Access and Feeds

Handwriting Recognition: Digitizing Text from Handwritten Paper Documents

By Dick Weisinger

The use of OCR for forms processing and text capture is a popular way for businesses to rapidly transfer years of historical paper records into electronic documents and records.  Companies like Ephesoft and Kofax/Lexmark offer technology for rapidly process, convert, classify and map text extracted from scanned images and transform that data into document content repositories like Alfresco.

An important part of the extraction process is recognition.  Handwritten form recognition has traditionally been very difficult and successful recognition of handwriting has generally been poor.  But new techniques, especially some involving machine learning, are improving the recognition success.

A recent study by Credence Research found that the handwriting recognition market is growing rapidly.  The study estimates the global handwriting recognition market in 2016 to have been about $1 billion dollars and is expected to grow to more than $3 billion by 2025. Industries where handwriting recognition is important include automotive, education, healthcare and many field services.


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