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OCR data gathering - how?

Posted on 2006-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I need to look at a solution to gather information from some single page forms via scanner and import the results into Excel.

The forms are single page and consist of multi-choice tickbox answers. I need to be able to feed them into a scanner and have them imported into an Excel spreadsheet to increment totals so I can analyse the answers.

I.E. forms are fed in and I get a total of how many A,B,C,D or E answers there are for each question on the forms.

I realise this will probably require some dedicated software to produce but need some pointers as to what I will need and how it can be done.

Any suggestions
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Question by:mtech
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Expert Comment

by:jaakovs
ID: 16407557
ABBYY makes the most recognized applications for optical character recognizion, but beware, they're also quite expensive. I have used ABBYY for many OCR purposes, but unfortunately not like how you attempt to use an OCR program, but I do recommend the ABBYY program, as it is quite smart in converting its data, and might also be able to convert it to Excel data.

See: http://www.abbyy.com/finereader8/?param=44890
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by:mtech
ID: 16407577
jaakovs
Thanks for that but Abbyy is a normal OCR recognition program. I dont want to scan a copy of the form but identify the unique data entered on it i.e. the A's B's and C's of the question answers.
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by:nobus
ID: 16410478
we did something a like like this :
1- scan document
2-display document on screen
3-select wanted area(s)
4-copy  info from selected area to txt file
what we used to accomplish this is a macro, and a program allowing us to apply OCR to the selected areas
the program was Kleptomania :

www.structurise.com/kleptomania/
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by:mtech
ID: 16410507
nobus
Looks like a useful tool but we need this to be automated so we feed in the forms and gather the results - like they use for surveys or marking multi-choice exam papers
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16411028
well, i pointed out how we did it, and i hapo it helps you a bit further. And it was a fully automated process, but we got the info directly on the screen, not from a scan. But i think a programmer can help you out here.
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by:mtech
ID: 16411066
Looks like I have identified a product that will do what I need:
http://www.acumensoft.com/ver2.htm
Data goes straight from scanner to data file - if it does what it says that is!

Thanks for the suggestions
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16411099
No problem - i hope i helped to solve your problem !
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Expert Comment

by:samb39
ID: 16414426
Scantron is the product we used for that, and it worked very well.  But you need use special forms, or use their software to make your own.
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noam_dz earned 800 total points
ID: 16414774
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16424812
What you want is a combination of 2 programs
http://www.digitalriver.com/v2.0-img/operations/scansoft/site/html/omnipage/omnipage_pro15_pp_promo.html

Omnipage which does the OCR, then use Paperport, which is used for filing.

Paperport can transpose data to whatever format you want.  So if you create a "pre-formed xls" file, for example

 T   F   I'm hungry
[x] [ ]

 T   F   I'm feverish
[ ]  [x]

you can take the values of the pre-selected areas of a template, and export the data to a .csv file.  In excel you can import via VBA/macro, interpret the file and populate your spreadsheet.

Paperport also allows you to setup keywords and database so that whatever is filed, can be retrieved (document management)
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Expert Comment

by:noam_dz
ID: 16625799
FormReader whixh I gave as an answer is correct for this q.
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Author Comment

by:mtech
ID: 16637901
I had missed closing this question - sorry for the delay. noam_dz was right - FormReader is the best fit for our needs
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