It’s been a long, long time since Mac offered an OCR (optimal character reading) software for their devices. While OS X apps tend to be flexible and powerful (compared to Windows) there are just some things that Windows offers that Mac leaves to be desired. Not anymore (at least related to character reading capacity), as Mac delivers Abbyy’s FineReader Pro to compete with popular Window’s products- but it unfortunately lacks all of the features and options in the Window’s version.
In this review, we’ll highlight the best features of ABBYY Finereader Pro for Mac as well as some of the features that can be improved. By the end of this review, hopefully you’ll have a better understand of what ABBYY’s new OCR software has to offer.
Photo from PC Mag
Finereader Pro really isn’t that different from ABBYY’s other OCR engines currently on the market. The application can read pretty much any kind of page format (from pictures to PDF or text) on your disk file, extracting text, arranging tables, preserving layouts, and giving you all the formatting options you’d expect from MAC OS. Like Word, Excel or Powerpoint, ABBYY FineReader Pro lets you physically modify HTML documents, plain text, e-book formats and more to guarantee that your work is flawless in both original text and layout. PDF files can display either clean text, hidden text (under images) or both; giving you accurate appearances, searchable text and formatting options.
It’s pretty to use FineReader Pro, even if you’re a beginner. FineReader Pro starts out in automated mode to make things easy, but you can set it up to let you choose each individual setting that you’re working with. You start by choosing a source program to let the program do its’ work, and ABBYY FineReader can perform lots of essential tasks (such as converting your document to a PDF or Excel Spreadsheet). Icons let you operate image quality, CSS optimization styles (in HTML pages) and output locations, file names, and output options (all written to disk).
Like it or not, most of ABBYY’s formatting options aren’t automatic. This could be annoying for some, but for others it’s refreshing to insert manual operations by first importing pictures or scanned pages. Some versions of Microsoft OCR had the bad habit of adjusting your document in ways that the software thought was right, rather than what you were actually doing.
In FineReadeer, you’ll be able to modify everything how you want it to look, with image editors that give you plenty of options:
– Deskew images
– Erase or crop out parts of an image
– Adjust perspectives and modify images
– Fix color schemes, change brightness
– Analyze each page image
– Detects text, pictures, tables and other information
ABBYY pro is just as accurate as Windows when it comes to dealing with errors, adjusting sizes and modifying images. If it detects problems with scans or pictures of printed materials, you can go right to the source and make the necessary changes to get everything working just right. Make changes, modify smudges, even edit text from tables- the sky is the limit with ABBYY FineReader. All you have to do is use the handy inspection tool bar panel to change smudges or other deformities in your image. If you’re dealing with output mistakes, you can even have the ABBYY software read the pages, export the final document and fine tune your output options to preserve the project in its original format. If that isn’t enough, you can even use FineReader to export your newly formatted text.
For OS software, this accuracy is much appreciated. It produces relatively flawless results when your copy is clean and mistake-free, giving excellent copies of smudged xeroxes, old books, or flawed typescripts. You’ll get great results, even when you’re using the software to recognize tables, unlike similar software used for the same functions. The only real issues that you might face happen to border lines (and all you have to do is reapply them with Apple’s Numbers App).
Unlike the Windows OCR software on the market, ABBYY isn’t mistake-proof and falls slightly short of Windows. Comparatively, Windows versions support proofreading, spell check, and editing windows that allow you to make changes when necessary (i.e. if you saw a typo or unsure detail). You can’t remove poorly recognized letters or numbers, faulty text changes (like bold font or underlined text) either. This means that you’ll inevitably have to use Word, Excel, or any other correction app you can find.
The most glaring issue with this flaw is in regards to PDF files. You’ll need to export the document to Word or Excel (where you can make changes), and then move the new PDF with the corrected details and output to another PDF file. You’ll be able to tell the difference with checkbox features that let you highlight dubious characters in the output document, making them easier to find, but you had better be ready to change those formats as well. Windows lets you do all the work without leaving the OCR- definitely something for ABBYY to consider updating.
In a Nutshell, ABBYY is a Fine Option for Your OCR Software, But It’s Not Perfect
ABBYY is the most powerful and efficient option that OS X users have. Despite its’ minor flaws, it’s highly accurate when it comes to character recognition and gives you a ton of options for page-layout analysis. You’ll never have to worry about having enough output options either; ABBYY gives you a wide variety of options for anything from PDF files to ePub file formats.
It’s not as efficient as Window’s OCR software. ABBYY FineReader could use a built-in proofreader and compatibility software that it has in the similar Windows version of the app.
ABBYY FineReader might have a few flaws, but most users are ecstatic about the possibilities of a fully-functional OCR for Mac. FineReader has all of the software necessary to make it the best option out there, with a clean, efficient, fast design.