At a Glance
- Excellent OCR results, full PDF support, extensive image support
- Interface occasionally clunky
OCR doesn’t get much better or easier than it does with this program.
ABBYY FineReader 10 Professional Edition has some interface
flaws, but there’s no arguing the quality of its OCR, i.e. turning
scanned images into editable digital documents. And since it does
what it does so well, I’ll give it a pass on how it gets there. At
$400, it’s pricey–though $50 cheaper than Adobe Acrobat X Pro.
ABBYY FinePrint Reader Pro’s main window consists of a column in
which you see thumbnails of scanned documents, then two panes for
larger previews of the current page and its OCR’d or in ABBYY’s
terms, “read” version.
There’s a main toolbar for file and other basic operations
across the top of the main window; however, I immediately got rid
of it as the icons were overly large and there’s no way to make
them smaller. The edit toolbar was of manageable size. Fortunately,
the language and concepts are easy to decipher so the program is
largely easy to learn and use.
FineReader 10 Professional Edition can open PDFs and a wide
variety of image types for OCR, or scan documents directly with a
TWAIN- or WIA-compliant scanner. It also has a number of image
processing features such as cropping, noise removal, orientation
correction, etc. The program saves to PDF (plain, editable, and
searchable), .RTF, .CSV, .HTML, as well as a number of Microsoft
I tried OCR’ing several documents: a few with graphics, some
straight newsletters, and a handful of book pages. The OCR was
nearly 100% accurate, with only a small number of minor formatting
errors. Anything the program is less than certain of will be
highlighted, but even most of the highlighted sections were fine.
Elements such as images and lines were all recreated and to be
blunt, FineReader 10 Pro does the best job by a long shot
recreating mixed-element documents of any OCR program I’m aware
of–online or otherwise. FineReader 10 Pro doesn’t do handwriting
recognition, but no other OCR product does, either.
Despite its somewhat clunky interface, ABBYY FineReader 10 Pro
is easy enough to use–and there’s no arguing with the results.
Variations of FineReader come bundled with many scanners and MFP,
so you may already have it. If not, look for it as part of your
product research if you plan on doing OCR. The demo is good for 15
days or 50 single page scans, whichever comes first.