The online storage, retrieval and management of electronic images of documents. The main method of capturing images is by scanning paper documents.|
Document imaging systems replace large paper-intensive operations. Documents can be shared by all users on a network and document routing can be controlled by the computer (workflow). The systems are often simpler to develop and implement than traditional data processing systems, because users are already familiar with the paper documents that appear on screen.
Document images are stored as bitmapped graphics, and although a small amount of text (keywords) may be associated with the document in order to index it, the meaning of the document content is known only to the human viewer, not the computer. Like microfilm, signatures and other original markings remain intact. See document management system.
When a page of text is scanned, it takes up much more storage space than if the text were typed in because each text character takes only one byte of storage. When paper documents are scanned, they are turned into digital pictures. Depending on the resolution required, a scanned page can take 50 times as much storage as the ASCII characters of the text they contain.