OCR Software, All You Need To Know
What is OCR Software?
OCR, known in full as Optical Character Recognition, is an exciting and fairly new technology that can convert various types of documents such as PDF files, captured camera images, and scanned paper documents into an editable format.
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Where is it used?
In a case where you have paper documents such as a PDF contract, brochure or magazine article sent by email, you can use OCR technology to convert it into an editable document.
How is it different from a Scanner?
Scanner only converts a physical document into an image which is also referred to as raster image.
OCR, on the other hand, is required post scanning to convert the raster image into an editable document. OCR software will isolate letters in an image and convert them into words, which can be edited and repurposed.
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How is OCR Software Used?
The process of using OCR software is actually very simple and comprises of 3 basic stages. The specifics may vary from different OCR program but more or less involve the following basic methods:
- Opening/scanning document
- Saving the document in a range of formats (RTF, PDF, XLS, DOC, TXT, or HTML.) Alternatively, the document can be exported directly to the most convenient Office application such as Ms Word, Adobe PDF format or Excel
Modern OCS software can also run on automatic modes which come in handy when you are carrying out routine tasks on a regular basis. This saves time as you do not have to manually supervise the above tasks.
What to consider in the purchase of OCS Software
Many who would like to purchase OCR software wonder price is a reflection on the quality of the tool. This is a very valid question. OCR tools are available in a wide price range and usually, the more expensive ones are also more effective. But, you would also like to consider the period over which you will use the software. For instance, if you need the tool to convert just a few scanned or raster images, you can buy the OCR available on a monthly subscription. This way you will only have to pay for a month and cancel the subscription when you don’t need it. In case you need to use it for a longer or indefinite period, you may buy the OCR software available on a one-time purchase. They are usually costlier but save you money in long run.
OCR tools offer a diverse range of features as well. But, you may not need all the features, especially when you have simple documents to convert.
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LIST OF TOP 9 OCR TOOLS
The most impressive feature of this software is its ability to detect, recognize and convert different languages. Furthermore, it has the ability to save files in the eBook format.
It is one of the best OCR applications available simply because it ensures originality is maintained in color, font and layout.
The makers of OmniPage, Nuance made 2 versions to cater to different needs. The Standard package is meant for small and start-up companies. The Professional package is suited to companies that do bulk scanning and printing operations.
2. Acrobat DC
This is the newest version of Adobe’s OCR software. It is well known that when it comes to animation, graphic design, web design and desktop publishing, Adobe clearly stands out.
Adobe has released different formats of Acrobat DC and the one you should pick largely depends on your needs. Acrobat DC has Pro and Standard versions. Both are available as monthly subscriptions and not a one-time purchase. Unlike OmniPage, Acrobat DC does not have the capability to convert the documents into eBook format. It has a simple and easy to use user interface.
Should you find yourself in an urgent situation where you need to use OCR software, ABBYY FineReader would be the perfect choice for you.
It is a unique OCR tool in that it has a mobile application allowing you to access and convert your files on the go!
4. ReadIris 16
ReadIris 16 is an exceptional OCR tool especially when it comes to text accuracy and language recognition. ReadIris Pro can detect text in more than 120 languages including Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese!
It is considered as a powerful OCR tool because it can carry out rapid yet accurate batch processing of documents in folders.
It is the best OCR software for beginners as it is the easiest to run and use. It boasts of a simple interface and numerous software support options. Furthermore, it also has a user manual that makes sure even the beginners experience no difficulty using it.
It’s powerful and accurate software capabilities also make it suitable for advanced users. The fact that it can also be downloaded and installed on various platforms makes it one of the preferred OCR tools.
PaperPort is definitely one of the most advanced OCR tools you can find. But, it is not as easy to use as the others on this list. It requires a certain degree of familiarity with OCR software. The learning curve could be little steep. This is why it is more suited to experienced users than beginners.
This is another great tool to convert your images and raster graphics into editable documents. It is an advanced OCR tool and requires some bit of learning. It is a nice pick for the advanced users.
The most impressive feature of this OCR software is its ability to maintain and accurately present the format of the original document even after converting and exporting to Microsoft Office.
9. Soda PDF
Don’t have time to download and install an OCR tool? Soda PDF is specially designed for this purpose. The developers of this software have an online portal which one can and convert the documents. You can also download the tool on your computer.