For a long time now, our undisputed Editor’s Choice to get the best-in-class optical character reading software has been ABBYY FineReader. The revamped new edition, ABBYY FineReader 14, is a high quality OCR application that adds document-comparison features that you can’t find elsewhere and new PDF-editing features that rival the advanced feature placed in Adobe Acrobat DC. FineReader 14 is additionally the most effective document-comparison productivity application I’ve ever seen, having the ability to compare documents in 2 different formats, so you can compare a Word file to some PDF version the exact same file and find out which of the two has the latest revisions. It’s truly terrific.
What You’ll Pay
In my writing and editing work, I’ve relied on Abbyy Finereader for as long as I will remember, and something reason I work mostly in Windows rather than on the 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 of 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 towards the folder.
For the majority of users, the Standard version may well be more than enough, nevertheless the document-comparison feature alone may be worth the extra price for your Corporate app. The values, anyway, are perpetual, with no annoying subscription model like Adobe’s required.
You’ll typically make use of an OCR app to transform scanned images of printed text into either an editable Word document or even a searchable PDF file. Now that every smartphone takes high-resolution photos, you don’t even require a scanner to create images that you could become editable documents or PDFs, but your OCR software needs in order to work together with skewed and otherwise irregular photos along with high-quality scans. FineReader has always excelled at cleaning up imperfect images, but version 14 seems a lot 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 photos in order that text line is horizontal, and recognized the written text with often perfect accuracy.
FineReader hides its myriad advanced features behind straightforward beginner-level menus, however the advanced options are easily accessible to advanced users from a toolbar and menu. When you start in the app, it displays a spacious menu listing a half-dozen tasks: viewing and editing a current PDF file; performing advanced OCR tasks in a PDF file; and converting standard document formats to PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or electronic publication formats, such as ePub and DjVu. Conversion options include the ability 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 many other image, document, and publishing formats. One third menu opens FineReader’s separate compare-documents app. This menu product is more than sufficient to achieve most standard OCR and file-conversion tasks, as well as the Windows 10-style interface is one of the clearest I’ve seen.
For basic PDF editing, FineReader includes a clearer and a lot more modern interface than Adobe Acrobat, and makes it easier to perform tasks like employing a developer certificate to sign a document. FineReader’s search feature has conveniences that Adobe doesn’t match, including the capacity to highlight or underline all cases of searching string. You may also switch on a convenient redaction mode that lets you blank out any text or region in a document by simply selecting a region having a mouse, clicking, and moving onto the next.
On the contrary, ABBYY doesn’t include Acrobat’s full-text indexing feature that will make searching almost instantaneous in large documents. FineReader’s interface uses the familiar sidebar of thumbnails or bookmarks on the left of any full-size image, nevertheless the layout is exceptionally clear, and all sorts of icons are labeled. A brand new background OCR feature means available started editing a PDF before the app has completed its text-recognition operations.
FineReader’s unique powers are most evident in the OCR editor, an efficient tool for checking its OCR output and correcting recognition errors. Scanned images of old books, crumpled paper, or marked-up pages are almost sure to produce either outright errors, or readings where the OCR software can’t ensure from the original text and creates a best guess of the things was on the page. FineReader’s OCR editor works just like a high-powered spelling checker in a word-processor, quickly trawling through doubtful OCR readings when you confirm or correct each one of these consequently-along with its superb keyboard interface enables you to confirm a doubtful reading with one keystroke or correct it with several keystrokes, typically choosing the proper reading coming from a list that the program offers. This sort of djlrfs work normally strains your hand muscles as 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 right to WordPerfect without making you save first inside an intermediate format like RTF.
Everything in FineReader seems designed to reduce needless operations. When you set it up, it adds a Screenshot Reader app for your taskbar icons. This works just like a superpowered version of Windows’ built-in Snipping Tool. I use it to capture the text when an on-screen image shows an image of some text but doesn’t let me choose the text itself-for instance, a graphic of any page in Google Books or Amazon’s Look Inside feature. I launch the Screenshot Reader app, drag the mouse to frame the words I wish to capture, and after that wait an additional or two while FineReader performs OCR on the image and sends the words for the Clipboard. Options inside the app let me decide on a table or simply capture a graphic towards the Clipboard. They also allow me to send the output right to Microsoft Word or some other app as opposed to for the Clipboard. There’s little else available that’s remotely as powerful and efficient at capturing text through the screen.