In this paper, a fast approach is proposed to detect and correct skew documents. A coarse skew angle theta(c) is first estimated and then the exact skew angle theta is determined by making use of the Hough transform. Besides, a skew bitmapped binary image can be quickly corrected by decomposing the traditional geometric rotation process into a translation and a local rotation process. Experimentation on a wide variety of documents verifies the validity and efficiency of the proposed approach in detecting and correcting skew bitmapped binary images. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.