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Difference between OMR and OCR

OMR and OCR are the two most used optical recognition systems. Both fulfil the same purpose of recognizing text or marks on a physical medium, but they work in different ways. OMR is better at identifying discrete marks, but OCR is better at detecting letters. OCR is better at reading handwritten text than OMR, but OMR is better at scanning bubbles or checkboxes on a form.

In this article, you will learn about the difference between OMR and OCR. But before discussing the differences, you must know about OMR and OCR, with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is OMR?

OMR is an abbreviation for "Optical Mark Recognition". An OMR reader's task is to detect marks situated at precise locations on printed documents. It is mostly utilized as an input technique for adding large amounts of data, such as in an answer sheet with multiple-choice answers.

The OMR is only functional with a single specific document. It is made up of timing tracks along one edge of the form, and these tracks indicate where the scanner begins reading marks. It also has form ID markers that look like black boxes at the top or bottom of the form. The bubble in the OMR sheet should be precisely located, and the cuts must be carved in the same order. However, if OMR is developed properly, its accuracy could be higher than that of OCR.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OMR

There are various advantages and disadvantages of OMR. Some main advantages and disadvantages of OMR are as follows:


  1. OMRs are extremely accurate, which means they may read symbols accurately even under bright lighting and adverse settings.
  2. An OMR may speed up the information flow and minimize the time required to complete transactions by automating business operations.
  3. OMR provides a significant deal of speed while working. It will also assist in saving time.


  1. OMRs could be expensive to acquire and maintain. For example, they might be costly to purchase and maintain and could not be available in all regions.
  2. In high-traffic regions, OMRs may be difficult to utilize. For example, it may be difficult to read the writing in the designated area in a busy office.
  3. OMRs might be challenging to use. For example, it may be difficult to read the writing in the highlighted region.

What is OCR?

OCR is an abbreviation for "Optical Character Recognition". It utilized a scanner and specialized software to convert printed text or documents into scanned images. The converted scanned photos are unique in that they may be altered in the word processing software.

OCR offers flexibility because of the absence of timed tracks or blocks. It utilizes the registration marks at the four corners of the paper to recognize images. On this form, respondents enter one character into each box. Color is important in OCR because it reduces the size of the scanner's output while increasing accuracy.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OCR

There are various advantages and disadvantages of OCR. Some main advantages and disadvantages of OCR are as follows:


  1. OCR data may be read with a high degree of precision. Flatbed scanners are quite precise and may produce images of reasonable quality.
  2. This approach is far faster than manually entering information into the system.
  3. A paper form is usually changed into an electronic version that is easy to store or send via mail.
  4. It is less expensive than hiring someone to enter a large amount of text data manually. Furthermore, converting in electronic form takes less time.
  5. OCR information is processed quickly. Large amounts of text are frequently input fast.


  1. OCR text only works with printed text and not with handwritten text. The computer must learn to write by hand.
  2. All documents must be carefully checked and manually corrected.
  3. The image created requires a large amount of space.
  4. It is not completely accurate; some errors are likely to occur during the method.
  5. The visual quality may suffer during this process.

Key Differences between OMR and OCR

Difference between OMR and OCR

There are various key differences between OMR and OCR. Some main differences between OMR and OCR are as follows:

  1. The OMR technology detects and collects the data from the pre-printed documents. On the other hand, OCR scans and stores printed text as an image.
  2. Timing tracks are used in OMR technology. In contrast, registration marks are used by OCR to ensure the system's proper operation.
  3. Data and documents can be saved with OCR systems, which is not possible with OMR technology.
  4. OCR may use any type of font, symbol, or image in its processing, whereas OMR may only use symbols.
  5. OMR technology is based on the position of the mark. In contrast, the shape of the mark, character, or symbol is important in OCR.
  6. OMR technology is more accurate than OCR technology.
  7. OMR is very useful for grading, computing marks, etc. It is the quickest way to enter data. In contrast, the visually impaired user finds it useful. They may utilize the text to speech.
  8. When compared to OCR, OMR does not necessitate the use of a high-level recognition engine. In contrast to OMR, OCR requires an advanced recognition engine.

Head-to-head comparison between OMR and OCR

Here, you will learn the head-to-head comparisons between OMR and OCR. The main differences between OMR and OCR are as follows:

Features OMR OCR
Full Forms OMR is an abbreviation for Optical Character Recognition. OCR is an abbreviation for Optical Character Recognition.
Utilization It is utilized to process information from printed forms. It is utilized to scan and convert many types of documents.
Timing tracks It needs timing tracks. It doesn't need timing tracks.
Accuracy OMR technology is more accurate than OCR. OCR technology is less accurate than OMR.
Scanned fonts It used some specific symbols. It consists of various text and shapes.
Implementation It is easy to implement and use. It is complex to implement and use.
Released It was first utilized in telegraphs in 1857. It was originally used to assist blind persons in reading in 1914.
Storing Documents It allows for storing documents. It doesn't allow storing documents.
Engine It does not necessitate the use of a high-level recognition engine. OCR requires a more powerful recognition engine.
Depends on It depends on the position of the marks. It depends on the shape of the marks.
Applications It has abilities in the field of grading and tabulation. It is used to convert documents from the printable mannequin to the simple mannequin.


Both OMR and OCR use distinct ways to understand printed or typed text. OMR identifies marks on paper, circles or squares drawn in using a special pen, and OCR extracts letters and words from a text picture. Both methods may be used to extract data from documents for data input, form processing, and indexing.

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