Handwriting has its advantages which is why it is still used. While taking down a phone number when your smartphone isn’t around, or while hurriedly jotting down notes, scribbling and writing still have their conveniences which electronic devices cannot offer. Moreover, reliable research also indicates that information written down is easier to remember than information typed. No prizes then, for guessing why students still prefer handwritten notes. The act of writing requires greater involvement from your brain, improving the chances of retaining information. It’s an idea supported by the medical community.
However, you would soon realize the shortcomings of handwritten notes. For one, they take a lot of space and aren’t portable if you need to take all that information with you when you’re going somewhere. It also isn’t easy to search through piles of notes when you need some specific data. Eventually you will have to digitize them. Converting written documents to Word files is still one of the most common document conversion assignments.
OCR Software and Its Shortcomings
The importance of OCR software can be felt when you have piles and piles of handwritten documents to convert to Word. It would be a time consuming task without the character recognition software, to say the least. But sometimes OCR too has its limitations.
It is great for printed materials with a reasonable level of quality, but with handwriting it doesn’t always work the best. Some experts believe that handwriting recognition works best with OCR if it is done in real time. This helps the software to, kind of, get trained to recognize the handwriting with which you input characters. You could also get trained in writing characters the way the software can understand. There are more advanced but expensive OCR software tools that work better with handwriting. Most of them are used by document conversion services that provide outsourced handwriting to Word conversion services.
Handwriting to Word Conversion the Best Option
Converting handwritten notes to Word format is a good option since Word provides a lot of choices to make the content more interactive. The size, spacing and typeface can be changed while notes can be amended and illustrations added. But if your source material does not contain consistent and clear handwriting it would be better to convert the document to a scanned PDF file which can then be fed into the OCR software. This would help the software to recognize words better, but if it doesn’t you would have to tag the notes.
The Need for Cost-effective Conversion
For this, you would need a good scanner and advanced OCR software. If you find the cost estimate huge you might want to consider outsourcing the project. While businesses and corporations would spend reasonably more on data conversion, students are usually on a budget and would therefore require cost-effective solutions for their conversion needs.
Though we are well into the digital age, handwritten notes continue to exert their influence particularly among students and research scholars. Typically, companies that provide scanning solutions serve businesses looking to digitize large volume paper records. However, there are some companies that also accept low volume assignments from students, researchers and home users. You need to find the handwriting to Word or PDF conversion solution that suits you the best.