The PDF is one of the most trusted and commonly used document formats among businesses. When we think about opening a PDF, the application that typically comes to mind is Adobe Reader. In fact, Adobe would probably be the number one answer on a survey. And why not? The Reader is free, after all.
Unfortunately, the free Adobe Reader only does exactly what its name suggests—read the document. Chances are, that’s nowhere near enough functionality for many of your employees. Team members in sales, human resources, finance, marketing and customer relations may need to edit, annotate, split, merge, highlight, stamp or sign PDFs multiple times a day. So, a view-only option isn’t going to cut it.
That’s why most organizations invest in a professional PDF editing solution. Adobe may, once again, be the first name that springs to mind, but hold on a minute. There are other options that are both more powerful and less expensive. One of the key differentiators is optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
Never heard of it? No worries! We’ve got the goods on OCR laid out for you right here.
What Is OCR?
OCR technology makes it possible to convert scanned or photographed images of text into machine-readable text that can be searched, indexed or copied. The text can then be used to generate either a searchable PDF or to accurately convert images into Microsoft Word documents that can be edited. It provides superior conversion accuracy and converts documents quickly.
What’s Under the Hood?
All OCR software is not created equally. At the most basic level, OCR analyzes light and dark patterns that comprise the letters, numbers and punctuation marks to turn images into text. But there are varying levels of sophistication.
Kofax Power PDF™ is equipped with the Kofax OmniPage OCR engine. With best-in-class OCR technology like this, the power of multiple world-class OCR engines with computer vision and AI algorithms intelligently combines the results into a single output that’s more accurate than any single engine could achieve on its own. The Kofax solution also supports PDF 2.0 (ISO 23000-2), numerous PDF manipulation methods and PDF super-compression.
OCR technology is constantly improving, so it’s not enough to make sure your professional PDF editor incorporates this capability. It’s also important to choose a solution that’s continually upgraded to match the latest innovations.
Let’s look at OmniPage. This OCR software was recently updated to further improve word scanning for optimum character reproduction, delivering a 67 percent improvement in proper recognition of alphanumeric strings. An additional 11 percent improvement was made in the conversion of low-resolution images. Innovations like these make a big difference in speed, accuracy and productivity.
Why Do I Need a PDF Editor that Uses Superior OCR?
At this point, you can probably start to answer this question yourself, but we’ll dig into the topic anyway. When converting scanned documents or image-only PDF files into searchable and editable PDFs, a solution with industry-leading OCR technology provides several benefits.
Better accuracy improves searchability and reduces the time and effort needed to clean up conversion errors. Additionally, if you need to convert a PDF to a Microsoft Office format, accurate OCR results provide consistent output formatting of paragraphs, tables, forms and header/footer data from the original document. The person using the document as a PDF or Microsoft Word document benefits from the same format and arrangement of the original.
What’s the Value to My Organization?
Now more than ever, time is money. Employees are expected to get more work done in less time. Organizations that provide knowledge workers with tools and technology that make their work simpler and more efficient could benefit from improved employee satisfaction and less turnover.
A PDF editor with advanced OCR technology enables employees to work smarter and faster, improving productivity. Workers spend less time searching for information and fixing errors and have more time to focus on higher-value work like strategic decision-making and the customer experience.
There’s also a financial benefit for the company. You may be inclined to think a more sophisticated PDF editor comes with a higher price tag, but that’s not the case. In fact, some of the solutions are actually less expensive than an Adobe Acrobat Pro DC subscription, especially when you can purchase a single perpetual license. Combine the cost savings over time with productivity gains and it’s easy to see how organizations can achieve a substantial ROI on the investment.
It’s time to retake that survey on professional PDF editing solutions. Survey says … a modern, innovative PDF editor with advanced OCR is most desired. Learn more about what OCR software can do for your business and what a leading solution looks like, so you can start editing PDFs like tomorrow, today.