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Top OCR Software
Software - In Depth
Written by Jenny Curtis   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010

From the many OCR software applications available on the market, users can choose the one which suits their needs best. Today OCR technology is far more advanced than it was only a few years ago. From the wide variety of OCR software, we have picked several leading solutions which provide higher accuracy, greater speed and good page layout reconstruction.

 

As there is a growing need to go paperless and digitize the company’s information, all businesses are presented with the task of selecting the right OCR software. So, if your desk is piled up with paper, it is time to use one of these applications.


ABBYY FineReader 10 Professional stands out with its unmatched accuracy and extended language support. The solution recognizes 186 languages, including Latin and Cyrillic languages, Armenian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Hebrew, and Korean. It also includes a number of advanced features – digital camera OCR, barcode recognition, command line integration and image enhancement. ABBYY’s technology delivers intelligent recreation of the document layout and structure – FineReader reproduces all headers and footers, tables of contents, diagrams and font styles. ABBYY FineReader 10 Professional is the clear choice for users who would like to save time from correcting mistakes in the processed files. The cons of the application are slower processing speed and higher price in comparison to other OCR software.


OmniPage Professional 17 is a fast, accurate and very convenient application. It offers many advanced features, including a Microsoft Word toolbar which lets users perform OCR tasks with a single click, Digital Camera 3DC technology that automatically corrects any distortions of images taken with a digital camera, as well as collection of data from forms. OmniPage Pro 17 also includes PaperPort 11, a desktop document management software. Automatically detects Asian languages, which makes it perfect for documents which contain mixed languages. Cons: Slower and more expensive than Readiris.


Readiris 12 Corporate offers very high accuracy and a number of advanced capabilities. The software recognizes 128 languages and features business card recognition, extended PDF support and boasts hand-printed notes recognition, which enables users to transform notes into editable text. Readiris 12 also features advanced recognition of tables. Choose Readiris 12 Corporate if you are looking for streamline OCR processing at a significantly lower cost. Drawbacks: not very accurate in processing handwritten texts and does not include editing features which makes it quite unsuitable for processing low-quality scanned documents which need many corrections. The software produces slightly less accurate recognition results than FineReader and OmniPage, and is less efficient in reproducing documents with complex layouts.


TypeReader Desktop 7.0 does not offer as high accuracy or as many advanced features as the above applications but deserves its place in our list since it is by far the fastest software on the market. It performs conversion at speed of 8,000 pages per hour at maximum reliability. If perfect results are not a must, and you have tons of paper to process, TypeReader is the right solution for you.

 

Adobe Acrobat - Although Adobe added OCR functionality to their Acrobat software, most users still are not aware that Acrobat can convert scanned documents to editable text too. In our tests we have found that Acrobat produces pretty accurate results and it tends to perform better with sanserif fonts. It did not do that well with lower resolution scans. It's has limited abilities when it comes to recognize layout elements like tables, headers, columns, etc. But then again Acrobat's primary purpose is to create searchable PDF files and it performs pretty well.


Kofax Desktop 2.0 -
Kofax is a provider of business document processing solutions, such as process management and analytics software. For their solutions Kofax have developed their own OCR engine. One of the strongest sides of Kofax is it's table detection functionality. The OCR produces good results, provided the scanned images are of sufficient resolution. It detects fonts, sizes and colors as well as the page layout. The software can export the data to Word, Excel, SharePoint, searchable PDF in more than 50 languages. The software is specifically designed to connect with a scanner and adjust scan settings for optimal results. An additional feature is that it can recognize bar codes.


SmartOCR -
SmartOCR is an open source OCR engine, which runs on Windows and Linux. The OCR processing is based on histogram analysis. It can detect font type, size, and color and some layout elements such as tables and columns. The engine showed best results with high resolution images.


LEADTOOLS -
LEADTOOLS is an OCR engine by LEAD Technologies, a provider of imaging tool kits. It allows dealing with all the popular image formats and the ability to do extensive image processing. It supports a large set of document formats for saving the OCR results.  The OCR engine can recognize 40 character sets and 46 languages. It claims to be able to read handwritten text by ICR, but we have not been able to achieve satisfactory results. The software features built in spell checking and dictionary. It can detect multiple languages on the same page. LEADTOOLS works on Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.


Top OCR Software Advanced Features

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