The OMR or Optical Mark Recognition reader has the ability to detect dark marks on an OMR sheet. This sheet is different from a normal piece of paper as it contains index points on its four corners. These index points help the OMR reader to detect the dark marks on the bubbles. While most OMR software cannot read handwritten text and images, those that possess OCR and ICR are capable to do so. OCR is Optical Character Recognition and ICR is Intelligent Character Recognition. The presence of these readers has several advantages.
With the OCR it is possible to read printed digits, while the ICR is used to read handwritten digits. Some OMR sheets like admission or other data collection forms have a space where people have to provide information in writing. This includes name, address, course details, etc. As typing these details may lead to errors, most schools and colleges prefer using the OCR and ICR readers.
Apart from handwritten content, admission forms also require the students to stick their photograph in the space provided. With the ICR reader, the photograph is captured and embedded in the database.
Some OMR answer sheets have barcodes on them. With the OCR and ICR readers it is possible to read barcodes on all kinds of coding formats.
Any regular scanner can be used to read the OMR sheets. Once you scan the sheet, the OMR, ICR and OCR software would do the processing and deliver the necessary results and details.