ABBYY announced today that its optical character recognition (OCR) software for the Mac,
FineReader 5 Pro, is now shipping. The software enables a Mac equipped with an optical scanner to convert paper-based documents into editable text with up to 99.9 percent accuracy and with 2 to 3 times fewer mistakes than other Mac OCR solutions, according to the company.
ABBYY president and CEO Dean Tang said that his company is responding to a need expressed by Mac users. “The Mac community has been asking for improved OCR technology to fill a void left by OCR developers that have not introduced new Mac versions for several years,” said Tang.
The software was co-developed by Sound & Vision Inc. The software leverages Apple technologies like QuickTime, Drag and Drop and Navigation Services, as well as AppleScript. The software also functions in Mac OS X, albeit in the “Classic” environment only.
Features in FineReader 5 Pro include: One-button OCR — converts paper documents with a single click of the Scan&Read button. Scan&Read Assistant — guides users through the OCR process, allowing them to select preferred settings, which can then be saved to automate repetitive projects. Direct Access from Word — lets users launch FineReader directly from Microsoft Word. Multi-language Recognition — recognizes any of 117 languages, including multiple languages within the same document. Spellchecker — highlights questionable words (in any of 23 languages) and suggests possible alternatives. Users can magnify the image area containing questionable text for easy verification. Advanced document layout analysis — retains the original document layout, including columns, tables, pictures, graphics, wrapped text, dropped capitals and superscripts. Image Processing — gives users control of scanned images with tools such as despeckle, deskew, rotate, invert or locate blocks. Batch Processing — enables users to quickly and easily scan multipage documents and universally apply functions such as read, rotate, locate blocks, despeckle and save. Image File Input — supports a wide range of image formats, including TIFF, JPEG, and PICT. Saving Formats — supports a wide range of output formats, including Apple Works, MS Word, MS Excel, or Simple Text. Users can also publish documents in HTML or PDF format.
System requirements call for a PowerPC-equipped Mac (G3 or higher recommended) running Mac OS 8.6 or later; QuickTime 4.0 or higher; 32MB RAM (64 MB recommended); 100MB hard drive space; and optionally a TWAIN-compliant scanner, digital camera or fax modem, as well as scanners that support the Adobe Photoshop Acquire plug-in.
FineReader 5 Pro for Mac is priced at US$129. A download version is available immediately; expect to see copies of the software also hit major retailers and online stores in late December. If you’re interested in trying it before you buy it, a 30-day free download is available from the company’s Web site.