Checkmark Recognition (OMR)

FlexiCapture Engine, FineReader Engine, Cloud OCR SDK
9.x, 10, 11
Technology & Features, Scenarios/Tasks

A checkmark field is an element on a machine-readable form (usually rectangular in shape and often called a “check box”) in which a mark should be made (a check/tick, an X, a large dot, inking over, etc.).

  • ABBYY SDKs, FineReader Engine (Win)and FlexiCapture Engine are able to read and process checkmarks,
    the technical term for this is “Optical Mark Recognition” (OMR)
  • The ABBYY’s OMR technology recognizes
    • simple checkmarks,
    • grouped checkmarks,
    • model checkmarks
    • and checkmarks with “corrections” made by hand
  • ABBYY OMR delivers a very accuracy rate of up to 99.995 %

Technical Implementation of OMR

ABBYY layout analysis and the underlying recognition technology works with different blocks types, e.g. for

  • Text
  • Pictures
  • Tables
  • Barcodes and also
  • Checkmark Blocks and a Checkmark Group object

The state of a checkmark can be

  • Selected
  • Not selected
  • Checkmark was selected but was corrected later.

To get good recognition results, image preprocessing can/should be applied in this area:

  • InvertImage
  • MirrorImage
  • …etc.

ABBYY FineReader Engine 11 supports different checkmark types:

  • Square
  • Empty
  • Circle
  • Custom

Detection of Checkmarks on a page

  • Checkmark areas cannot be detected automatically by the ABBYY document analyser.
  • Developers have to draw/define the “area” via code and then apply the recognition.

Very often checkmarks are found on forms, and if there are too many different variants of forms, then you should evaluate ABBYY FlexiCapture. This product line offers document separation, classification forms processing and data extraction. FlexiCapture is available as a product (Standalone, Distributed, Server) or as and SDK FlexiCapture Engine.

Both of them offer 2 different options can be used to deal with different form types:

  • Fixed Form Templates – first the form template (multi or single page) is matched, based on the setup the pre-defined checkmark area is processed
  • FlexiLayouts – here a much more sophisticated approach of a “free form” is applied, the checkmark areas can be defined relative to other areas of the document. This approach is not tied to a fixed coordinate location.

FlexiCapture Standalone is part of FlexiCapture Engine, it is uses to define fixed form templates or FlexiLayouts to process forms, checkmarks are supported as well

Illustration of the Data export settings in FlexiCapture:

The following objects properties are available in FineReader Engine:

  • CheckmarkState
    Specifies the state of the checkmark block.
  • CheckmarkType
    Specifies the checkmark type used for recognition.
  • ImageProcessingParams \\Provides access to the set of properties affecting image preprocessing inside the checkmark block.
  • IsCorrectionEnabled
    This property set to TRUE means that checkmark block can be selected and then corrected. The default value is FALSE.
  • IsSuspicious
    This property set TRUE means that the checkmark was recognized uncertainly.

Related Articles

OMR in other ABBYY Products

  • ABBYY Cloud OCR SDK is also able to process checkmarks when the region is defined and submitted with the image (snippet). Details can be found in the online API documentation processCheckmarkField
  • General info on FlexiCapture can be found on the ABBYY websites: EnglishDeutsch
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