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The present invention is a method of categorizing an image as handwritten, machine-printed, and unknown. First, the image is received. Next, connected components are identified. Next, a bounding box encloses each connected component. Next, a height and width is computed for each bounding box. Next, a sum and maximum horizontal run for each connected component are computed. Next, connected components that are suspected of being characters are identified. If the number of suspected characters is less than or equal to a first user-definable number then the image is categorized as unknown. If the number of suspected characters is greater than the first user-definable number then determine if matches exist amongst the suspected characters. Next, compute a score based on the suspected characters and the number of matches and categorize the image as either handwritten, machine-printed, or unknown.