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Most office users have to deal with documents of various formats. One such format is PDF. Adobe’s Portable Document Format is used from simple user manuals, to eBooks, to official receipts, presentations, and other
Not every PDF, is created with digitally, i.e., with a computer and a manual effort of the user. You may have come across some PDFs, the pages and content of which look like they were taken from a real book or paper.
Usually these are real scanned copies of books and papers, done to save the cost of distributing them physically, after all paper is neither cheap nor an eco-friendly solution.
Digital copies of documents can be shared via email, Instant Messengers, etc, but there is one more advantage to it. They can be carried around on a USB Memory Stick which can then be used on any computer.
So, how do you create an electronic copy of a book or paper, which is optimized to function like a real digital document?. Merely scanning a book or paper is not enough. You need a proper OCR software.
What is OCR?
It is short for Optical character recognition, document capture and language software for both PC and mobile devices.
optical character recognition, document capture and language software for both PC and mobile devices. The majority of ABBYY products, such as ABBYY FineReader, are intended to simplify converting paper documents to digital data.
ABBYY FineReader is not merely an OCR software, it is also a PDF reader, that means it can replace your Adobe Reader or any other PDF viewer application. And with good reason. It has some very useful options.
ABBYY FineReader has a very simple interface. When you open the application , you will see a menubar on the top, a sidebar on the left side, and a pane on the right side. They have various options though.
The File option on the menubar allows you to open an existing PDF document, or can be used to create a new PDF document. So, it is more than a document reader, it can create PDFs too.
What about other formats? ABBYY FineReader can save documents in Microsoft Office document formats. To do this, first load or create a PDF file, and then select the “Convert To” option from the menubar, and choose one of the following options:
The last option includes support for PowerPoint, Epub, HTML, Odt, etc.
ABBYY FineReader’s document viewer has a simple GUI with navigation toolbar. You can enable PDF tools for form fill, annotating the PD, editing it, adding text box, pictures, etc.
The next option in the menubar is Scan to, and this is a very powerful option, because it can scan documents and images and extract the text content from it to the ABBYY FineReader application. Then you can save it to an image or a PDF, or other document format. To use this feature, you will need an external imaging device, i.e., a scanner or a camera. The scan to screen offers a lot of options too. You can customize the resolution, brightness, color, crop the document, set it to directly recognize text using OCR, use MRC compression, and several other options.
The Scan button lets you export images to the above mentioned formats directly too.
But if you want to edit the scanned image or document, you will need a more advanced tool.
And fortunately, Abyy FineReader comes with a built in screen capturing tool, called ABBYY ScreenReader. The application is very popular, for its powerful OCR and editing capabilities. To invoke, the ScreenReader, you simply need to click on file and select the Scan to OCR editor or Open in OCR editor, from the file menu.
The OCR Editor lets you scan pages or photos, and save editable copies of them separately. You can save your OCR Project at anytime, and leave anytime. Then you can simply load the project, and pick up where you left off, and proceed with the editing.
The OCR Editor uses a ribbon interface for its editing toolbars. The left most tab of the ribbon, has tools for editing and saving the page, while thre tab next to it has options for selecting a portion, the hand tool for scrolling, and tools for deleting, selecting a portion of the picture, text or table, while the tab on the right side has options for formatting the text which was recognized by the OCR Editor. You can also use the OCR Editor as a standalone application directly.
The sidebar in ABBYY FineReader’s start up page can be used for opening files, creating PDFs, editing OCR projects, etc similar to the file option in the program’s menubar. The Sidebar on the Start page, has one additional tool, Abby Compare Documents. This program just like ScreenReader can function as a standalone application too.
ABBYY Compare Documents, as the name suggests, can be used for comparing twpp versions of the same document, and see the differences in them before you sign or publish them.
Interestingly, you don’t have to need the two documents to be in the same format. So, you can use it for comparing a PDF or a Word file, or something of that type. this also applies to images, scans, PDFs, too.
The documents which are being compared, are displayed side by side, for easy comparison. The changes are highlighted too. You can saved the differences as a PDF document, where the changes are saved as comments.
The Recent option in the sidebar of ABBYY FineReader’s start up page allows you to quickly open a document, which you worked with previously. We were really impressed with the ease with which we were able to use the program, and its effective OCR.
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