Imagine you’re an employee or a student, and you’ve been given a stack of scanned files like images or PDFs, and you’re asked to extract the data from them. The problem will be much more complicated if the files contain some tables. So how do you go about it?
It sounds daunting, but with the right tools and some knowledge of the proper techniques, extracting data from such files is easy. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to do it.
We’ll start by explaining the core of data extraction platforms and tools, which is OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Then we’ll show you how to use one of the state-of-the-art and free tools. It is AlgoDocs. Finally, we’ll give you a few tips on how to improve your results.
What Is Optical Character Recognition?
Optical character recognition, or OCR, is the process of extracting text from images. This can be done for any image and PDF file containing text, including scanned documents, faxes, and screenshots.
The beauty of OCR tools such as AlgoDocs is that they allow you to access the data in those files more accurately and much faster than manual extraction. This can be especially useful if you need to access the text in many files.
Challenges of traditional tools for Extracting Data
One of the first challenges is simply identifying the tables in scanned files. They can be tough to spot, especially if the files are poorly scanned. And if you’re working with images, you may have to take extra steps to extract the data. Another problem is that traditional tools cant extract handwritten text and tables. So you may still need help extracting the data if you can identify the tables. The text can be challenging to read, significantly if it’s faded or overlapped by other text. And if the table has been formatted for printing, it can be challenging to convert it into a format that’s easy to work with.
But the recent development in AI and deep learning tools such as AlgoDocs can save you from the hassle of manual data entry and allows extracting printed and handwritten text and tables efficiently from any scanned files to an editable file such as Excel sheets, XML and JSON.
What is AlgoDocs?
It is an AI and deep learning-based web tool that offers secure, fast and efficient data extraction. AlgoDocs allows extracting complete or specified fields(parts) of data from PDFs, images, or any scanned file. Then, save the exported data into an editable file such as Excel, XML and JSON or export directly to other software, like accounting ones. In addition, AlgoDocs can extract handwritten text/tables using advanced deep learning-based Intelligent Character Recognition(ICR) functions that can efficiently extract handwritten tables and text even from Low-Quality files (as low dpi as 75); for demonstration, see Figures 1 and 2.
Figure1. Low-quality scanned image uploaded to AlgoDocs.
Figure2. The extracted table using AlgoDocs.
A second example that demonstrates how AlgoDocs can achieve a 100% accurate output when processing handwritten is shown in Figures 3 and 4.
Figure3. Sample of a scanned handwritten text.
Figure4. The extracted table, using AlgoDocs, from the scanned image shown in Figure 3.
How to Extract Printed and Handwritten Tables/Text using AlgoDocs?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to learn how to extract the desired text. Luckily, this is a relatively simple process. All you need is a few easy-to-follow steps,
1. Log in/create an AlgoDocs account.
2. Go to the EXTRACTORS page and select one of the available extractors or create a new one(Here, you need to upload a sample document).
3. In extracting rules editor: Select the data type you want to extract. Next is to click on the ‘Extract’ button. You may also apply the available filters if needed, or you are willing to format the extracted data.
4. Export extracted information to one of the available formats like Excel, JSON, or XML(you may select to export to all available formats as well). In addition, you may export data to other applications, such as accounting ones.
That is it; now you can upload as many documents as you want and enjoy your time while AlgoDocs finalize the work.
You may also check the Video Tutorials demonstrating how easily we can use AlgoDocs services and functionalities.
Now that you know how to extract data from scanned files, it is time to put your new skills to the test. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start extracting data from images like a pro! You can enjoy a free subscription plan with 50 pages per month. You may also explore affordable and low-price packages.