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ICR forms processing software

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Question :
What is the most accurate OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software?
Answer :
There are two OCR applications that compete for the title of most accurate. These are Nuance OmniPage and ABBYY FineReader.

Which application is more accurate often depends on the specific documents in question. One application may handle a particular type of page layout better than the other. With the almost infinite variety of document layouts, fonts, table structures, and other variables, it is impossible to say that one application will always be better than the other.

However, in our opinion, one company is far superior in the level of support that they provide and their dedication to development of OCR solutions. This is why we recommend ABBYY FineReader over OmniPage. Since ScanSoft merged with Nuance, they have shifted their focus away from OCR and into voice recognition. Demo downloads of OmniPage are not available. Their tech support department is unreachable. ABBYY does not suffer from any of these shortcomings.

In our trial runs, we have found that ABBYY provides a more consistent formatting for fonts, bold, and italics. Documents OCR'd with OmniPage are more likely to have variations in darkness recognized as bold or italic. This does not speak directly to the accuracy of the underlying text, but having to correct a lot of formatting is a significant task for those seeking to recreate Word documents from a scan.

Over a large sample of documents, both products offer very comparable accuracy. However our clear recommendation is FineReader, due to their superior customer service.

If you are looking for a more affordable OCR solution, ReadIRIS provides good features and accuracy for a much lower price. Mac versions of ReadIRIS are also available.

You can find our OCR page here and a general introductory guide to OCR software here.

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