Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Extracting metadata by using bar codes or QR codes

Some businesses have decided to conduct data extraction from their documents by using bar codes or QR codes. As is the case with document classification, the use of bar codes is one of the most simple technologies for the available document capture software that’s available. With the use of bar codes, capture applications don’t have to search with data within the content of document, since it’s enough to “read” the information that is included in the code. 


  • Advantages: Faster data extraction. What’s more, many business applications such as ERPs can generate bar codes each time that new documents are created, meaning that it might be easier to adopt this type of data extraction.

  • Disadvantages: It might be expensive if the documents to be handled are generated from outside our business, because that means processing the bar codes manually and sticking them to documents before digitizing them.

As always, the recommendation is to analyze the documentation from which you want to get the data, as well as the amount of work that using bar codes or QR codes would involve.

For those businesses that are still working with codes, Athento is set up to be used with codes.

Working with bar codes and QR codes in Athento 

In order for Athento to extract the information from a code, it’s necessary to define the associated piece of metadata (or, said another way, indicate which piece of data is the one that we want to extract. This is done during the creation of Models. (“Model” menu -> “Metadata”).


In Athento 2.0, metadata can be one of four types: text (which Athento looks for in document content by using regular expressions), image (It is a clipping of a portion of the original image ),  zonal text (Athento looks for text in certain coordinates), or codes (when a bar code or QR code has been previously used on the document). The steps for a “code”-type metadata are straightforward: 

  1. Define a “code”-type metadata: In (“Model” > “Metadata”), indicate the “code” metadata and give the metadata a name. It’s not necessary to indicate any other data for code-type metadata.

  2. Define the location of the bar code: As you’re defining the template, define where the bar code is located within the document (“Models” > “Define Template”). Defining the location of the code allows the system to rule out codes that are not to be read, and increases the precision of the reading.

There you go: Athento is ready to process bar codes or QR codes within your documents!:-)
Click here to see the formats of bar codes and QR codes that are supported by Athento.



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