The reading of technical drawings is a complex task for automatic document processing. In this paper we present a system for reading textual descriptions from technical drawings, which provides capabilities for converting paper-based documents into an electronic archiving database system. The proposed system consists of four major processing elements: form learning, form localization, optical character recognition (OCR), and result verification. The algorithms of each element are dedicated to solve the practical problems in reading technical drawing documents. Among them, form localization and OCR are the key processes for automation. Experimental results have shown the feasibility and efficiency of our approaches.