A Brief History of Document Scanning

Posted on 25th January 2023

The history of document scanning can be traced back to the early days of photography in the 19th century. At that time, photographers would take pictures of documents using a camera, and then manually transcribe the text into a typed or written format. This process was time-consuming and often resulted in errors, but it was the best method available at the time.

In the 1950s, the first automatic document scanners were developed. These scanners used a process called "optical character recognition" (OCR) to convert the text in a document into a digital format. This was a significant improvement over the manual transcription method, but the technology was still quite primitive and could only recognize a limited number of characters.

In the 1970s and 1980s, advances in computer technology led to the development of more sophisticated document scanners. These scanners used improved OCR software that could recognise a wider range of characters and even multiple languages. Additionally, the introduction of the personal computer made it possible for individuals and small businesses to afford and use these scanners.

Today, document scanning has become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Modern scanners can handle large volumes of documents quickly and accurately, and they can convert the text into a variety of digital formats, including PDFs, Word documents, and images. Additionally, cloud-based document management systems allow users to store and access their scanned documents from anywhere.

Overall, the history of document scanning has been one of steady advancement and increasing accessibility. From early days of manual transcription to modern day cloud-based document management systems, the process of digitising documents has become an essential tool for businesses and individuals to increase efficiency and accessibility. With the advent of AI-based OCR technology, the digitisation of documents is more accurate and efficient than ever before.
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