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This paper presents a document retrieval technique that is capable of searching document images without optical character recognition (OCR). The proposed technique retrieves document images by a new word shape coding scheme, which captures the document content through annotating each word image by a word shape code. In particular, we annotate word images by using a set of topological shape features including character ascenders/descenders, character holes, and character water reservoirs. With the annotated word shape codes, document images can be retrieved by either query keywords or a query document image. Experimental results show that the proposed document image retrieval technique is fast, efficient, and tolerant to various types of document degradation.