Comparison of OCR programs included with scanners?

Discussion in 'Scanners' started by Mr. Mike, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Guest

    Does anyone know of a comparison between the OCR programs that come supplied
    with scanners (like in a review on the WWW)?

    I have only experienced two: the one that comes with an HP scanner (Omnipage,
    part of Paperport) and the one with an EPSON scanner (part of Epson SmartPanel).

    The HP method is by far superior -- it allows you to scan the material sideways
    and then rotate it to drag and drop. You can also alternate scanning pictures
    and text files and then drag and drop the text files to the OCR. The OCR program
    strips out line endings in paragraphs (but not the beginning of paragraphs) and
    removes hyphens which break words in the middle at the end of lines. The HP
    program also allows scanning of reverse type (i.e., white type on a black
    background) and multiple column text pages (this doesn't always work, depending
    how close the columns are to each other -- photocopying the page and drawing
    vertical lines between the columns helps.) Unfortunately, this HP software is on
    a Windows 95 computer ... which I keep around just for the sake of using this
    program. (Does the software with recent HP scanners have similar features?)

    The Epson program (running on XP) is mediocre by comparison. You can't mix
    photos and text ... you have to scan all the photos and then all the text files.
    It doesn't strip out line endings, so what you see on the text page is mostly
    what you get when the OCR program is finished, which then involves a lot of
    editing to search and replace hyphens as well as line endings. When the Epson
    picture scan or OCR program runs, it is not available on the task bar, so you
    have to use Alt-Tab to find it (very annoying); you also cannot scan text pages
    sideways and then rotate them. Multi-column text pages usually produce a mess of
    text. It is a much faster scanner, and can deal with a lot of color combinations
    (i.e., colored type on black background) which the HP scanner cannot. (This
    software also seems incapable of photocopying a text page in black and white --
    it converts the page to a picture which is made up of high-resolution dots.)

    I tried a Google search to find comparitive articles for the OCR programs with
    scanners, but I just found a few messages lamenting the lack of such reviews!
    Mr. Mike, Oct 9, 2005
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  2. Textbridge is pretty good. Omni Page is good, but somewhat cranky to use.
    ABBYY is far the best out there - excellent at everything.
    Homer J Simpson, Oct 9, 2005
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