The key to a great scan is a great photo. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) does not have the insight that the human mind does and requires certain conditions for recognizing text. While OCR is not perfect, if you are disappointed with any scan result, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can try to figure out the problem and, more importantly, the solution.
Bigger is Better
Size does matter when it comes to OCR – larger text scans much better – so try to have the card fill-up as much of the camera viewport as possible, which means get as close as possible while still capturing the text you want.
Have the card edges be parallel to the camera viewport – OCR software assumes text lines are more or less horizontal are are tolerant only of a reasonable angle.
Natural or Diffuse Light
Natural light is best and the main reason is that it’s diffuse and it’s white light. This is why images scan actually better in the morning light than in the afternoon where direct sun light creates non-uniform coloring on the card background. In particular, stay away from incandescent light bulbs or at least keep your distance.
If the text is blurred, the card is almost certain to not scan properly. Because the image is taken at close range, any movement will cause significant blurriness. Holding your breath does help, and so does leaning against a wall. The easiest way to help with the stability is to make sure the card itself is steady, by placing it on a desk instead of holding it in your hand.
Unlike shadows where the text is still identifiable, there is no recovering from reflections hitting text on a card.. Direct exposure to sun rays may cause reflections and glossy cards may cause reflections in any lighting situation and may be hard to avoid entirely: in that case, try to move the card a bit until the reflections hit areas where there is no text.
The iPhone has a built-in autofocus which usually does a great job at focusing on the card but on occasion, slight movement can take things out of focus. You can help it along by tapping on the screen to focus the camera.
If an initial scan of a card was generally good but missed out entire sections or specific lines, this may call for a “rescan”, which means scanning the image again but this time cropping the image only around the missed text. Important: ScanBizCards “starts fresh” when rescanning a section of the image by removing items from a previous scans. If the previous scan includes elements you want to preserve, please validate them in the “View Details” screen, which means touching the item then touching “Save” to confirm (even if not making changes to the item). You can tell an item is validated by the fact that it shows a little check mark next to it instead of the usual arrow. We’ll take it as a cue that you are happy with this item and will not replace it when rescanning.
- Gallery: you may find it useful to take a look at our Sample Images page for examples of good and bad images of business cards (there is a link to that page within the application’s help as well).
- Samples: we also included a handful of images within the application itself, under the “Sample Images” card folder, you are welcome to scan them and see what happens
- Support: disappointed by a card image you feel we should have scanned better? Please forward that card image along with the text results (we will keep the card strictly confidential). Just use our Send To Friend function from the Card View screen and email it to email@example.com.