Troubleshoot OCR

The results of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) are somewhat dependent on the quality of the electronic document, so here are some tips to help you improve OCR results:

  • Set the scanner color settings to Grayscale, or Black and White if the text is black against a white background
  • If supported by your scanner, adjust brightness and contrast to achieve deep blacks and bright whites
  • Set the scan quality (resolution) to 300dpi or better
  • Start with a good original document. Wrinkles and creases might hinder OCR accuracy
  • Ensure scanner glass is clean and free from smudges
  • Keep your pages as straight as possible during scanning. Skewed pages require more processing in the OCR engine
  • Depending on the quality of your scanner, you might need to attempt several scans of the same document to process the best resulting image
  • If your text is on a patterned or colored background, try to obtain another version on a plain white background. Text against colored backgrounds or gradients will require several attempts with different settings until the right configuration for successful OCR is found
  • Some smudges can be manually repaired by using white correction fluid to cover unwanted artifacts
  • If supported by your scanner, enable the despeckle setting to remove noise from your image
  • If supported by your scanner, increase text smoothing to remove harsh blends and grain