Simple Checkbox Recognition

Some forms require scanning software to recognize the presence or absence of a mark in a particular location, such as a checkbox, without worrying about the specific shape or symbol drawn therein. The ability to do this is called Optical Mark Recognition, or OMR. Let's take a look at how this feature can help you index your documents and how SimpleIndex improves upon the standard OMR process:

Optical Mark Recognition

OMR Optical Mark Recognition Optical Mark Recognition lets you define check box regions on scanned images. OMR is very fast and can be used for a variety of applications:

To configure OMR, use an unfilled form to obtain baseline counts of how many black "pixels" are in the box. When processing, SimpleIndex compares the amount of black in each image to the baseline value to determine if the box is checked or not.

With OMR, it is very important that the check boxes appear in the same place on every scan, and that other text on the document does not move into your check box zone. For best results, use large boxes with plenty of white space around them.

We wouldn't recommend using the SimpleIndex OMR feature to grade the SATs, but if your documents include a few check box values that you want to capture the SimpleIndex OMR feature is what you need. For more advanced OMR and forms processing solutions, please visit

OMR Document Separation

SimpleIndex includes a unique use for mark recognition that can save you thousands on document separator pages. One of the most labor-intensive parts of scanning multi-page files is detecting where one document ends and the next one starts. Traditionally this has been done with blank pages (which doesn't work with 2-sided documents) or barcodes and patch codes (which must be printed). All of these solutions require someone to insert a piece of paper between each document before scanning, wasting time, money, and paper.

  • Using the OMR feature in SimpleIndex, create a checkmark field in the upper-left corner of the page.
  • Create an Autonumber field that increments a document number each time the checkmark is found.
  • Use this job file to scan and separate documents into multi-page files.
  • Create a 2nd job file to index the multi-page files.
  • Use the Post-Process feature to run the two jobs consecutively.

When prepping files, simply take a felt tip pen and put a small mark the upper-left corner on the first page of each new document. This can be done very quickly, creates no additional paper and has a negligible effect on scan quality.

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