Contact Us

What's New

We at Oyster want to hear about all your forms processing and data entry needs. Whether you are looking for a survey, capturing retail data, processing education forms, marking answer sheets etc., we can help you significantly reduce your costs and increase speeds.

home > services > automated forms processing

Automated Forms Processing

Automated Forms Processing is a technology that enables the user to process documents from their images or directly from paper and convert them to computer readable data (usually ASCII). Not to be confused with basic OCR, Our Automated Forms Processing servicess do a lot more than just Recognition of data (OCR/ICR/OMR/Bar Codes, etc). They also manage the complete life cycle of the document from scanning to extract and sometimes even include Image Archive and Retrieval. Automated Forms Processing services are justified if you process at least a few hundred similar documents per day.

A Sample Form: Image showing examples of drop-out ICR boxes, OCR, OMR, Mark Sense and Bar Codes.

Common Industry Terms


Intelligent Character Recognition - Used for hand-printed data recognition.


Optical Character Recognition - Used for machine printed data recognition.


Optical Mark Recognition - Similar to Mark Sense, however these object have a letter or character printed in them.


Intelligent Field Recognition - A unique FormsPro feature that allows you process forms with similar field attributes located at different locations on a document. FormsPro's I-Form feature analyzes the document and dynamically finds this field for recognition allowing you to process several variations of a form with the same form definition.

Mark Sense  
or Check Boxes

Marks in circles, squares or ovals.


Key from Image - when the image and keying templates are presented together for data entry.

Constrained Hand Writing

When boxes are drawn on a form to constrain the user to write in a character per box.

Drop-out ICR Boxes

When the boxes on the form are printed with the same color as the light source on a scanner so that the boxes drop out or are not visible in the final image. This technique is used to isolate hard-written characters for Recognition.

Data Capture Automation that Adapts to Your Environment

Because every business is different, FormsPro's data capture automation is flexible and configurable to adapt to your particular business needs.

  • Reduce Your Labor Requirements through imaging and character recognition (OCR/ICR) of your existing forms.
  • Decrease Your Order Fulfillment Time through high-speed system imaging automation of those operations you currently handle manually.
  • Reduce Your Facilities Requirements - computers don't require desks.
  • Increase Your Customer Satisfaction - Faster orders and fewer data entry errors make for contented customers.

Individual Customer-Driven Design

User-Defined Forms - FormsPro Form Definition routines allow even non-programmers to create new forms in just a few hours. This enables the ICR automation to quickly adapt to your form types, including all necessary parameters for data validation and system functions.

Adaptive, Automated Data Capture - Utilizing our user-generated Form Definition, FormsPro automatically captures every possible character on your forms, validates them according to your validation rules, and uploads this data to the host faster than any manual operation. Every character that is automatically captured is a character that doesn't have to be keyed in manually.

Ergonomic Exception Keying

Exception Keying - No automated recognition is perfect, but FormsPro provides the most efficient Exception Keying possible through its "snippet" keying of only the unrecognized portion of the image. This provides "key what you see" and "look ahead" keying screens to keep pace with the fastest human keyers. 

FormsPro Automation Benefits

FormsPro eliminates paper handling for data capture, dispenses with manual batch and proof controls, and reduces key strokes by automatic recognition of bar codes, machine print, hand print and optical marks. Snippets can also be transmitted quite cost effectively to other locations (over the Internet, for example) for processing by low-cost labor resources. FormsPro can provide cost-effective image capture for use by systems that provide complex work flow processing and electronic archiving.