How do you extract handwritten content from paper forms or images?

Computer generated documents connect and enable the majority of business transactions today. However, paper refuses to die and is still routinely used for order forms, contracts, feedback forms, surveys and any document which requires handwritten content and signatures.


Most organisations understand the need for data capture software in the role of digitising paper documents. However, as handwritten content is much more complex to process than machine-printed content, it requires more than Optical Character Recognition (OCR), it needs Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) with advanced recognition processing capabilities and deep learning algorithms.


The difference between Optical Character Recognition (OCR) & Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engines are mainly focused on machine-printed text and often produce low-accuracy results from handwritten text.
  • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) uses an advanced recognition system (such as ABBYY FlexiCapture) to recognise handwritten text. This allows the automatic conversion of text in an image into letter & number codes that are usable within computer and text-processing applications.

What types of data can be extracted from paper documents?

There are a number of data types that ABBYY FlexiCapture can extract:

Capturing data from handwritten paper documents


Which is the best software for capturing handwritten content?

ABBYY’s FlexiCapture document capture solution allows businesses to scan and capture information from paper as it enters the business, accurately reading any type of document – including handwritten forms, questionnaires, bank statements, invoices, and contracts – in most languages or currencies. This streamlines many business-critical processes by automatically populating back-office systems and electronic document repositories.


With the highest accuracy, ABBYY FlexiCapture Engine extracts multilingual machine-printed and hand-printed text (OCR, ICR) as well as other information including, checkmarks (OMR) and barcodes (OBR). By creating your own dictionaries or recognition patterns, developers can increase the recognition accuracy of specific languages, unusual characters, or fonts.


If you have an application to extract handwritten content, such as an order form, drop us a line and we can test it for you using ABBYY FlexiCapture.

Click here for the ABBYY FlexiCapture Webpage


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  • Hall Farm,
  • Sywell Airport,
  • Sywell,
  • NN6 0BN.

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