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Introduction to ICR Software: Applications, Algorithm, and Usage

Introduction to ICR Software: Applications, Algorithm, and Usage

What is ICR technology?

ICR stands for “Intelligent Character Recognition”. It is a technology used to convert handwritten or printed text into machine-readable form.

ICR software uses advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to recognize and interpret the shapes of characters in handwritten or printed text. The technology is typically used to automate data entry tasks, such as converting paper-based documents into digital formats or extracting information from forms or invoices.

ICR is similar to Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which is also used to convert text into machine-readable form. However, ICR software is specifically designed to recognize handwritten text, whereas OCR is primarily used to recognize printed text

How to use ICR service?

 you typically need to follow these steps:

  • Identify the source of the text you want to convert: Determine whether the text is handwritten or printed, and decide whether you need to use an ICR software or OCR service.
  • Choose a service provider: There are many companies that offer ICR services, such as ABBYY, Readiris, shufti Pro and Parascript. Research the different providers to find one that meets your needs.
  • Prepare your text: Depending on the service provider, you may need to prepare your text by scanning it, uploading a digital image, or taking a photo of the handwritten text.
  • Upload or submit your text: Follow the instructions provided by the service provider to upload or submit your text.
  • Review and correct the results: The ICR software service will provide you with a digital output of the converted text. Review the output and correct any errors that you find.
  • Integrate the results: Once you are satisfied with the results, integrate the converted text into your system or workflow.

It’s important to note that ICR software services are not always 100% accurate, especially for handwritten text. You may need to review and correct the results to ensure that they are correct

Application of scanner ICR

Scanner Intelligent Character Recognition is a technology that combines a scanner with ICR software to automate data entry tasks. Here are some applications of it: 

Invoice processing: it can be used to scan invoices and automatically extract data such as vendor name, invoice number, and payment due date. This can help streamline accounts payable processes and reduce errors.

Forms processing: ICR reader can be used to scan paper-based forms and automatically extract data such as names, addresses, and contact information. This can help reduce the time and cost of manual data entry.

Check processing: it can be used to scan checks and automatically extract data such as account numbers, routing numbers, and check amounts. This can help banks and financial institutions process checks more quickly and accurately.

Healthcare: it can be used to scan medical forms and automatically extract data such as patient names, medical codes, and insurance information. This can help healthcare providers streamline patient intake processes and reduce errors.

Government: it can be used to scan government forms and automatically extract data such as social security numbers, addresses, and other personal information. This can help government agencies process forms more quickly and accurately.

How the ICR algorithm works

ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) algorithm typically works in the following steps:

Preprocessing: The ICR software takes the input image of the text and preprocesses it by applying various image enhancement techniques such as noise reduction, skew correction, binarization, and segmentation. These techniques help to improve the quality of the image and make it easier for the algorithm to recognize individual characters.

Feature Extraction: The ICR software then analyzes the image to extract the features of each individual character, such as its shape, size, and orientation. This is done using various feature extraction techniques such as contour tracing, edge detection, and texture analysis.

Classification: Once the features of each character have been extracted, the ICR software uses a machine learning model such as a neural network or decision tree to classify each character. The model has been trained on a large dataset of handwritten or printed characters, and it uses the extracted features to recognize each character.

Post Processing: After the characters have been recognized, the ICR software uses postprocessing techniques to correct any errors and improve the accuracy of the output. This includes techniques such as dictionary lookup, context-based analysis, and error correction algorithms.

Output: Finally, the ICR algorithm generates an output text file that contains the recognized characters in machine-readable form. The output can be used for various applications such as data entry, document conversion, and text analysis.


Overall, the ICR software is a complex process that uses a combination of image processing, machine learning, and postprocessing techniques to recognize and interpret the handwritten or printed text. The accuracy of the algorithm depends on various factors such as the quality of the input image, the complexity of the handwriting, and the effectiveness of the machine-learning model. Scanner ICR is a useful technology for automating data entry tasks and digitizing paper-based documents. It can help reduce errors, increase efficiency, and save time and money

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Donna Goudeau
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I am a Marketing expert that has worked with multiple international companies to promote their brands and has successfully brought them to the height of their business.

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