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$352.99 $339.99
41. Readiris Pro 10 Corporate Edition
42. I.R.I.S. Business Card Reader
$16.99 $14.95 list($19.99)
43. Formulator 2.5 - Forms Software
$98.95 list($99.99)
44. Abbyy FineReader 5.0 Pro OCR
$24.99 $19.95 list($29.99)
46. Small Business Digital Power Pack
48. Abbyy Fine Reader 5.0 Pro
49. OmniPage Web 1.0
$349.99 $325.00 list($399.99)
50. I.R.I.S. Readiris Pro 9 Corporate
$108.07 list($29.99)
51. Abbyy Finereader 5.0 Home Edition
$269.99 list($299.99)
52. ADOBE ACROBAT CAPTURE 3.0 ( 22101258
$66.99 list($99.00)
53. Mimio WritingRecognition 2.0 CD
$257.55 $229.88 list($279.95)
54. White Sands, Document and Digital
$149.99 $109.09 list()
55. FineReader 6.0 Professional OCR
$459.99 $450.89
56. ScanSoft ACAD Omnipage Pro 14
57. OmniPage Pro 8.0
58. PaperPort Deluxe 5.1 Software

41. Readiris Pro 10 Corporate Edition
list price: $352.99
our price: $352.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0008GQL7W
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: I.R.I.S.
Sales Rank: 11045
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Rediris Pro 10 OCR Software Convert you paper documents and PDF files into editable text Readiris Pro 10 OCR software performs all the tedious retyping work for you in no time. Simply recognize your documents with Readiris Pro and within seconds you have an editable copy of it.Readiris Pro 10 recognizes scanned paper documents, PDF files and all popular image file format and turns them into word processor, spreadsheet, pdf, web pages, xml... files.Imagine how easily you could share and archive all your documents and spend your retyping time for more productive tasks!Readiris Pro 10 is a major release and features more than 40 improvements over previous versions. The power of the new OCR software boosts text recognition accuracy to an unprecedented level! - 30% increase in OCR accuracy! - Up to 200 times faster than manually retyped documents! - Intuitive and logically designed User Interface. Anybody can use Readiris Pro 10 instantly! - New barcodes recognition - More versatile PDF creation - More output choices and application compatibility - New capital hand printed text, numbers and symbols recognition - Reads and creates Jpg 2000 - And much more! In other words, with Readiris Pro 10, all your paper documents will be recognized and converted to editable text faster, easier and more accurately than ever before! ... Read more

42. I.R.I.S. Business Card Reader ( Windows/Macintosh )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006J0IAW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: I.R.I.S.
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Update your address book instantly, using Outlook, Palm Lotus Notes, ACT! and other popular tools
  • Recognizes characters from up to 50 countries
  • Scan & display your own business cards in color
  • Synchronizes with your PDA and contact management tools

43. Formulator 2.5 - Forms Software
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005UE95
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Global Village, Inc.
Sales Rank: 5189
Average Customer Review: 2.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

With Formulator, you can scan forms, complete them onscreen, and print the finished form in no time. Choose from printing your data onto the original, or print a copy of the form with your entries included. Formulator offers nothing short of precision printing within your original form layout. Boxed letters are no problem. Field positioning is freely adjustable and mouse controlled. You set field order and criteria. Best of all, automatic completion of data fields, such as date and time, makes the entire process a breeze. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars This program rock!
I wuv this program, very nice. Much better than Winforms and I am even member of company! Very nice, yes. Very nice.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Product
Horrible software program, however better than it's top competitor Zipform. Try getting THAT program to work. Good luck!! Error-mania.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lousy Customer Service
This software was unable to operate with my system configuration and Global Village Inc., has refused to refund my monies even though the software was sent back to them. Don't buy this product. ... Read more

44. Abbyy FineReader 5.0 Pro OCR
list price: $99.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005B42L
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Abbyy USA
Sales Rank: 3302
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Review

For optical character recognition (OCR) software to be more effective than hiring a fast typist, it has to be very accurate. It also helps if it can recognize a range of languages. FineReader Pro 5.0 comes with support for more than a hundred languages, although it spell checks only around 25 of the more common ones. It also recognizes programming languages like Java and Pascal.

The quality of recognition of the English texts tested was high--selected texts, from magazines, newspapers, and printouts, required little editing. FineReader Pro 5.0 saves images from the source documents as well as text, recognizes formatting such as column breaks, and will recognize tables. You can send scanned material to the clipboard for pasting into any editor you choose, or send it directly to Microsoft Word, Lotus Word Pro, Corel WordPerfect, Sun StarWriter, or Microsoft Excel. It can also be sent straight to e-mail, or saved as HTML.

The more advanced points of FineReader Pro 5.0, such as fine-tuning scanning quality for optimum results and managing tables accurately, require a little practice to master, and the interface is a bit on the cluttered side. However, for standard OCR tasks, FineReader Pro 5.0 is a useful and efficient application. --Sandra Vogel ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome.
Not a term I use too often, but prior to getting my hands on Abbyy's FineReader 5.0 Pro I was always under the impression that OCR software was a joke; an opinion bolstered by mine and others' experience of applications like Text-Bridge. Not FineReader. This stuff is in its ability to convert scanned documents into text files that can then be formatted in your word-processor. With FineReader 5.0 Pro I can do what would take me over a week - assuming I didn't go loopy in the process of transcribing it - in under an hour; converting about 20,000.00 words worth, into a useable MS-Word or RTF file.

FineReader makes very few mistakes. Some worth mentioning are the following:

Text hyphenated in order to allow a word to wrap in the original: This will give word splits with optional-hyphen symbols that will have to taken out individually in your word-processor file.

Quotation marks will default to text-editor style without any left and right handing: This can be corrected globally in a given document by ( in MS- Word ) using the replace all function and entering the normal quotation marks in the find and replace boxes. This applies to both single and double quotes.

Text set in columns with cross-column footnotes will create a line or two of rubbish, but the columns will be successfully interpreted as a single one in your word-processor document, providing you remember to save the processed file without any formatting. I reckon you should save all processed files without retaining the original formatting to make life easier.

You can also output a processed file as a PDF and an HTML page. Be sure to consider the settings for these export options, otherwise you can end up with an enormous PDF or an HTML page that won't work in older browsers.

I would also encourage a user to dispense with all the Wizard toolbars and get familiar with the commands via the menu bar. This is a better and more flexible way to work, and potentially less confusing. And buy a decent scanner, too. Epson do good ones such as their perfection series.

If you want an OCR application that really works, get FineReader 5.0 Pro. You'll recoup its incredibly modest cost in one job.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Desktop OCR Product
After looking around the Internet for information on affordable PC desktop OCR products, it seemed clear to me that Abbyy's "FineReader 5.0 Pro" was probably the best product for my needs. I have not been disappointed. I read a lot of negative "press" about OCR capabilities in general and I was not impressed by the OCR software bundled with my Canon 620P Scanner. You should also keep in mind that this was my first experience with any kind of OCR software.

My immediate requirement was to translate a five year-old, 57 page document to MS Word, so that it could be updated. The source document was lost sometime in the past. As a consequence, no one was interested in starting "from scratch" to update the document. The survivng hardcopy of the document was produced by a laser printer in black and white on 8 1/2 by 11 plain paper. The content consisted of text, logos, graphics, and a number of simple tables.

It took me approximately 2.5 hours to scan the entire document and about 2 days, full time, to complete the project. This time estimate includes the time to get familiar with the program.

Without counting the total number of words in the document, I would estimate that FineReader was 99% accurate translating the text. The only place it had any difficulty was in procesing some of the section header numbers in the table of contents (TOC). For exampe, the program translated the image "8.x" to "&.x" in several instances and also confused "I"s and "1"s several times. Given the italicized font of the characters images and the errors are easy to understand. The few errors I did find were quickly identified and easily corrected manually in MS Word.

Tables took a little more manual work. FineReader's layout analysis logic had no problem identifying all of the tables, but, as noted in the software documentation, the program may not always be able to convert table cells with multiple lines of text and preserve the table row and column alignment of the orignal document. In my case, these problems were easy to fix using the column and row identifier tool provided in the software. Once I marked the location of rows and columns on the scanned image of the table, the tables were translated correctly, requiring only minor editing "touch-up" to align text in table cells to match the original document.

The only problem I have encountered with this software product was the result of the distribution package I received. Abbyy offers a "try and buy" distribution that consists of a 3.5" floppy diskette and a CD-ROM. The combination of media provides copy protection and is not problem unless, like me, you have a laptop PC that can support either a CD-ROM or a 3.5" floppy diskette, but not both at the same time. In short, I called Abbyy's technical support line and they told to return the floppy diskette and CD-ROM to them and they would send me a single CD-ROM. I isntalled and used the single CD-ROM I received from the vendor with no further problems.

The "message" is that you should make sure you understand which distribution of the software you are purchasing. The box did state, in the system requirements section, that the program required a 3.5" diskette and a CD-ROM drive. I did not deduce, however, that both devices were required concurrently.

The manual that came with my distribution was entirely adequate for my purposes, suffering only from the occasional grammatical problem common to many manuals for products developed in countries where English is not the native language. (FineReader was developed by Abbyy, a Russian company with headquarters in Moscow.)

I am an experienced computer user and typically install a new software product and then try to use it immediately without bothering to read the documentation. I believe you could take this approach with FineReader, but I recommend reading the documentation first, particularly, if, like me, you are not familiar with the basic flow of the OCR process. The manual isn't that long and you probably won't need to read all of it, to get enough information to starting using FineReader productively.

Because I am not an experienced OCR user, I am reluctant to say that this product will meet the needs of everyone or every job. I was delighted, however, with what the product was able to do for me. As I said at the beginning of my comments, I was not disappointed by Abbyy's "FineReader 5.0 Pro".

1-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous
ABBYY FIneReader 5.0 Home Edition is an exceptionally valuable, high quality product a very affordable price. This program is as accurate as any other I have tried, costing far more. It is as easy to use as any other OCR software package out there, and is just as accurate. When considering the price is below ...[undisclosed dollar amount], you cannot go wrong with this product. I quit using TextBridge and Omni Page after trying this product. Those other programs cost three to five times more, and provide no greater productivity. Best ...[undisclosed dollar amount]I have never spent on software.

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid product
This program is not perfect, but does a real good job most of the time. The interface is straight-forward and it is pretty fast. I would purchase this product again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome product...stinky customer support
I bought this software, primarily on the basis of the reviews on Amazon. It installed easily...and I should note that although I've used several scanning packages, this is the first one I've bought. The capabilities of the software are truely awesome...some real virtuousity is clearly evident. Tables and text scan easily and flawlessly into every kind of file I can think of. Amazing.

The problem I have with Finereader 5.0 Pro it is really two-fold. First, the manual is pathetic...nowhere would one discover how to use the product, much less what it is capable of delivering, if s/he relied on the manual. It just doesn't make sense and has loads of omissions. Second, the email support is literally useless...I don't really think there is anything but an email address at the other end... No response, at all. I was about 15 minutes from returning the whole box when I tried something completely illogical to change the scanner settings, when, Voila! The thing started working.

Whatever, you do...don't rely on the manual. A good technical writer with several weeks' experience with this package could earn this company a lot of grateful and loyal customers. Are you ABBYY guys listening? ... Read more

45. ScanSoft ACAD/GOVT PAPERPORT 10 US ENG ( 6809A-F00-10.0 )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006IJGXI
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Scansoft
Sales Rank: 12134
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

AE/GOVT PAPERPORT 10 DELUXE 10.0 ... Read more

46. Small Business Digital Power Pack
list price: $29.99
our price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008KDCU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Global Village, Inc.
Sales Rank: 7737
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

The Small Business Digital Power Pack is a collection of two software programs, Formulator and FineReader Sprint, designed to organize any office for the digital age. FineReader is an OCR-scanning program featuring full-color OCR and full layout retention, which enables you to turn your scanned documents into editable electronic files in seconds. FineReader can even recognize typographic texts in 53 languages. Formulator 2.5 is the perfect program to quickly convert your scanned forms to workable electronic versions from any kind of paper form. You can use any kind of form--expense, insurance, legal, medical, or office. Power Pack users may never again have to fill out a form by hand or retype a document. ... Read more


  • This double-shot of scanning software features FineReader 4.0 and Formulator 2.5
  • With FineReader 4.0 you can scan and save your important documents with a minimum of fuss and no errors
  • One-button scanning and recognition that saves results in. TXT or as a. RTF file
  • Unrecognized characters are highlighted in bold for manual alterations
  • Easy exporting into MS Word, WordPerfect, Excel and MS Office 2000

47. Novell Ed ACAD UPG OMNIPAGE PRO 14 OFFICE ( E789A-F00-14.0 )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00012ORFQ
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Novell Education
Sales Rank: 12603
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

OmniPage Pro Office - ( v. 14.0 ) - upgrade package - 1 user - EDU, GOV - CD - Win, English ... Read more

48. Abbyy Fine Reader 5.0 Pro

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005O69Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Global Marketing Partners
Sales Rank: 5431
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

Abbyy Fine Reader 5 Pro for Mac is optical recognition software developed especially for the Mac and includes many features, some unique to the Mac version of the software. Toolbars, icons, and dialog boxes are all designed to work seamlessly with the Mac OS Appearance Manager. All core Apple OS technologies are supported, including QuickTime, Apple Speech Recognition, AppleScript, Drag and Drop, and Navigation Services.

A built-in editor lets you edit the image layout manually. Edit recognized text while looking at an image of the source text in the Zoom window. The built-in spell checker will search text for misspelled words in mere seconds. Version 5 supports batch document processing, allowing you to save source images, batch options, and recognized texts in the same folder. The system supports direct launch from Microsoft Word and background recognition. You can also train the system to recognize new characters. ... Read more


  • Superior recognition quality with ABBYY's new IPA (Integrity, Purposefulness and Adaptability) technology
  • Full retention of source document layout including columns, tables, pictures, fonts, and more
  • Convert documents into Web pages with fast Internet publishing
  • Save documents in PDF format
  • Mac-like user-friendly interface

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars OCR alternative
... It scans fairly quick, has simple directions, and sends the pages to Claris Works. It picks up drawings well and is a really great OCR program. ... Read more

49. OmniPage Web 1.0

Asin: B00002S9WD
Catlog: Software
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

OmniPage Web is a fast and easy way to convert multipage documents into working Web sites. Using the award-winning OmniPage Pro OCR engine and the new Logical Structure Recognition (LSR) technology, OmniPage Web outlines your scanned document and creates a complete Web site with separate Web pages for each page, chapter, or section. ... Read more

50. I.R.I.S. Readiris Pro 9 Corporate Edition ( Windows )
list price: $399.99
our price: $349.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002DOXAI
Catlog: Software
Publisher: I.R.I.S.
Sales Rank: 10258
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


  • Perfectly reproduces your professional documents, preserving the correct columns of text, tables and graphics
  • Retypes all the text in a scanned document, and imports all formatting, for a perfect Digital copy
  • Extremely easy to use, thanks to the intuitive new interface
  • Multiple Output formats - create a document, spreadsheet, graph or PDF File with just a click
  • Ignore Exterior Area limits recognition zones for faster, easier scanning

51. Abbyy Finereader 5.0 Home Edition
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005O6A0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Global Marketing Partners
Sales Rank: 4537
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars It might have been the best ever !
But there was no product serial # in the box, on the CD, in the manual or on the CD jacket. Box had not been tampered with. I could not install it because the serial # is required for the installation let alone evaluate it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gives you a low-cost, high-performance OCR package
Abbyy's Home Edition follows the trend of software publishers to milk previous versions of their software, in this case, Abbyy's Finereader 5.0 (the current version for those with lots of money being 6). The OCR engine is solid, and the "1-button" interface is uncomplicated.

When it's time to move beyond the 1-button world, the product has a number of beyond-the-basic features, including the ability to manually identify regions of text, tables, and graphics. For much of today's complex and graphic-intensive layouts, you'll find yourself using this mode, if only to avoid annoying glitches such as parts of dense tables showing up as graphics
in the recognized file, or side-by-side columns becoming tables.

Home Edition handles both scanned files (...) and a wide range of graphic files that contain text. Fortunately, although the manual states that Home Edition recognizes only the first page of multi-page graphics files, that's not true -- all the pages of multi-page FAX TIFF files are recognized.

Recognition is good. For scans at normal resolution, 300 dpi, the total number of errors per page for a mix of type from 9 down to 7 points -- pretty small for OCR -- were the same as my old, 1999 Scansoft Textbridge Pro 8.0. However, the Home Edition errors were far easier to fix ("S" for "$" on small, 7-point type for AHE, less annoying to me than the strange concatentions or "wordifications" for TP8 (such as "Pap er" or "andPublish"). When the same material is scanned into Home Edition at 600 dpi (to add detail to the very small type), errors dropped to half that of Textbridge, which doesn't accept scans of this resolution.

A very difficult case, a second-generation FAX of a magazine article originally in tabloid and reduced to 8 1/2 x 11, was recognized surprisingly well with Home Edition, despite the fact that the type was fuzzy and 4-6 points in size -- and the bioprocessing subject matter had out-of-the-ordinary words. However, the 1-button process made tables of some of the columns, so manual marking of the original was needed.

I miss the ability to view the original scan during proof-reading in Textbrige (and the Abbyy higher-end products) -- as you move the cursor through the recognized document, these show you the same area of the scanned file. In Home Edition, you have to move between the scan and the recognized windows and find your own place. There's also no built-in spell-checker, an odd omission considering the low cost of licensing spellchecking code these days. Perhaps Abbyy is justifying the gap in pricing between Home Edition (less than[$$]) and the Professional line ([$$-$$] at the Abbyy site store). Versus the Pro Edition, Home Edition has 12 languages (121 for Pro); no pattern training for symbols; and no background or batch mode. There's apparently fewer options with HE's manual layout analysis than for the Pro Edition, but the HE options are just fine for most purposes.

Abbyy HE saves recognized text as ASCII TXT, Word, Excel, Word Pro and Word Perfect files, plus HTML and Adobe PDF. The good OCR engine, the ability to handle multiple types of graphics files, and to preserve graphics color, plus its straight-forward interface all make this a good product.

1-0 out of 5 stars Abbyy Finereader 5.0 Home Edition
This is an example of getting what you pay for. Maybe the Professional editions would work better I do not recommend buying the Home edition. The limited edition of Omipage that came with my scanner does a better job.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable accuracy!
I don't think there is a reader out there that can hold a candle to this program. The easiest to work with for ANYONE. You can scan all the pages and then proccess them or scan, read and spell check each as you go along. Then you simply tell it to put it in Word or your clipboard and it will put one or all the pages into one easy to use, or print format. Minimal mistakes, usually caused by poor scanning settings or dirty copy. I tried the try and buy program first and couldn't imagin being without it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Software
I bought a Lexmark X73 and I was just scanning some documents,then it said that the Abbyy Finereader 5.0 software came with it so I used it.The software let me correct things on my documents and other reports that were messed up.If you are looking for a software to correct reports or other documents I highly recommend Abbyy Finereader 5.0. ... Read more

52. ADOBE ACROBAT CAPTURE 3.0 ( 22101258 )
list price: $299.99
our price: $269.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AFWWL
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Adobe
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

53. Mimio WritingRecognition 2.0 CD OCR Software for Mimio & Flipchart
list price: $99.00
our price: $66.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005RFB2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: VIRTUAL INK
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

Mimio writingRecognition 2.0 software plug-in works with the mimio English-language whiteboard-capture system, a PC, or mimio flipChart to convert words written on a whiteboard or flip chart into text for documents. Using CalliGrapher from ParaGraph, this optional plug-in easily translates notes from print or cursive into standard text. After mimio captures the user's handwritten whiteboard or flip chart notes to their PC, writingRecognition converts them to ordinary text, ready to be edited, saved, or dropped into a Windows document.

With text-ordering and selection features, mimio writingRecognition 2.0 is more intuitive than ever. It converts notes into text in the same order as they appear on the board, so if a word is added later writingRecognition recognizes the position of the new item and inserts it into the correct text location. And with the new irregular selection tool, users can choose exactly which notes to convert to text, from a single letter to a large block of text. ... Read more

54. White Sands, Document and Digital Asset Management for Home and Small Office
list price: $279.95
our price: $257.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00061MIEE
Catlog: Software
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

55. FineReader 6.0 Professional OCR Upgrade

our price: $149.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006A6XR
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Abbyy USA
Sales Rank: 5575
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

A professional OCR program that satisfies even the most demanding user, FineReader Professional provides unsurpassed accuracy of text recognition, excellent layout retention, and unmatched productivity.

This latest version delivers significant improvements in word accuracy and format retention, new ease-of-use features, added saving options, plus PDF conversion. As a result, FineReader 6.0 Professional is the most advanced OCR software, empowering users to easily convert paper-based documents and scanned images into editable text with superior accuracy.

The Scan&Read wizard guides users through document recognition step by step, while a tutorial offers handy, professional tips. Batch document support provides you with the tools you need to work with multi-page documents. Commands such as Read, Rotate, Locate blocks, Despeckle, and Save can all be applied universally, with control maintained through thumbnail diagnostic icons. You can even add your own comments to a page. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Softwar - Buy The Upgrade
This package works extremely smoothly and accurately. The way it is priced is confusing however (more below). FineReader is not only easy to use and accurate, coping with curved lines of text coming from scanned book pages, recognizing tables, fonts and preserving layout of the scanned image, but it also organizes your work, saves images in batches, and keeps track of which image you have proofread, modified and saved. While you're proofreading you can see the part of the image about which there are questions. After the briefest of practice sessions I dove into a 700-page project and it went totally smoothly. The Abbyy website also offers you a fully functional free trial version that you can download.

Regarding price, if you have any -- that is any -- OCR software already installed on your computer -- such as came with your scanner, the Abbyy website informs you that you are entitled to the "upgrade" version of this package, which costs only half as much as the "full" version! I had thought that "upgrade" was only useful for those with previous versions of FineReader, but this is not the case. I wonder how many people have paid the extra $...not knowing this fact.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very much the best overall
I do a great deal of OCR in my research and have scanned thousands of pages each with OmniPage Pro 12 (OP12) and FineReader 6 (FR6). I have also made extensive use of previous versions of both programs. I am happy to have both, because they excel at different things. For my work, however, if I had to choose just one it would have to be FR6. Others might have different preferences depending on what they do and what their equipment and software are.

The bulk of my scanning/OCR involves academic articles and historical materials. For the most part I produce PDF files, although I also scan some tables to produce spreadsheets and do some scanning to Word files. Depending on the quality of the original and my precise purpose I may make a PDF with an image and hidden text, an OCR text file, or an OCR text file with images of uncertain words. I use an HP 7450 scanner connected to a Windows 2000 system with a 1.8 GHz P4 processor and 512 MB of RAM.

For my purposes, OP12's outstanding feature is the quality of its grayscale and color scans. In fact, I even sometimes use it to produce images for processing by FR6. Generally speaking, the PDF image files produced by OP12 seem to run about 80% smaller than those that FR6 produces for equal text quality -- and better rendition of photos! This is not true for black-and-white (1 bit) files, where FR6 seems to have a slight edge. But when the material calls for image output I usually click on OP12.

OCR is another story, for several reasons. First of all, when the going gets tough, OP12 quits in a huff. It will suddenly crash no warning whatever. This seems to be OCR-related, but if it happens while scanning the chances of recovering your already-scanned work are poor. For this reason, I always scan and recognize separately with OP12, since then the crashes usually do not corrupt the scanned images. Depending on the complexity of the material, I may get a crash anywhere from one in every 20 to one in 100 pages.

Naturally, separate scanning and recognition slows the process down. On top of that, OP12 is very slow to start with, at least with "only" a 1.8GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM and all other applications closed. When I need fast results or cannot tolerate crashes I use FR6, which is distinctly faster and seems nearly bulletproof.

Moreover, when accuracy of scanning counts, OP12 is next to useless for my purposes. That's because it is very weak on anything but straight text. Superscripts all look like quotation marks to it and subscripts all come out as commas. It is also very poor with any sort of special symbols or equations. Nor is there any way to correct these mistakes in the editing process -- you're forced to edit the PDFs with Adobe Acrobat, a very slow and laborious process. If you have material with as many superscripts, subscripts, and special symbols as the typical academic article, it is really faster to retype it than to try to do it with OP12. FR6, by contrast, gives reasonably good accuracy with such material and makes it easy to correct the mistakes that do crop up.

In a surprising number of cases, OP12 will rotate the page so that the text is not upright and then proceed "recognize" it as garbage. FR6 is not immune to this, but does it significantly less often.

FR6 is sometimes wrong but never in doubt -- it has never reported being unable to complete OCR of a page, no matter how complex. OP12 is easily confused, especially when the page mixes text and tables, and then insists that you manually zone the page before it will proceed.

Both programs offer an "auto-special" completely automatic mode that will do a decent job on simple material (assuming that OP12 doesn't crash in the middle). When you need to customize settings, however, FR6 offers more range of choices. It also offers more flexibility in correcting recognition errors and in manual zoning, should that be necessary.

Surprisingly for a version 12, OP12 has a great many glitches, bugs, oddities, and time-wasting annoyances that make it seem more like an early beta. About 20% of the PDFs it produces are unreadable -- it's important always to check. The early FineReader versions were extremely rough, but FR6 is a very stable and finished product.

As I say, I don't regret the money I've spent on either of them. However, FR6 is more generally useful, faster, and trouble-free -- and significantly cheaper. If the maker of FR6, ABBYY, would fix their scanning (something I've suggested to them several times) it would clearly be the preferable program. As things are, OP12 fills some needs better.

Will O'Neil

1-0 out of 5 stars dissapointing PDF
I bought this product after talking to one of the Abbyy reps at a trade show in Las Vegas. My primary reason for buying was to turn documents into PDF files for repository storage. I also wanted to take some of my stored PDF documents and edit them in MS Word....conversion into PDF was ok (words were right, formatting was screwed up) but converting PDF into word was horrible....worked nothing like the demo they showed me

5-0 out of 5 stars FineReader 6.0 - Best OCR software
FineReader Pro 6.0, which I have run on Windows XP since March, is best of breed in batch processing, scanning, page analysis, OCR, editing, saving, stability, documentation, and customer service.

Batch: named set of pages processed together. Set the options once, and leave most of them, creating a new batch for a different set of options for resolution, patterns, etc.

Thumbnails are on the left, with page state indicators. Selected pages can be renumbered, saved, or deleted. Clicking a thumbnail opens the image, text, or both, each with its own zoom factor. A zoom pane shows a highly magnified view of the position.

FineReader supports PDF, BMP, JPEG, PCX, DCX, TIFF, and PNG image files. They are added to a batch by opening within FineReader, or by dropping one or more of them on a FineReader Window.

I set the scanning options to use the FineReader interface, which is much easier to use than the HP Precision Scan Pro interface.

FineReader scans single or multiple images at the click of a button. It deskews, orients, and despeckles images. If prompting for page number is selected, the user can specify the first page number, direction, and continuous or skip for a set of pages dropped on FineReader or scanned. A stack of two-sided pages can be placed in the ADF, scanned forward with skip, turned over, and scanned backward with skip to get all the pages in the proper order.

A batch is usually saved to different files, a few pages at a time, and I often save recognized pages in the batch that is currently doing background scanning and OCRing.

If the ADF is empty the user is prompted without stopping the background tasks. I can place a single page in the flat bed, a stack in the ADF, or cancel the scan. To scan multiple odd sized pages in the flat bed, uncheck the ADF option, and set the time between scans. Scanning the flat bed will continue until the Scan button is toggled.

Multiple instances of FineReader run concurrently. While one instance is scanning documents in the ADF and recognizing the scanned pages in a background thread, I edit and save previously recognized pages of another batch. There is little to do beyond feeding the ADF and starting Save operations, and the CPU is 100% busy whenever I have many pages in the ADF. I set FineReader's priority low, so other applications remain responsive.

FineReader shines for OCR. When I first started using FineReader 4.0, I compared it against Textbridge and Adobe Acrobat, and found that FineReader made very few recognition errors compared to the others. FineReader Pro 5.0 made very few recognition errors compared to 4.0 and compared to ReadIris Pro 7. For example, difficult letters like i, m, t were missed in FineReader 4.0 and rarely missed in 5.0. FineReader Pro 6.0 makes still fewer errors.

FineReader's recognition process has two parts: layout analysis, and character recognition. With the background recognition task, both parts are done automatically as pages are scanned or dropped. Even while background recognition is going on for new pages, manual layout can be done for other pages. Text, Table, and Picture blocks can be resized and reshaped. Blocks can be added or deleted. Block types can be changed. Deleting a block removes it from the saved output; changing to a picture block puts the image in the output, with no recognized text. Neither action requires re-recognizing the block, so, when I would rather have an image of a block than recognized text, I can quickly switch to a picture block.

Automatic layout analysis is usually accurate, but sometimes pages with hand-written information need to be adjusted so that all the handwriting is in picture blocks.

OCR errors take two forms: incompletely recognized characters, which may be recognized rightly or wrongly, and incorrectly completely recognized characters. FineReader 6.0 has almost no incorrectly completely recognized characters, and allows the few that slip past to be edited. FineReader 5.0 had quite a few more, and did not allow such errors to be edited and saved in PDFs, so I had ended up saving many more results in Image over Text format than I would have otherwise.

Pattern training is usually not necessary. It only becomes useful for highly unusual fonts, or for large sets of documents that can all be scanned with the same resolution and that contain the same few unusual fonts.

User patterns can be named and are saved with batches. When pattern training is selected, recognition stops at each uncertain character. The user can confirm, change, or skip. Character attributes, such as superscript, can be set.

FineReader 5.0 did not preserve the page layout during text editing, and did not allow completely recognized words to be edited. Both these problems have been corrected in 6.0.

A spell check box displays the word image in context, with wider context in the zoom window, and choices for resolution: accept; Add the word to the dictionary; Confirm the changes; skip.

Results can be saved as DOC, RTF, PDF, HTML, CSV, TXT, XLS, or DBF files, and various formatting options are supported. PDF formats are Text and pictures only, Page Image Only, Text over the page image, Text under the page image, with optional images instead of incompletely recognized text. Maximum resolution and JPEG quality can by specified.

FineReader is stable. It continues from where it left off when a jam is cleared. It does not get GPFs; it does not hang. If a TWAIN driver is cancelled, FR6 recovers gracefully, and reinitializes the TWAIN driver. There are never problems with task synchronization. The current state is always saved to disk, so that even a power failure does not cause loss of data.

FineReader's Help is excellent, well organized and complete, with an excellent search facility.

I deal with Abbyy Customer Support by email. I have had few problems, several questions, and many suggestions for product enhancements. I always get prompt, courteous, useful responses, and quick fixes for problems. ... Read more

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OmniPage Pro Office - ( v. 14.0 ) - complete package - 1 user - EDU, GOV - CD - Win, English ... Read more

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