OMR Software

What is OMR Software

OMR is the abbreviated form for Optical Mark Recognition which is technology used for automatically capturing people’s hand marked checkbox responses from scanned paper forms.

OMR Software was designed as a cost effective alternative to expensive OMR Reader Machines.

OMR Software doesn’t require expensive hardware, it needs only a printer, image scanner and computer to work.

OMR Software sheets, which are designed to be compatible with the software, are printed on plain printer paper

Scanned OMR sheet image files are uploaded to the OMR software which then proceeds to automatically process the pages, capturing the values of the filled in checkbox bubble responses.

OMR Software is used in all types of Organisations and Businesses for automatically collecting hand marked data from checkbox response sheets such as Multiple Choice Questionaires, Assessments, Surveys, control sheets and Evaluations.

The best OMR software

The best OMR software is one that lets you design your own custom, printable OMR sheet Template. Printing your own OMR sheets on plain paper is cost effective over pruchased OMR sheets, and the OMR sheets can be printed at any time.

Scanning OMR Software Sheets

Plain paper checkbox response forms, means the pages can be scanned using a regular ADF scanner(Automatic Document Feeder), which looks similar to and feeds paper like a printer.

How Does OMR Software Work

The selected checkbox responses are filled in with a pen or pencil by the candidates. The forms are scanned with any decent ADF scanner and scanned form files are uploaded into the software for instant capture and processing. The scanned OMR sheets will be instantly detected by the OMR software and processed into mark value data stored within the software ready for export to your usual spreadsheet.

Choosing OMR Software

Trying out OMR Software is the best way to find out if it will suit your purpose. If the OMR software you are considering has a limited trial period, Download and try the OMR software. The free trial will let you determine the time it will take to learn how to use the software and any other costs involved such as Compatible OMR sheets, hardware required and support getting the software set up.

Accurate OMR Software

There are many OMR software programs on the market which in general will all have much the same accuracy in detecting and capturing the filled in checkbox bubble responses. OMR Software uses a software based OMR reader to detect and capture the hand made marks.

The differences in OMR Software are in the features that come with each OMR software program, such as OMR form design and the way the captured data is linked to respondents and exported to external software.

Important OMR Software Features

Automatic recognition and integration of the OMR sheet Template designed within the OMR softwaresaves a lot of time. OMR sheet templates that are designed in an external program will need training to get the template to be recognized by the OMR software. Training an OMR sheet template to be recognized by the OMR software requires a number of difficult steps especially when you don’t know what you’re doing.

A robust OMR form processor is an important feature because it decreases the chance of internal processing errors.

OMR errors are generally human caused, such as the scannners settings for producing clearly scanned OMR sheets and how the checkboxes have been filled in by the form’s candidates.

OMR Software Detection

The response marks are captured as value data, such as (A,B,C,D,E etc.) and stored within the OMR software with the option to export the raw data to a spreadsheet.

OMR software detected mark OMR software detected checkbox
  • Screenshot Image at Left: OMR Software detects and captures one or more filled in checkboxes in each question area.
  • Screenshot Middle Image: OMR Software detects and captures a string of filled in checkbox values, such as ID numbers or addresses.
  • Screenshot Image at Right: OMR Software can be used to collect yes/no or true/false answers.

Create the OMR Template

Generate your own printable OMR Sheet template using the OMR editor built in to the OMR Software. The editor will create an OMR Sheet Template that is instantly compatible with the OMR software.

There are a couple of ways that OMR sheet templates can be created. In a word document which must be trained to be recognised by the software. With an OMR sheet editor which integrates the template immediately with the software.

Checkboxes are used to capture people’s response marks and barcodes are used for recognition by the software and to capture form page identifying information. An OMR template must contain a barcode on every page ***

Publish the OMR Template

The OMR template is published within the software, to save the template information and to compile the OMR sheets, ready to be printed. Each published omr sheet will have a unique barcode number. ***

Using a laser printer, print your OMR sheets from the Published OMR Template.

Printing with a lazer printer will produce clear images that won’t smudge.

Scanning the OMR sheets

When the OMR software sheets have been returned, they are scanned to produce clear images, using a document scanner* with an automatic paper feeder if you have hundreds of pages, or a flatbed or portable image scanner if you only have a few forms.

Because each page can be identified by the OMR software, using the barcode that was added to the template, there is no need to scan the sheets in any particular order.

OMR Software Scannet

Image: OMR sheets being scanned using a document scanner with automatic paper feeder, and being processed by OMR software on a laptop computer.

The scanned form files are uploaded into the OMR software which quickly processes each page, around 30 pages per minute, reducing delivery time of analysis data collected from people’s responses. The software stores the captured data, which can then be exported to an external spreadsheet or whichever data management software you have on your computer.

Mark Detection by OMR Software

OMR sheet scanned and detected

Image: A section of a scanned omr sheet showing automatically detected values of the filled checkboxes (A,B,C,D) by OMR software

The scanned images of OMR sheets are uploaded into the OMR software processor, which recognizes and reads each page.

The large barcode on each page links the page with the template it belongs to and links the captured data with the respondent’s record in the data table.

Small automatically generated barcodes on the form are used by the software for locating the area where the checkbox areas are on the page.

The filled checkbox bubbles are detected using a process that compares the number of black pixels against the number of white pixels in each checkbox.


OMR Software Data Capture

The detected marks are converted into checkbox value data such as A, B, C or D and stored within the OMR software and can be viewed in the Captured Data interface of the OMR software.

Optical Mark Recognition captures barcode value information from printed barcodes or uniqe barcode labels, used for identifying each page.

The captured data is reconciled with the record it belongs to, taken from the data table.

The captured data is stored in the OMR software then exported to an excel spreadsheet or other external management software intalled on your computer.

This all takes place within a matter of seconds for each page.


About OMR Software

OMR software has a high rate of accuracy and can capture response data during processing of omr sheet images at around 30 pages per minute.

OMR software is used when paper forms are the most practical and cost effective way to collect information from people’s responses.

OMR sheets are often called bubble sheets because they contain circular or oval checkbox bubbles which are easy to fill in fully by people responding to the questions.

Respondents should be instructed to fully fill in checkboxes. A fully filled bubbles will turn out clearer on the scanned omr sheet images which makes it less likely that errors will occur with the detection of the filled checkboxes.

The checkboxes on OMR sheets are filled in with a dark pen or pencil in response to questions or statements.

OMR software is used for fast collection of checkbox response information from satisfaction surveys, evaluation surveys, tests, exams, assessments, checklists, quality assurance forms, ballot papers, order forms and any checkbox response paper forms that can be designed to collect data using OMR software.


OMR Software Requirements

  • An OMR sheet template recognized by the Software you are using.
  • A lazer printer, used to print the paper OMR sheets from the template.
  • A recent model computer.
  • A decent quality document image scanner for scanning the OMR sheets.

The fact that these are the only requirements you need to scan and capture hundreds of forms a day, makes OMR software very cost effective.