[BCAB] OCR software upgrade.

Agent Orange agentorange at talktalk.net
Tue Feb 25 10:14:04 GMT 2014


Nick,

Having just gone through a similar upgrade and switch as you are
contemplating, here are my thoughts.

There is an OCR capability in Office 2010.  It is within OneNote 2010.
OneNote is not very accessible with screen readers but I have found that if
OCRing documents is all you ever use it for then it is possible to set up a
process to utilise the OCR capability within OneNote.  OneNote 2010 works
similar to the MS Document Imaging under XP in that there is a virtual
printer to which you can 'print' different document formats, with the
resulting OCR text being put into OneNote.  From there, you will need to
copy it to the clipboard and read it in Word or Notepad.  If you want more
functionality out of OneNote, you can google and buy a third party JAWS
script package which renders OneNote more accessible - I have not tried
these scripts as I have found OneNote to be just about usable for this
limited need.

In terms of third party scanning packages and your three questions, I have
settled on Abbyy FineReader 11 as my OCR package.  This is very accessible
using JAWS and provides generally very good OCR recognition of even fairly
complex documents.  It is certainly better than my previous version of
OpenBook and it is often better than the Microsoft document imaging /
OneNote OCR.  

Abbyy FineReader does enable you to quickly convert a pdf file to a Word
document containing the OCr'd text.  All you do is select the file in
Windows Explorer, and press the applications key and select this option from
the menu item which you will find there.  Abbyy will do its work and within
seconds (depending on length of file) will open a Word doc containing the
text of your pdf.

Abbyy FineReader 11 does not set up a virtual printer, but it does have
Office 2010 integration, so I believe that you would be able to OCR
PowerPoint presentations from within PowerPoint itself (though I have not
personally verified this).

In terms of scanning and OCRing from hard copy documents, the only
additional consideration is your choice of scanner.  As mentioned in a
previous post, I have found the Cannon DR-C125 to be an excellent scanner
from Cannon.  It is fast, small, and has an accessible driver interface
which integrates with Abbyy FineReader should you want to change the
scanning settings.  This scanner is a high speed double sided A4 document
scanner, it is not a flat bed.  So very good at post, print outs,
photocopies, etc, but it will not scan books.

I'm sure there are other solutions out there which other folks will talk
about.

Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of
Nick.Adamson at generaldynamics.uk.com
Sent: 25 February 2014 09:49
To: bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk
Subject: [BCAB] OCR software upgrade.

Hi All.

When I started work and did my initial access to work requests I got a
scanner and OCR solution. I requested and got Kurzweil 1000, at the time it
was version 9. As this was in 2005 k1000 v9 is now pretty old.
We're upgrading all our work machines to windows 7, about time, and I've
been told that k1000 v9 won't work under windows 7.
First of all is this correct?

If I will have to upgrade my OCR software what would people recommend? At
the time k1000 was just about the best thing out there however I'd imagine
that the mainstream has caught up so are there mainstream, and there for
cheaper, OCR solutions which will do what I want.

I only use OCR rarely, maybe once a week, most stuff is electronic nowadays.
The 3 things that I do that the new solution should do are:
1. Occasional scanning of hardcopy. Typically this is when paper work is
left on my desk or if I want to make sure I've picked up the write print
out.
2. OCR PDF's. Sometimes I've found the best way to access PDF's is to OCR
them. I don't mean print and then scan the hardcopy. K1000 can open and OCR
PDF's write from explorer. The answer to this could also be option 3.
3. K1000 sets up a virtual printer port which I'll sometimes use to OCR
other file formats such as PowerPoint. It would be nice for the new solution
to do something similar.

In terms of quality of recognition I'd imagine that most solutions are much
of a muchness, are there differences?
We use office 2010 and I'm not aware of an OCR capability in office.
So are there any suggestions or do I just upgrade k1000?

Thanks.
Nick.


Nick Adamson
Software Engineer

Vehicle Systems  

General Dynamics United Kingdom LTD
Bryn Brithdir, Oakdale Business Park, Blackwood, South Wales, NP12 4AA

Telephone: +44 (0) 1495 236467  
Email: Nick.Adamson at generaldynamics.uk.com
Website: www.generaldynamics.uk.com      

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