6 Must-Have Features for Document Digitization Software & Systems

From advanced image editing to continuous scan monitoring, learn what to look for in a top-shelf solution.

Paper may be obsolete for many business applications, but the traditional information medium still dominates: In fact, the US generated 67M tonnes of paper and paperboard waste in 2018 alone. The dependence on inefficient paper processes has prompted many organizations to look for tools — like document digitization software — that can help translate those heavy stacks into valuable digital assets.

If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. Here are the most important features to look for when evaluating document digitization applications.

Read The Complete Guide to Document Digitization discover the benefits of digitization, get process recommendations, and much more.

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What is document digitization software?

Document digitization software is any application that transforms photos, paper documents, and other types of physical media into digital files and is otherwise known as document imaging software. Document digitization software can use a variety of hardware devices to process and convert documents. These devices include everything from industrial-grade scanners to mobile phones. The digitization process can produce digital image files (like JPEGs) and digital document files (like PDFs).

Document digitization software may use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to support the conversion of the textual information contained in a given document to machine-readable data. OCR is a branch of computer vision technology, which is in the field of artificial intelligence. While classic OCR approaches can fail to correctly convert textual information because of an uncommon font or damaged lettering, more advanced OCR components use machine learning to achieve more accurate and comprehensive conversions.

What are the benefits of document digitization software?

Although physical media like photographs and paper documents certainly have their perks, they also have numerous disadvantages. They are much more difficult to store, transport, and analyze than digital information.

In a business context, these issues become far more problematic — creating operational inefficiencies, limiting scaling, and undermining profitability. As a result, modern companies are investing heavily in digital transformation: According to Statista, global digital transformation spending will hit $2.8T by 2025. Document digitization software supports these efforts by enabling organizations to use scanners and other devices to transform their physical documents into easily storable, shareable, and interpretable data.

The top six document digitization system features

#1 High-quality format conversion

One of the most important features of document digitization software is the ability to accurately identify the information in a physical document and convert that document into a machine-readable format. For most office applications, this means finding software that can reliably output high-quality, searchable PDFs — as well as XML, CSV, and TXT files.

#2 Robust image editing support

The best document digitization software goes beyond basic image cleanup during image processing. Top-of-the-line software will automatically correct image orientation, crop document edges, optimize color, fill punch holes, smooth minor tears, remove blank pages in a series of documents, and more.

Did You Know?:The PaperStream Capture Pro uses the best-in-class image processing tool, PaperStream IP, to optimize every scanned document. Click here to learn more.

#3 Continuous scan monitoring

While useful in any context, organizations with multiple scanning devices will usually benefit the most from this feature. Document digitization software with continuous scan monitoring detects whenever a device on the network performs a scan, ensuring that the new digital file is automatically discovered, transformed into a searchable PDF, and stored in the proper database.

#4 Automatic file merging

This feature is a must for organizations that digitize a large volume of documents, like law offices, healthcare facilities, and insurance companies. Automatic file merging reduces manual processing time post-scan by enabling users to combine the outputs of multiple scans — even those in different formats — into single files according to their preferences.

#5 Reliable document indexing

Document digitization software also minimizes manual labor and processing errors by automatically naming documents as they are scanned for enhanced storage and organization. This feature can leverage custom rules and other filters to determine which naming convention is appropriate for a given document.

#6 Automated document separation

Automated document separation can help companies working through a backlog of documents accelerate the scanning process by using various separation methods to sort files. These methods include basic zonal OCR, fixed page, blank page, barcode, patch code, hotkey, and more.

Our recommendation: fi Series Scanners

Those in the market for document digitization and scanning solutions have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

If your organization is going through a digitization transformation — or you just regularly handle a high volume of documents — our enterprise-grade fi Series scanners feature the best-in-class digitization and document management systems that will help you get to where you want to be. Feature Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line