Short for optical character recognition or optical character reader, OCR is the process of taking an image of letters or typed text and converting it into data the computer understands. A good example is companies and libraries taking physical copies of books, magazines, or old printed material and using OCR to put them onto computers. While far from perfect, OCR is currently the best method of digitizing typed pages of text.
Methods of input
Data are generally passed to the computer by using a scanner or other hardware device, like a digital camera. Some computer fax applications use OCR to transform incoming faxes from graphics files into word processing documents.