Emails and digital files may have taken over great part of our daily tasks, but there are still many documents available on paper. These include official certificates, newspapers, magazines and books and while in some cases paper is still a necessity, the convenience of digital documents cannot be denied. Thanks to Optical Character Reading software or OCR, it is possible to turn a paper document into a digital one. This will allow you to share, search and even edit printed documents and scanned PDF images easily.
OCR is a practical software that gives you the option of storing digital versions of your paper documents. You can scan diplomas, certificates, cards and other forms and use the OCR software to create PDF files that you can search through. These files will show a scanned image of the printed document, in addition to text that can be copied from the PDF and pasted into other applications.
OCR also allows you to convert printed documents into Excel, PDF or Word documents that can be edited. This is very convenient when you need to reuse to an old document for which you only have a printed version. If you have documents from the typewriter era that have useful information that you would like to update, OCR is a great solution. Some programs also offer the option of converting printed text into HTML files that can be viewed in a browser.
What To Consider Before Getting OCR Software
When choosing an OCR software, it is important to consider that there are different options in terms of performance. It may run automatically, which means that you would only need to click a button to start the file conversion process. You will not have access to customization options, but many users would prefer this simple approach. On the other hand, you may want to intervene in the process and this is when an application that runs interactively would be the best option. This would enable you to enhance the image, edit or remove certain parts or modify the layout of the output document.
Many OCR applications offer both options and you can decide if you prefer to let the software do all the work, or if you want to interact with the tool to make sure that the end result is exactly what you need. Before choosing your OCR software, keep in mind what functionality suits you best and if you prefer to have both, make sure that the tool supports them.
It is also important to look for OCR that offers a solid character-recognition engine. This is the crucial aspect that ensures that images are converted to text accurately. The best OCR software offers a strong character-recognition that performs well consistently, providing clear text whenever you transform a printed document into a digital file. Top quality OCR applications do not come cheap, but they are a crucial investment when you require a high level of accuracy in document conversion.
While there are low-priced programs and even free online solutions that would suit individual, choosing a good OCR software is fundamental for companies that need to convert large volumes of documents and that expect the best recognition results. The below OCR programs are highly recommended, thanks to their powerful features, professional interface and optimal character recognition technology.
This OCR solution that was developed towards the end of the 1980s, has managed to keep up with the times and in its Ultimate version, it offers advanced technology and solid features. The software is aimed at corporate environments, in which its advanced automation options will be very beneficial for large scale OCR tasks. In spite of its complex and at times unstable interface, this OCR software is amongst the best options available thanks to its wide range of functions. It is available for $499.99 USD.
ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac
ABBYY is recognized for offering powerful OCR solutions that combine incredible precision and a clear interface. The FineReader Pro for Mac is a considerable improvement from the company’s previous Express Edition, as it offers higher accuracy and exact formatting. It also supports 18 new languages, including Thai, Arabic and Hebrew. ABBY FineReader Pro for Mac offers a strong selection of features that make the OCR process simple and effective. You can get it for $112 USD.
ABBYY FineReader 12 Professional
ABBYY’s effective and solid character recognition guarantees accurate document conversion. It allows you to transform paper and image documents into editable formats such as Word, Excel or searchable PDF. With ABBY you can also reuse and store documents efficiently and conveniently. ABBY FineReader 12 Professional is the Windows compatible options that offers the same high technology of FineReader Pro for Mac and supports almost 200 languages. It can be yours for $163 USD.
Prizmo for Mac
Prizmo works as a scanning solution and it ideal for capturing images and extracting text from them. It also integrates advanced OCR features and at $49.95, it is one of the most affordable programs available. Prizmo is a suitable option for anyone that wants a solid and convenient application for converting documents at a reasonable price. While it is not as powerful and accurate as other applications, It offers good image adjustment functions and works well on iPhone photos.