For years now, our undisputed Editor’s Choice for the best-in-class optical character reading software has become ABBYY FineReader. The revamped new edition, ABBYY FineReader 14, is really a top-notch OCR app that adds document-comparison features which you cannot find somewhere 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 two different formats, to help you compare a Word file to some PDF version of the identical file and discover which of the two provides the latest revisions. It’s truly terrific.
What You’ll Pay
Inside my writing and editing work, I’ve used Abbyy Finereader so long as I could remember, and one reason I work mostly in Windows and never on a Mac is the fact ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac version is less powerful than ABBYY FineReader 14 for Windows. With this review, I tested the $399.99 ABBYY FineReader 14 Corporate edition. A $199.99 (upgrade price $129.99) Standard version has each of the OCR and PDF-editing highlights of Corporate, but lacks the document-compare component and doesn’t range from the Hot Folder feature that automatically creates PDF files from documents or images saved to the folder.
For many users, the conventional version will be more than enough, however the document-comparison feature alone could be really worth the extra price for the Corporate app. The prices, incidentally, are perpetual, without annoying subscription model like Adobe’s required.
You’ll typically use an OCR app to transform scanned images of printed text into either an editable Word document or perhaps a searchable PDF file. Given that every smartphone takes high-resolution photos, you don’t even require a scanner to produce images that you could turn into editable documents or PDFs, however your OCR software needs so that you can work together with skewed and otherwise irregular photos along with high-quality scans. FineReader has always excelled at cleaning imperfect images, but version 14 seems a lot more impressive than earlier versions. Once I used my phone to consider photos of two-page spreads in a book, FineReader effortlessly split the photos into single-page images, unskewed the pictures to ensure that text lines are horizontal, and recognized the text with often perfect accuracy.
FineReader hides its myriad advanced features behind straightforward beginner-level menus, however the advanced alternatives are easily accessible to advanced users from the toolbar and menu. When you begin 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 cabability to combine multiple files right into a single PDF, Word, or Excel file. A second menu lists choices to scan to FineReader’s OCR Editor or directly to PDF, Word, Excel, or several other image, document, and publishing formats. One third menu opens FineReader’s separate compare-documents app. This menu method is more than enough to achieve most standard OCR and file-conversion tasks, as well as the Windows 10-style interface is probably 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 much simpler to perform tasks like utilizing a developer certificate to sign a document. FineReader’s search feature has conveniences that Adobe doesn’t match, such as the capability to highlight or underline all instances of a search string. You can also switch on the convenient redaction mode that allows you to blank out any text or region in a document just by deciding on a region having a mouse, clicking, and moving on to the next.
On the other hand, 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 at the left of any full-size image, however the layout is exceptionally clear, and all of icons are labeled. A new background OCR feature means available started editing a PDF prior to the app has completed its text-recognition operations.
FineReader’s unique powers are best shown 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 certain to produce either outright errors, or readings in which the OCR software can’t ensure in the original text and makes a best guess of the items 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 each one of these subsequently-and its superb keyboard interface lets you confirm a doubtful reading with one keystroke or correct it with two or three keystrokes, typically choosing the proper reading from the list that this program offers. This type of djlrfs work normally strains your hand muscles when you maneuver the mouse, but FineReader’s thoughtful design reduces strain with an absolute minimum. Another plus, for most law and government offices that also use WordPerfect for creating documents, FineReader can export OCR output directly to WordPerfect without making you save first inside an intermediate format like RTF.
All things in FineReader seems created to reduce needless operations. Once you do the installation, it adds a Screenshot Reader app in your taskbar icons. This works such as a superpowered version of Windows’ built in Snipping Tool. I personally use it to capture the written text when an on-screen image shows a picture of some text but doesn’t permit me to select the text itself-for example, 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 written text I wish to capture, and after that wait another or two while FineReader performs OCR on the image and sends the text for the Clipboard. Options in the app let me select a table or simply just capture an image to the Clipboard. They also let me send the output right to Microsoft Word or some other app as opposed to towards the Clipboard. There’s little else on the market that’s remotely as powerful and efficient at capturing text from your screen.