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Small Business Software Essentials: Why You Need a PDF Editor With OCR

A PDF editor with OCR is very useful for your small business. Learn why you should add it to your small business software kit.

Are you a small business owner who’s fed up with dull, repetitive tasks? Does the need to manually input data into the computer almost make you want to shut down and go back to working for somebody else? We hear you. Few administrative tasks are as tedious, frustrating, and time-consuming as manual data entry. 

But many small business owners don’t have an alternative for managing invoices, keeping track of expenses, and adding leads to their CRM. And so they manually type information from invoices, receipts, business cards, and other paper documents, wasting time and money.

And when we talk about money, we’re not just talking about what business owners don’t earn when they’re working on these tasks. Yes, time is money. (And If you’re interested in a more nuanced version of this argument, we recommend this article by business journalist Elizabeth Harris. In it, she explains how one hour of work actually costs you 90 minutes.) But the costs of manual data entry can surpass a small business owner’s hourly rate. Here are some ways it can become even more costly:

  1. When you need to hire additional staff to do it
  2. When it demotivates your staff to the point that you lose employees
  3. When human error results in low tax compliance and your small business gets fined
  4. When inefficiency reduces customer satisfaction to the point that you starting losing customers

Manual data entry is outdated and inefficient, which is why some small businesses are starting to explore alternatives. One of these alternatives is optical character recognition (OCR). OCR is a technology that distinguishes text within digital images of physical documents. In other words, it enables you to edit scans.

The best software for a small business is a PDF editor with OCR

What does that mean for a small business? With OCR, you can make electronic documents:

  • Searchable. If you scan a contract and perform OCR on it, you can search it for specific keywords. 
  • Editable. Let’s say the contract has outdated information and sensitive details. If you perform OCR on it, you can update the text or redact the personally identifiable information. 

Most importantly, you can use OCR to eliminate manual data entry. When you have an OCR tool, there is no need to type: With just a few clicks, you can turn previously-static content into text you can work with. 

Though tools that only do OCR exist, small business owners are better served by an advanced PDF editor with OCR functionally. That’s because PDF editors are multipurpose and come with a number of handy features. 

When choosing a PDF editor with OCR, you’ll want to pick one that produces the most accurate results possible. And if you work with documents in languages other than English, you’ll need to make sure the OCR engine is able to recognize them.

PDFpen’s OCR engine, OmniPage, is one of the most accurate in the world and recognizes over a dozen languages. The more advanced version of PDFpen, PDFpenPro, also recognizes Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

PDFpen and OCR functionality

Here’s what PDFpen users say about the OCR feature:

“I love how it can take a basic PDF document and apply optical character recognition and, even in a pinch, convert it to a workable Word document. It’s a tool I use almost daily.”
– David Sparks, attorney at Sparks Law

PDFpen is by far the easiest to use for this [OCR]. When you open an image document that’s got text on it, PDFpen recognizes this and offers to scan it for you.
– Apple Insider

“Known for its accuracy in conversion, this software [Omnipage] is trusted by some of the biggest names in business—including Amazon, Ford, and GE.”
– Tech Radar

Add PDFpen to your small business software kit

In addition to OCR functionality, PDFpen has other features useful for small businesses, including password protection, redaction, and e-signing. To see how PDFpen can help your small business, download a 30-day free trial.

Learn more about OCR: