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posted Apr 8, 2010, 4:04 PM by Peter Beens   [ updated Apr 8, 2010, 4:05 PM ]
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_character_recognition:

Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping system in an office, or to publish the text on a website. OCR makes it possible to edit the text, search for a word or phrase, store it more compactly, display or print a copy free of scanning artifacts, and apply techniques such as machine translationtext-to-speech and text mining to it. OCR is a field of research in pattern recognitionartificial intelligence and computer vision.