Doc Imaging Software: What is it?

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Document imaging software converts paper documents into digital format using scanners, names and saves documents, uses OCR to make them searchable and editable, and archives them. It includes features for editing, approval processes, and integration with other programs. It provides security, saves storage space, and is easily accessible and shareable.

Document imaging software is an application used in document management to convert paper documents into digital format. Scanners are used to enter information about documents, then document imaging software typically names and saves documents, uses optical character recognition (OCR) to make them searchable and editable, and archives them. Document imaging software can be integrated with multifunction peripherals (MFPs) so that the software can manage documents as they are scanned.

Often, document imaging software includes built-in features to simplify and control the editing of archived documents. Some applications include the ability to check out a document to ensure that only one user can edit a document at a time. The software can also facilitate approval processes so that changes are not applied to documents until specified administrators approve them.

The software usually comes with its own graphical user interface for archiving and locating files. Interfaces may include drag-and-drop functionality and sometimes incorporate search engines similar to those used to search the Internet so that users can locate files quickly and easily. Documents stored in the software can be printed, sent by email and digital fax. Some software allows users to annotate documents using built-in commenting features.

Document imaging software often includes the ability to integrate documents with other programs. Documents can be saved in Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft® Office compatible formats, and images can be exported in formats such as jpeg and tiff. The data can also be copied and pasted into word processing documents and spreadsheets.

Many businesses use document imaging software for its security features. Users can be allowed or denied access to certain files based on the user’s privilege level, and files can be locked for editing, or changes can require approval before being applied to documents. In addition to providing security by controlling access and modification of documents, document imaging software provides business security because digital files, unlike paper documents, can be easily and regularly backed up. This allows businesses to protect documents in the event of a catastrophic event such as fire or flood.

Digital imaging software has many other benefits as well. In addition to providing greater security, digital files save storage space. Computer files are more easily accessible and easier to share than paper documents, especially for large and dispersed workgroups. Software that includes automatic archiving capabilities can also save you administrative costs. Since most documents are ultimately used electronically, archiving and archiving electronically ensures continuity, consolidates workflows, and saves time.

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