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Handy feature comparison chart for batch document scanning, forms processing, invoice processing and flexible forms recognition applications.
document imaging consulting handprint recognition software document scanner service parts scanner consumables document workflow software optical character recognition

Compare price & features side-by-side for several batch scanning and forms processing applications. These programs use barcode recognition, machine print recognition (OCR), check-mark (OMR) and handprint recognition (ICR) to extract data from scanned documents, hand-filled surveys and forms, or complex business documents like Invoices that have many different formats.

Guide to Comparing Scanning Solutions
Types of Scanning Software - Evaluating Your Needs - Features Compared on This Chart

Document Scanning Software Review


Software Cost Setup Cost Licensing Platforms
$ $ SimpleIndex & Imaging Suite components are licensed per workstation; ISIS, barcode & OCR are optional. No page limit except for server processing Windows XP
2003 & Vista (32-bit Only)
2008 & 7 (All Versions)
$-$$$$ $ Workstation license is based on scanner speed. No page limit. Windows XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$ $ Single station (Desktop Edition); Networkable per workstation (Enterprise Edition); No page limit. Windows XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003 or above
$$ - $$$$ $$ - $$$ Workstation or Concurrent licensing available. Scan, Index, 1D & 2D Barcode, OCR, ICR & Image Processing stations available. No page limits. Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$ - $$$$ $ - $$ Workstation license is based on scanner speed from 25 Pages per Minute to 160PPM. No page limit. Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$ - $$$$ $ Per workstation with version type based on scanner model/speed and length of maintenance period. Separate license for image importing only. Windows XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$$-$$$$ $-$$$$ Annual volume based licensing starts at 60,000 images per year. Distributed version allows additional Scan and Verify stations on a per-workstation basis with unlimited processing stations. Maintenance renewal is required. Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$$$-$$$$ $$ - $$$$ Annual volume based licensing starts at 60,000 images per year. Distributed version allows additional Scan and Verify stations on a per-workstation basis with unlimited processing stations. Maintenance renewal is required. Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
/Server 2003/2008
$$$$ $$$-$$$$ Licensing based on system, pages per year, and document options. Windows Server 2008
Data Exports Scanner Support File Type Support Unique Features
Delimited text file (CSV), MS Access or any ODBC or OleDB compliant database. Export add-ons for QuickBooks, PaperVision and ContentVerse. Basic, Barcode, and OCR versions support TWAIN only. Full version supports TWAIN and ISIS drivers. Import & index any file type (images, MS Office docs, PDF, audio, video, etc.)
Export images to TIF, JPG, PDF or PDF/A. Other files keep original format.
Simple 1-click user interface. Can be configured to run unattended or via command line. Process existing text in MS Office and PDF files without OCR. Electronic imprinting. Required documents auditing.
Integration with Microsoft SharePoint and direct integration with Kofax Capture, providing API for custom cases. TWAIN & ISIS Exports documents to PDF, searchable PDF, and multi-page TIFF files. Watched Folder; Background export and compression.
Index data as flat file or script; Dokmee integration. TWAIN & ISIS Export documents to TIFF, PDF, PDF/A, JPEG, GIF or BMP, as well as directly into any shared folder. Modular system of user privelages; Cost based tracking; Offsite indexing support
Wide variety of document management systems, CSV & ODBC databases. ISIS & Kofax support Scan directly to TIF or JPG.
Export images to many formats, including PDF, PDF/A, BMP, PNG, etc.
Support for concurrent user licensing. Ability to distribute scanning and indexing worldwide, track batch progress from start to finish, and manage via web gateway.
XML TWAIN scanning included.
ISIS available as an add-on.
Input any type of image file. Output to TIF, JPG, JPG2000, PDF, PDF/A, PDF iHQC (highly compressed PDF) Interface is designed for multi-stream scanning (B&W+Color) so you can see both versions simultaneously as they are scanned. iHQC compression creates much smaller files for color PDF images.
Output to ODBC, Microsoft SharePoint 2007 or 2010, and other DM and ECM systems. ISIS Export documents to PDF, searchable PDF, multi-page TIFF, RTF, TXT, and other applications. Batch Scanning and Advanced Image Processing
CSV, XML, ODBC databases and MS SharePoint. Custom export scripting available. Use SimpleQB for QuickBooks. TWAIN and ISIS drivers supported. Remote Document Capture for off-site scanning in distributed version. Input TIF of PDF
Output TIF, PDF, PDF/A or searchable PDF Image+Text
Highly customizable recognition parameters with scriptable rules. Integrated form design tool. Support for over 180 languages. Web Service API.
CSV, XML, ODBC databases and MS SharePoint. Custom export scripting available. Use SimpleQB for QuickBooks. TWAIN and ISIS drivers supported. Remote Document Capture for off-site scanning in distributed version. TIFF, PDF input; TIFF and optional PDF Image+Text output The most fully configurable semi-structured forms solution in its price range. Works with any type of document, not just invoices. Simple forms are easy to setup but the system is powerful enough for the most complex projects.
A variety of files and database types. TWAIN & ISIS Exports to almost any image file. Versatility and customizability allows for intelligent, automated document processing, for all types of documents.
Zone OCR Dynamic OCR OMR Full Page OCR
OCR & Full Versions OCR & Full Versions offer
limited dynamic OCR using pattern or dictionary matching
OCR & Full Versions
Single boxes only (no grouping)
OCR & Full Versions
Yes No No Yes
Yes No No Yes
OCR License Required No No OCR License Required
Yes Yes No Yes


Yes

also MICR
No No Yes
Yes No Yes Yes
Yes Full support for tables and complex multi-page forms on any type of document.  Table recognition requres Line Item processing license. Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barcode Recog. Handprint ICR Database Lookups Indexing & QC
1D & 2D in Barcode & Full versions. No Automatically index documents by matching barcode & OCR data to records in a database Add Basic licenses for indexing stations. Basic image enhancement--deskew, despeckle, autorotate and blank page deletion. Use SimpleQC for thumbnail review & rescan.
1D & 2D No Yes Yes
1D & 2D No Yes Yes
1D (Named or Concurrent)
2D (Named or Concurrent)
Add Handwriting Seat License for basic handprint recognition (no forms processing) Yes Add Indexing (Named or Concurrent) license for data entry and QC review.  Add Image Processing (Named or Concurrent) for a full range of image enhancement functions.
Yes Handprint recognition only
(no forms processing)
Yes Drag-and-drop OCR indexing. Thumbnail validation optimized for dual stream scanning.
Yes No Yes Yes
Yes Full forms processing support with integrated handprint form design tool Yes Forms validation interface shows recognized characters in context for fast correction. Add multiple verification and scan stations with Distributed version.
Yes Full forms processing support with integrated handprint form design tool. Dynamic location of handprint fields. Yes Forms validation interface shows recognized characters in context for fast correction. Add multiple verification and scan stations with Distributed version.
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Our Likes Our Dislikes
Low cost and simple 1-click design make it a great solution for desktop, small office or distributed capture solutions. Unique dynamic OCR extracts index data from images, PDFs & office documents. Automated processing and easy integration using the command line interface. Limited capabilities in multi-user, high-volume scanning & indexing environments. Text does not match with image in searchable PDF output, however any other OCR application can be used with SimpleIndex to create true Image+Text PDFs from indexed images.
Intuitive ribbon interface is easy to use. Built in VRS improves image quality as you scan. Only 10 index fields and limited customizability restrict overall usefulness.
Modular software with user profile authorization settings is perfect for designing custom multi-user workflows. Clunky OCR system is not as intuitive or accurate as it could be, and indexing is tripped up by required index fields being filled in out of order.
Distributed scanning and indexing configuration and concurrent licensing makes it the best solution for multi-site enterprise scanning or off-site indexing. Direct output to many document management systems. Unlimited page processing. Configuration and user interface are too complicated for desktop and small business scenarios.
Thumbnail views show color and B&W versions of each image side-by-side. Simple drag-and-drop OCR interface makes it easy to index documents automatically. Scanner speed license makes it very affordable for low-volume scanning and avoids production delays that page count licenses can cause when they run out. No native support for ISIS drivers. Scanner speed license makes application more costly in production environments.
Customizable window layout and numerous, easy to understand features make for a powerful yet simple program. No dynamic OCR ability, causing OCR accuracy to depend on consistent recognition zone placement.
Gets the best recognition rates due to a wide range of options for configuring the recognition parameters and validation rules for each field. Integrated form designer creates recognition templates automatically from new forms you design. Excellent data validation interface. Ability to distribute workload to multiple users around the world in distributed versions. SOAP interface lets you control recognition jobs with web services. Even though the software is intuitively designed, the sheer number of options can make it more difficult to configure simple forms than other applications. Scanning interface does not give you full control over scanner settings. Extra line item processing license is required to process repeating form elements. A signed non-disclosure agreement is required to obtain a 30-day demo.
Has the flexibility to recognize data on virtually any type of document and layout. Gives you the best recognition rates and easiest configuration of any comparable flexible forms application. Price is extremely competitive versus other enterprise data capture applications. Distributed version can support a global enterprise with a single implementation. Relatively easy to setup and use for simple forms, but powerful enough to handle the most complicated ones. No unlimited desktop license is available in version 9. No "out of the box" solution for invoice processing available (as of 1/2010). Line item option for invoices and tables is extra. No interactive template training interface.
Easy to use; Good recognition; Multilingual Support. No built-in form designer.
 

How to Compare Document Scanning & Forms Processing Solutions

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Types of Scanning Software

Document scanning solutions fall in to one or more of the following categories by function:

  1. Desktop Scanning - Simple batch scanning of documents to network files or document management system
  2. Enterprise Docment Capture - High-volume, multi-user scanning of documents in large companies or service bureaus
  3. Forms Processing - Handprint and machine print recognition software for forms, surveys, tests, etc.
  4. Flexible Forms & Invoice Processing - Dynamic OCR that locates data on differently formatted documents like Invoices

These applications have many features in common, such as zone OCR, barcode recognition and database integration. In many cases it may be more efficient to use a less expensive batch scanning application to read simple forms or invoices. Or you may have a complex backfile conversion task that could benefit from the highly configurable recognition features in an invoice processing application. For this reason we have included these solutions together in one comparison chart.

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Document Scanning Software Review Article

Document Scanning Software Review

We've conducted an in-depth comparative evaluation of the top selling Desktop Batch Scanning applications. By running a standardized sample of documents with a selection of software and taking costs and set-up times into consideration, we have come up with an objective evaluation of the Desktop Scanning software listed above.

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Evaluating Your Needs

The key to efficient document scanning is using as many automation features as possible to eliminate manual indexing while making your documents fully searchable. The best way to do this is with barcodes, since these can be recognized with a very high rate of speed and accuracy and a very low possibility of errors. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can be used to read indexes from machine print on scanned images. It's not as fast and the recognition rate is not as high as barcodes, but it can be used on documents that were not designed with scanning in mind. Handprint Recognition (ICR) should only be used when no other options are available, as this is the least reliable and most labor-intensive method.

Efficient user interface design will also save you time in setting up, training and supporting the application, while providing the user with a more efficient interface for their daily work. For this reason the user experience should be strongly considered along with other features.  Several applications are specialized for a single purpose, such as survey and invoice processing.

You must also consider how long it will take scanning and indexing operators to perform their tasks, and how much software and manpower will be necessary to keep up with demand. You can contact our experts for help with performance calculations.

While researching scanning solutions, you should get samples of all the documents that need to be scanned and ask the folllowing questions:

  • Who needs to view these documents once they are scanned?
  • Is there an existing document management system, database or other custom application that will be used?
  • What information will they need to be able to locate the document?
  • For forms, what information must be data entered from each document?
  • Does this information appear on the document? Is it barcode, text, handprint or check box?
  • Can the document be modified to add this information? Via barcode? Text? Handprint field? Check box?
  • Does the information appear in the same location on each document?
  • Is there a database available that already has some of the information you need?
  • Are the people that need to use the scanning system located centrally or remotely?
  • What is my estimated monthly or annual scanning volume?

By answering these questions about your documents you will have a much better idea of which features will be most beneficial to your scanning project.

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Features Compared on This Chart

  • Data Entry Automations
    These features are designed to automate the process of labeling scanned documents for proper filing, or to extract data from scanned forms and other documents to automate manual data entry tasks.

    Zone OCR - recognizes machine print text in pre-defined regions on the image for automatic indexing
    Dynamic OCR - locates recognizes data that appears in different regions on the image for automatic data capture
    OMR - recognizes check box values (Optical Mark Recognition)
    Full Page OCR - recognizes all the text on the page to enable PDF Image+Text and other searchable/editable formats
    Barcode Recognition - recognizes the values of barcodes printed on scanned pages for automatic indexing
    Handprint ICR - recognizes constrained handprint in pre-defined form fields (Intelligent Character Recognition)
    Database Lookups - match scanned records with existing data to populate document index data automatically
    Indexing & QC - OCR/ICR validation, image quality control review & rescan and image processing capabilities
     
  • Price Range

    Software Cost
    : Most of the pricing options depend on the selected optional features and page count limitations, if any. The low price estimate is based on the minimum set of options. The high estimate is based on a configuration with all options that are available in a single workstation configuration, excluding add-on items installed as separate applications.

    Setup Cost: Estimated cost to install, configure and train users for a scanning system. Low estimate assumes one simple form or document scanning workflow. High estimate assumes a single form with a complex implementation involving many data elements, complex or multiple layouts, custom data exports, etc.

    $ - 500-2,500
    $$ - 2,500-5,000
    $$$ - 5,000-10,000
    $$$$ - 10,000+

    Pricing details and demo downloads are available when you create a ScanStore User Account.
     
  • License Type
    Describes the licensing model for this application. These fall into the following categories:

    Workstation/Seat License - A single computer is licensed to run the application.
    Concurrent User License - Allows a user to run the application from any computer. Multiple users can share a single license, but only 1 user can access the software at once for each concurrent license.
    Page Limited License - License is limited to processing a certain number of images per month or per year. When that limit is reached, the license must be upgraded to continue processing.
    Scanner Speed License - Unlimited scans are allowed, but license only supports scanning speeds up to a certain limit.
    Multi-User Configurations - Many applications allow the addition of multiple workstations to distribute the processing workflow to multiple users. Some also support remote scanning and indexing for off-site workers via the web.

  • Platforms
    Virtually all batch scanning applications are limited to the Windows platform. The developer specifications for many applications have not been updated to indicate compatability with Windows Vista, 2008 or 7, so we have indicated the compatibility of these based on our independent testing and experience.

  • Exports Indicates how index data can be exported. Keywords can be used to organize images into logical folders and filenames on your network, or exported to delimited text files for import into other software systems, or added directly to an ODBC or OleDB database.

  • Scanner Support
    Virtually all scanners support TWAIN drivers. ISIS drivers come with most document scanners available. Kofax means native support for Adrenaline image processing boards, which perform real-time image enhancement on scanned images.

    All systems support the importing of existing files from a shared folder, which can be used to integrate with digital copiers, MFP devices or other scanning applications.

  • File Type Support
    Lists type types of files the system can import, process and export. PDF Image+Text refers to the capability in PDFs to create a hidden text layer that is overlaid on the scanned image, letting the viewer search, highlight and copy the OCR text while viewing the image.

Please feel free to contact us for help deciding which document scanning application is right for you!

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