OCR Functionality in ILLiad

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OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a feature of text documents that allows the visible text to be turned into searchable data and/or parsed by screen readers. This allows a user to use the search function on a PDF (control + F) to search for specific terms in the document. The transmission of a file via ILLiad/Odyssey does not affect OCR within a document. However, other circumstances may affect whether or not a specific document supports OCR.

OCR Compatibility

The transmission of a file via ILLiad does not itself do anything to OCR within a document. It is also important to note that how the Lending institution generates the file is equally important as the behavior of the Borrowing library. The following chart shows a breakdown of possible processing methods and their effect on OCR compatibility:

OCR Works? Processing Method
No Lending library scans the document via ILLiad, then send a TIFF via Odyssey
or Article Exchange
No Lending library scans the document via ILLiad, exports the file and re-imports
into ILLiad as a PDF, then sends PDF via Odyssey or Article Exchange 
Yes Borrowing library adds a cover sheet that is OCR compatible to the received OCR PDF document.
Yes Lending library imports a native PDF file, sends via Odyssey or Article
Exchange, and the Borrowing library does not add a cover sheet 

In summary:

  • If the file was ever a TIFF, or if the Borrowing library appended a cover sheet to the PDF - OCR will not be functional; Unless the cover sheet was OCR compatible and the OCR was not lost after the PDF file and the OCR cover sheet was merged- OCR will be functional

  • If the file was a native PDF and sent via Odyssey or Article Exchange and no cover sheet was added - OCR will be functional

TIFF documents, due to how text compression occurs, do not support OCR.


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