2024’s Top 7 OCR Software for Businesses
AI-powered OCR stands out as a pivotal technology for businesses today, particularly those experiencing rapid growth. It streamlines operations through digital and automated work processes. OCR software will retrieve data, convert characters within scanned documents and images, and efficiently convert the data into editable digital files that align with the unique work process of each business.
Originally, employees would manually scan and process documents, including invoices, receipts, or images containing important information, which could sometimes cause errors and work delays. An OCR program, therefore, has become a solution to these problems for businesses to help them save time and reduce errors.
Advancements in technology have empowered OCR software with enhanced capabilities. The integration of AI technology allows OCR software to surpass its previous limitations, enabling it to accurately read documents without fixed formats and recognize handwriting. Additionally, it can efficiently process low-resolution documents. Consequently, a number of organizations are embracing automatic document processing to transition towards paperless operations. Leveraging OCR program solutions, businesses aim to boost profits, cut costs, and enhance customer experiences through an improved document submission process.
What Is OCR?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) identifies and interprets text within scanned documents and images. Traditional OCR, which has been in use for over a decade, often grapples with accuracy issues and struggles to comprehend the contextual meaning of characters in digital document images. Unlike conventional OCR, AI-powered OCR, which has developed significantly in recent years, excels not only in accurately recognizing characters but also in understanding the specific format of diverse documents. This advanced OCR can locate essential data, such as names, IDs, and table information, for integration into business processes.
Benefits of OCR Programs that Support the Thai Language
Documentation practices in Thailand have increasingly integrated OCR software to extract table data from PDF files, recognize text from images, and process text from non-editable document formats. The software enables the conversion of such documents into editable versions, facilitating improvement, editing, and systematic storage for convenient future use.
Nowadays, AI-powered OCR technology is widely employed to automate information entry, classify document formats, convert speech to text, and index documents for searchability. This OCR software is capable of converting scanned documents, PDFs, or images into XML, XLSX, or CSV formats.
7 OCR Software that Support the Thai Language (Free and Paid)
aiScript, an affordable AI-powered OCR service developed by AIGEN, enhances data storage efficiency and automates document processes. It caters to both fixed-format documents such as ID cards, house registration, and driving licenses, as well as non-fixed documents like receipts, tax invoices, and various company forms which enable businesses to automate data-entry workflow.
With high accuracy and support for both Thai language documents and English, including being able to read handwriting, AIGEN adopts machine learning and deep learning technology to retrieve relatable data from unstructured sources and organize it into structured tables, facilitating easy utilization by both individuals and software. Furthermore, AIGEN offers the flexibility of both API and on-premise service formats to meet the diverse needs of its customers.
- aiScript is highly accurate with AI models trained from a wide range of documents and fonts.
- It supports both Thai and English.
- It can process up to 16+ types of documents.
- It supports both fixed and non-fixed format documents.
- It can retrieve data from each type of document as needed while identifying the data and putting it in the structured format table, facilitating easy utilization by both individuals and software.
- It supports different images attached to the target document, for example, a house registration mixed with a scanned ID card image.
- aiScript can customize the model to support the unique documents of each organization and consistently train to increase accuracy.
- aiScript can customize data-entry workflow according to business requirements
- It can read data from the table and put them in the spreadsheet, as well as sort the document types.
- It can be integrated with other applications via API.
- Some models are still Beta versions.
2) Google Vision/Google Document AI
Google Vision OCR supports Thai and many more languages. This service is exclusively available in API format for connecting to software applications, which suits the needs of Google Cloud users. Google Vision OCR is considered a fairly cheap OCR. Recently, Google has launched Document AI to provide services in retrieving data in more structured documents such as tax payment forms, receipts, tax invoices, etc.
- It supports the Thai language.
- It comes at a cheap price.
- It can be integrated with other applications via API.
- It doesn’t understand the document structure.
- It returns text detection only in the form of raw text. It can’t distinguish which text is an ID number or name.
- It can’t sort the key from the value. Key-value is the text fields next to each other, e.g. the ID number (key) will have the data next to it as 1234567890123 (value). Without the ‘key’, users will have to manually locate where their target value is in the document from which they want to retrieve the data.
- It provides services only via the Cloud.
- Both Google Vision OCR and Document AI can’t be customized or fine-tuned to suit the new documents of each organization.
3) Abbyy FineReader & FlexiCapture
Abbyy FineReader is an OCR suite software by Abbyy that can convert text data from PDF files into characters and supports the Thai language. Additionally, it offers many more features to help manage electronic documents.
- It supports the Thai language.
- Abbyy FineReader has features to help manage electronic documents, such as a simple user interface and the “Compare Documents” feature.
- It supports on-premise installation.
- The license is expensive.
- The accuracy in reading documents is not that high, regardless of the text format.
- It doesn’t support structured documents.
- It can’t be customized or re-trained to support the document sets of each business.
Abbyy offers another OCR software called Abbyy FlexiCapture, which places a strong emphasis on intelligent document processing. It achieves tasks such as sorting documents, integrating with ERP systems, and overseeing work authorizations. Abbyy FlexiCapture provides extensive solutions for managing documents throughout the entire workflow. While it supports the Thai language, its accuracy is lower than Google Vision OCR. Additionally, Abbyy FlexiCapture is relatively expensive and is specifically designed for templated documents, with a somewhat complex installation process.
4) PDF Converter or PDF Copy
You might want to copy-paste text from a PDF without OCR; however, we will explain further why we need to use OCR instead of copy-paste by first dividing PDFs into two types below.
A real PDF is a digitally created PDF, for example, from Microsoft Word, which can be annotated and highlighted, and in which you can search for specific words. With this PDF, you can copy and paste the text into another source, but it often faces an encoding problem, especially in Thai.
A scanned PDF is a PDF created by scanning a photo document. OCR can only convert the words from this file type into text.
5) Free Online OCR
Several OCR providers offer their programs for free, which is often fine for personal usage or just a few pages.
● Free and easily used on browsers.
● Low accuracy.
● Only reads raw text.
● Unable to create the document with the structure.
● Unable to integrate or connect with other software.
● Unable to install on-premise or customize.
This is an OCR library program in Thai that can be used for free and installed on-premise. Sponsored by Google in 2006, Tesseract is a code and model developed within Hewlett Packard and released to be an open-source OCR. Being open-source has several advantages; however, the weak point is its accuracy, which is hard to develop; therefore, this OCR is most appropriate for research and university students to practice only.
● Free to use.
● Supports the Thai language.
● Difficulty to develop.
● Unable to understand structured documents.
7) NECTEC Thai OCR
NECTEC developed OCR software for a long time in commercial versions for desktop usage to OCR as a service on AI for the Thai platform. Other Thai developers also provide OCR for you to trial; however, this OCR service is under development for commercial use.
What Are The Differences Between The OCR of AIGEN and Others?
aiScript is an AI suite that gathers the significant factors to process the document by using AI. Moreover, this OCR uses an AI model to train itself on various documents and font types. For example, scanned official correspondences have a 99% accuracy rate. Moreover, aiScript also understands official document templates such as ID cards, driver’s licenses, car registrations, bank books, and death certificates. Additionally, non-template items can be read by aiScript, such as invoices and receipts. aiScript can extract data from the documents, such as the ID number, name, and expiry date, and put it into a structured format to use further.
Moreover, other OCR providers in Thailand still cannot support documents with different photo formats in the same document; for example, a house registration with an ID card in the same document. Additionally, they cannot support vertical photos and watermarks on documents such as death certifications, car insurance policies, or other official documents.
On the other hand, aiScript can detect the documents even if there are stamps that reduce the effect of the OCR reading.
aiScript can detect a table in the document and transfer it to a spreadsheet, classifying and comparing the document types. Therefore, this OCR can work with different formats to support business efficiency. The program can use API to connect with business process software, and it costs less. Moreover, it can be installed on-premise and customized to match the document types required.
Factors to Consider When Choosing OCR Software for business
1. Data Extraction
OCR programs convert files to PDFs for convenient data use, such as verifying an ID name and number on a system. Efficient OCR programs can check the document’s accuracy and detect mistakes. For example, the program should alert the user if the ID card has less than 13 digits.
2. Additional Service Development and Cost
If the specific document format you require is unavailable on AI-powered OCR or needs to be developed further, this adds to the lead time and results in additional costs. Efficient OCR software should have a quick turn-around time, reasonable price, and the ability to be customized for required forms. This is not something every service provider can offer.
3. The Ability to Connect with Other Systems
An efficient OCR should connect with other systems in the business chain. The API should allow several systems to use the OCR simultaneously, including mobile apps, web apps, and CRM systems. Moreover, the system should enable testing during onboarding, including applying an API to test in the UAT environment, which does not affect the real production. Lastly, the system should connect with production on the actual service level.
4. On-premise vs. On-cloud
The concern of personal data law means that many businesses prefer to refrain from sending private documents and photos into the Cloud; therefore, many prefer on-premise. So, efficient OCR software should have the ability to be used on-premise, allowing businesses to purchase hardware by themselves.
5. Support and Services
OCR providers in Thailand should be able to support and customize their solutions for businesses efficiently and rapidly. They should be able to receive feedback to develop their service and support their users.
6. Additional Features and Roadmap for System Development
The best OCR software supports decision-making by providing a confidence score for result accuracy. For example, the accuracy of the photo in the ID card and the document form matching. Straight-through processing conditions can then be selected from the OCR result, backed by the confidence score. Additionally, your OCR provider should always be bettering the product by retraining and developing the AI model regularly, and also providing a roadmap for the software’s development and abilities.
7. Overall Businesses
Cost is a significant part of business decisions; however, selecting the lowest-cost OCR software is not always the best idea. The accuracy and ability of the program should be the priority. Higher-cost OCR software systems can provide a better service solution to reduce workload through straight-through processing and system accuracy, which creates more efficiency within your business. Moreover, OCR can extract the data for you to use in other ways within your business, creating further value. Ultimately, the business should select the OCR system that matches the business usage for the best cost efficiency.
If you think an AI-powered OCR solution is the best way to process and collect data for your business, AIGEN is your recommended OCR solution partner. Get in touch for a consultation today. Contact us!