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'[OT] Does anyone have any experience with OCR soft'
2005\04\19@092145 by William Couture

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Hi!

I've got some old documentation on paper, the 5" x 7" stuff that used to
be popular for PC programs.

I want to turn it into an electronic format.

Does anyone have experience with OCR software, and could give me
Words-Of-Wisdom-From-The-Voice-Of-Experience?  Extra brownie points
for free software or something that is bundled with a basic scanner.

Thanks!
 Bill

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2005\04\19@101402 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "William Couture" <spam_OUTbcoutureTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com>
Subject: [OT] Does anyone have any experience with OCR software?


> Does anyone have experience with OCR software, and could give me

I've been pretty stunned with the capabilities of OCR software of late.

A while back I got a scanner that had Pagis Pro bundled in.  The
capabilities of the software was amazing, although it did tend to hang the
PC and crash a lot.  I liked it enough that I actually paid to upgrade to
the next version, and maybe another version.  It never got any more
reliable, in fact, later versions seemed even shakier than the early ones.
Still, it had the capability of scanning practically any article and making
a PDF that was practically an identical copy, but was made up of text
instead of pixels (except for the pictures, of course).  Even schematics
were rendered as lines instead of dots.  It could also come amazingly close
with html output.  It would create many output formats, not only pdf and
html but Word, rtf, and a bunch of word processor formats that I didn't use.
It would take lots of input formats as well, so you could OCR an already
scanned tiff, for example.  The capabilities kept me coming back, but you
did need to be prepared for a half dozen reboots for almost any task.

> for free software or something that is bundled with a basic scanner.

Later on I got an HP all in one - one of the fancier ones.  It had much
simpler capabilities, BUT, with no hassle it was able to produce character
PDFs from scans, too.  It didn't have all the capabilities of Pagis, but it
does the basic stuff and it's dead simple.  HP also has a significant
crappiness content in their software, however, and although I love the
printer/scanner/fax/CF-reader (mine is a psc2510), after XP SP2 it would no
longer print from a non-administrative user!  Ahhh well.  Fortunately, most
of my printing I do across the net and it works no problem from Linux so
it's not a total loss.

One caveat about all these.  They get good at OCR by having a complete
dictionary.  If you are scanning something that has a lot of non-words (like
an electronics article, for example), expect to have a lot of errors.

--McD


2005\04\19@172929 by Vitaliy

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William,

As far as I know, FineReader is the leader in OCR software and we've had
very good experience with it (I used it in the 90's and we're using the
latest version at work now).

My suggestion to you would be to purchase an older version, I believe I've
seen one at Fry's Electronics for $20.  For your application, it's just as
good (maybe even better - faster) as the latest version.

Best regards,

Vitaliy


{Original Message removed}

2005\04\20@003426 by Harold Hallikainen

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Someone else mentioned scanning to pdf. What I really like to do is use
Adobe Acrobat to scan the document, then run their OCR (they call it paper
capture) and put the OCR in the background with the image in the
foreground. The user sees the image not any OCR errors. Meanwhile, you can
copy and paste it and search engines index it nicely. See, for example,
the documents at http://kauko.hallikainen.org/history/equipment/

Harold

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