The OCR and MICR are the character recognition technologies which convert the printed text into electrical signals and finally into an electronic document. The prior difference between these technologies is that the OCR is used for reading any type of printed text. On the contrary, the MICR is utilized for a more specialized purpose such as in banks to read the cheque information printed in some specific font.
The printed material that is scanned by the OCR and MICR differ a lot where the pages scanned by OCR can be made up of any ordinary ink. Conversely, in MICR, the information is printed using a laser printer. There is no magnetic field involved in OCR technology. On the other hand, in MICR the reading units are passed by a magnetic field through which the particles of the ink are magnetized.
Content: OCR Vs MICR
|Basis for comparison||OCR||MICR|
|Stands for||Optical Character Recognition||Magnetic Ink Character Recognition|
|Utilization||To scan any type of printed text||To scan the special information present in cheques.|
|Scanned fonts||Consist of a variety of shapes||Pre-defined fonts like E-138 and CMC-7 are used.|
|Type of ink||Any type of ink can be used||Only magnetic ink created using iron oxide can be employed.|
|Usage of the scanned document||Stored as a text for editing or printing.||Scanned data information is used for processing the cheques.|
Definition of OCR
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a scanner that scans the pages comprised of texts. The software of OCR then converts the text (picture of the text) into an editable text format (ASCII) which we can also use in a word processing application and apply changes. It works by extracting the grid dots and converting these array of dots into equivalent ASCII text that the computer can render as letters, numbers or special symbols.
OCR software is specialized in dealing with all types of printed characters. However, in traditional OCR’s the script font and handwriting were hard to scan and recognize, but the latest smart systems with greater recognition accuracy contain a large variety of fonts. Some of the systems are even capable of the regenerating formatted output that nearly resembles the original scanned page.
Although, the accuracy of an OCR variate on the basis of the quality of the scanner. For example, a text with 1,200 dpi (dots per inch) will consume more time to scan than scanning the 72 dpi but, the accuracy, in this case, will be greater.
Definition of MICR
MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) is also character scanning technology but it utilizes a magnetic ink and special characters. In order to scan a MICR document, it is subjected to a special scanner that magnetizes the special ink and then converts the magnetic information into characters. The banking systems uses this technology for swift processing of large volumes of cheques.
The banks that employ MICR implement it on to cheques. These cheques contain bank’s identification code, cheque number and account number which are previously printed on it by a unique magnetic ink that contains the particles of iron oxide. The advantage of using magnetic printing is that it helps in reading the characters with ease, even if there exist overwriting or marks.
However, the characters used in the MICR applications are special fonts such as E-138 and CMC-7. Various countries such as India, Canada, UK and US have implemented MICR characters that are in E-13B font at the bottom of the paper in the cheques.
Key Differences Between OCR and MICR
- OCR technology is used for reading any type of text and converting it into an electronic document. As against, the MICR is different form OCR in this way that it only scans the special character.
- The fonts of text we are scanning from an OCR can variate and can have any shape. On the contrary, for MICR, the special type of fonts used are E-138 and CMC-7.
- The ink used to print the OCR scannable material can be of any type. Conversely, in MICR the ink is magnetized and made up of iron oxide.
- The MICR and its information produced as the output is used in banks. In contrast, we can use the output that OCR generates in various places according to the application.
MICR provides a fast and highly secure technique of scanning and processing the information. This is why the MICR is mainly used in banks. On the contrary, the OMR can be used in any application such as in automated data processing and data entry, creating a searchable scanned book, translating handwritten scans to computer-readable text, invoice imaging, Captcha, and search engine too. So, there are not much security issues involved in the OCR application. Although OCR helps in creating an electronic document of a printed text.