For many years now, our undisputed Editor’s Choice for the best-in-class optical character reading software continues to be ABBYY FineReader. The revamped new edition, ABBYY FineReader 14, is a high quality OCR application that adds document-comparison features which you can’t find anywhere else and new PDF-editing features that rival the advanced feature set in Adobe Acrobat DC. FineReader 14 is additionally the very best document-comparison productivity app I’ve experienced, having the ability to compare documents in 2 different formats, to help you compare a Word file to a PDF version the exact same file and discover which of these two has the latest revisions. It’s truly terrific.
What You’ll Pay
Inside my writing and editing work, I’ve relied on Fine Reader so long as I will remember, and something reason I work mostly in Windows rather than over a Mac is the fact that ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac version is a lot less powerful than ABBYY FineReader 14 for Windows. For this particular review, I tested the $399.99 ABBYY FineReader 14 Corporate edition. A $199.99 (upgrade price $129.99) Standard version has all the OCR and PDF-editing highlights of Corporate, but lacks the document-compare component and doesn’t include the Hot Folder feature that automatically creates PDF files from documents or images saved for the folder.
For the majority of users, the conventional version may well be more than enough, nevertheless the document-comparison feature alone may be well worth the extra price for your Corporate app. The prices, incidentally, are perpetual, without annoying subscription model like Adobe’s required.
You’ll typically use an OCR app to convert scanned images of printed text into either an editable Word document or a searchable PDF file. Given that every smartphone takes high-resolution photos, you don’t even need to have a scanner to create images that one could become editable documents or PDFs, however your OCR software needs in order to work together with skewed and otherwise irregular photos as well as high-quality scans. FineReader has always excelled at clearing up imperfect images, but version 14 seems even more impressive than earlier versions. When I used my phone to take photos of two-page spreads in a book, FineReader effortlessly split the photos into single-page images, unskewed the images so that text lines are horizontal, and recognized the words with often perfect accuracy.
FineReader hides its myriad advanced features behind straightforward beginner-level menus, but the advanced alternatives are easily accessible to advanced users coming from a toolbar and menu. When you begin up the app, it displays a spacious menu listing a half-dozen tasks: viewing and editing a preexisting PDF file; performing advanced OCR tasks in a PDF file; and converting standard document formats to PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or electronic publication formats, like ePub and DjVu. Conversion options include the cabability to combine multiple files in to a single PDF, Word, or Excel file. Another menu lists choices to scan to FineReader’s OCR Editor or right to PDF, Word, Excel, or even to several other image, document, and publishing formats. A third menu opens FineReader’s separate compare-documents app. This menu system is ample to accomplish most standard OCR and file-conversion tasks, and also the Windows 10-style interface is probably the clearest I’ve seen.
For basic PDF editing, FineReader has a clearer and a lot more modern interface than Adobe Acrobat, and makes it easier to execute tasks like using a developer certificate to sign a document. FineReader’s search feature has conveniences that Adobe doesn’t match, like the capability to highlight or underline all instances of searching string. You may also switch on a convenient redaction mode that permits you to blank out any text or region in a document by simply deciding on a region with a mouse, clicking, and moving onto the next.
On the contrary, ABBYY doesn’t include Acrobat’s full-text indexing feature that may make searching almost instantaneous in large documents. FineReader’s interface uses the familiar sidebar of thumbnails or bookmarks in the left of the full-size image, but the layout is exceptionally clear, and all of icons are labeled. A brand new background OCR feature means that exist started editing a PDF prior to the app has completed its text-recognition operations.
FineReader’s unique powers are most evident in its OCR editor, an effective tool for checking its OCR output and correcting recognition errors. Scanned images of old books, crumpled paper, or marked-up pages are almost guaranteed to produce either outright errors, or readings where OCR software can’t ensure in the original text and creates a best guess of the things was on the page. FineReader’s OCR editor works like a high-powered spelling checker in a word-processor, quickly trawling through doubtful OCR readings when you confirm or correct every one subsequently-along with its superb keyboard interface lets you confirm a doubtful reading with one keystroke or correct it with 2 or 3 keystrokes, typically choosing the proper reading from a list that this program offers. This kind of djlrfs work normally strains your hand muscles while you maneuver the mouse, but FineReader’s thoughtful design reduces strain with an absolute minimum. An additional plus, for many law and government offices that still use WordPerfect for creating documents, FineReader can export OCR output directly to WordPerfect without leading you to save first within an intermediate format like RTF.
All things in FineReader seems designed to reduce needless operations. When you set it up, it adds a Screenshot Reader app to your taskbar icons. This works such as a superpowered version of Windows’ built in Snipping Tool. I prefer it to capture the written text when an on-screen image shows a photo of some text but doesn’t permit me to select the text itself-for instance, a picture of a page in the search engines Books or Amazon’s Look Inside feature. I start-up the Screenshot Reader app, drag the mouse to frame the words I would like to capture, and after that wait a second or two while FineReader performs OCR on the image and sends the written text for the Clipboard. Options inside the app allow me to decide on a table or simply capture a graphic for the Clipboard. In addition they allow me to send the output right to Microsoft Word or some other app rather than towards the Clipboard. There’s hardly anything else out there that’s remotely as powerful and efficient at capturing text from your screen.