What is Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)?

OMR stands for Optical Mark Recognition. OMR allows you to read any “fill-in-the-bubble” type forms. Tests, surveys, elections, questionnaires, course evaluations, and many more types of forms require the use of OMR.

The acronym “OMR” stands for Optical Mark Recognition. This popular and highly accurate recognition technology is used for collecting data from “fill-in-the-bubble” types of questions on student tests, surveys, ballots, assessments, evaluations, and many other types of forms. OMR can be confused with other types of recognition including: OCR (Optical Character Recognition) – reading machine printed characters, and ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) – reading handwritten characters

Optical Mark Recognition enables the respondent to select an answer to a question by filling in a “bubble” or “mark” associated with an answer choice. For instance, in the image on the right the respondent selected Excellent in a box to indicate that the location was Excellent.

Example of a plain-paper optical mark recognition (OMR) form for use with Remark Office OMR
OMR (optical mark recognition) grid for bubbling in a name

In addition to multiple choice questions, OMR can be used to capture names, ID numbers, and other non-multiple-choice data as illustrated in the image to left. In this case, the respondent filled in his or her name as “KP CRABTREE”. Collecting this type of data with OMR is much more accurate than trying to recognize a respondent’s handwritten name using ICR technology.

Although OMR technology has been around a long time, the technology has continued to evolve. Traditional OMR systems require special scanners and pre-printed forms. While a quick and accurate technology, these hardware-based systems tend to be expensive and are typically limited to very high-volume applications. It was in 1991 when Gravic, Inc. invented the concept of plain-paper OMR and released the first version of the Remark Office OMR software. This software technology has evolved over time to become the world’s most popular solution for processing these types of forms. Gravic’s flexible technology works with scanners from any manufacturer and forms that can be created in any word processor. The software is used by customers ranging from large testing centers scanning millions of forms per year, to individual researchers who scan a few forms per day. Since 1991 Gravic has helped over 100,000 customers, in almost every country on the planet, quickly and easily collect data from billions of forms.

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OMR Software in Action – Converting Paper Forms to Data

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) Software Solutions We Offer

Remark Office OMR

The world’s leading OMR software allows customers to create and print their own tests, surveys, evaluations, ballots, and other plain-paper forms. The software installs with a number of OMR fonts so you can easily design your own forms in any word processor or survey design tool. We offer a number of free sample forms and common form elements to further assist with your form design efforts. Scan completed forms using any image scanner or copier. The software includes built-in reports for grading tests and tabulating surveys. Easily exports data or grade information to most any other application. Download a free demo.

Remark Test Grading

Cloud-based test grading solution for schools, universities, or training organizations. Instructors can build their own custom test bubble sheets with varying question types (multiple-choice, true/false, matching, math, short answer, essay, graphing questions). The application includes built-in test grading reports for easy performance tracking. Request a free trial.

Remark Classic OMR

OMR software that works in conjunction with traditional OMR scanners and OMR forms. Collect and analyze data from preprinted forms using OMR scanners from Scantron, Sekonic, Apperson, and Chatsworth Data. Download a free demo.

Form using traditional optical mark recognition (OMR) technology that can be used with Remark Classic OMR

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