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Ditch that paper! With the digitization of paper-based records, not only have we been able to save a ton of trees, but we’ve also been able to increase efficiency in a big way. Digital records are now transferable, sortable, searchable, and more easily archived. However, with a lot of benefits to digitization also come some challenges. Luckily, these challenges can be overcome with a handy tool called OCR. As you might be aware, OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition. This is a technology used to recognize text within digital or scanned documents and photos. You can use this tool to convert virtually any type of image that includes text into an editable text document, even if the text is in handwriting. PDFelement, among many other programs, supports this tool. It’s probably obvious that this technology brings many benefits. Read on to discover the top 5 below: 1. Easy Editing Ever wanted to make changes to an old document you worked on but only have the hard copy available? Maybe you want to copy the formatting of an old form you filled out or created, but again don’t have a digital copy to work off of. The OCR tool is a lifesaver because you can use it to scan and digitize old documents so that you can easily edit them in a word processor or other type of suitable program, rather than having to type the all of the content outagain by hand. This saves a ton of time and manuallabor, and is obviously a major benefit. 2.Stress-free searching After you use OCR to detect the text in your scanned document, you can save your file in a format such as .doc,.txt, .pdf and more. You can view and edit these file types in programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement, and more. All of these programs contain an internal searching function that lets you easily search for a certain word or phrase by simply pressing Ctrl+F in Windows or Command+F in Mac. Again, this saves so much time, since you don’t have to manually scroll through the entire document and scan every line to find the section you’re looking for, which can be time-consuming if it’s a lengthy document. 3.Convenient Storage Options Get rid of those filings cabinets! When you digitize documents, you save physical storage space which frees up space in the office for more productive uses, like fitting in more desks and employees, or creating leisure spaces for open seating areas, foosball tables, TVs, you name it! You also reduce the need for paper, and paper storage. 4.Accessibility for Everyone Once you scan and convert your document using OCR, you can make it available to many other users. Essentially, it will be available to anyone who has access to the database you’ve uploaded it to. This can be beneficial since it allows you to give customers access to these digital files, so that they can easily view and review past records such as past payment receipts, purchase history, credit history, etc. and more. Plus, by uploading them to databases like Archive.org you can make these files publicly accessible by anyone around the globe. 5.Top-notch translation tools These days, OCR supports a huge number of languages. English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Indian, you name it. You scan a document in one language, digitized it, and translate it into almost any other language. This also saves time and resources, since you no longer need human translators to manually go through printed documents. This also helps your office productivity, since the turnaround time for projects is muchquicker when you don’t have to wait on translators to get your translated content back to you. Do you have any other benefits to OCR that you think should be mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!