbers are more technical and specific to Bluebeam.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NJFISH View Post
this would be for my invoices. to make a long story short: we use the same Unix system for our billing that we have been using for 20 years. It's stable, has 20 years of customer-specific history, and most importantly - it works very well. We do not however have a way to print invoices to a PDF or similar direct from UNIX, plus, the POD would need to be scanned either way even if we could generate the invoice, so there needs to be a human touch no matter what. Our invoice numbers are in the same place on every invoice.

I do not know what "filing keys" are...
NJ,
Filing keys are also called indexing keys. For example, take one document. If you were to print it and file it along with thousands of others how would you look it up?
You could use invoice no. customer no., invoice date, date of service, etc.

If you just scan the stuff in and have no way to organize/look up the docs then you are wasting your time.

Mature large scale OCR is expensive. But it can be done.

A few things to remember:

Scale / # of docs usually determine if price of OCR is worth it.
There is some start up labor. Your operator will have to help OCR "learn" the document.
The more consistent the docs are with data placement, the easier to "learn".

I purchased imaging software for millions of pages annully. We dont use OCR as the docs are not consistent, plus most need a human to originally assess.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:03 PM
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Check out a company called Opex. It is big in the banking world and most of their machines are larger and built for high volume but they will do everything you wish and lots more. As I said these are mostly larger machines designed to run average 10,000 and hour but I'd bet they could either build you a small one or at least right you the software to adapt to a printer where it could be top fed.

Years ago when I was in banking the lockbox I managed was the first in the US to use the digital imaging / readers. I actually helped with the software and set up. It's totally common place now ( think depositing your check into an ATM how it just reads it etc ) but at the time ( 2000 or so ) it was very very cool and state of the art. Same as everything else once it was implemented and all the bugs worked out it put A LOT of people out of work because their jobs became obsolete.
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