We cannot stress enough the convenience of OCR software. It saves time and sanity that would otherwise be lost in a sea of retyping one document after another. When we reviewed consumer OCR software packages, we gave OmniPage our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for outstanding OCR performance and an impressive set of features.
The newest version of OmniPage utilizes the latest OCR software technology with greatly increased accuracy and innovative cloud service capabilities and recognition of 123 languages. OCR loses its convenience if the software is too difficult or confusing to use. Such is the risk with any multi-featured software. OmniPage easily navigates around this risk with its intuitive design and logical layout. Even an OCR rookie could navigate through the many features of this software.
Optical character recognition, or OCR, has improved drastically since the early 1990s when it was limited to converting clean, scanned images. PDF documents and digital images were also in their infancy and hadn't combined forces with OCR software yet. Documents that used Arial or Helvetica produced much better results than documents that used Times New Roman or another serif font – one that finishes off each letter with little "wings" and "feet." If you were working with a faxed image, you were better off just to re-type.
This is no longer the case. With the best OCR software technology today, you can re-create your documents with the original layout, color and font, and you can expect the words in common fonts to be extracted accurately. You still need to do a read-through of the text to make sure it converts over correctly, but edits are now much more minimal using top software packages. You can also expect to have your choice of output application, such as a searchable PDF document, MS Word, MS Excel or others. The top software packages are very competitive, but OmniPage is the clear winner for its accurate results and useful features.
The latest edition of OmniPage looks new and fresh, but its advancements go more than skin deep. One exciting addition is the seamless integration of OmniPage and the Nuance Cloud Connector. You can load files from your choice of web storage sites directly into OmniPage and then return the processed results back into Dropbox, Evernote, GoogleDocs, Box.net or another third-party cloud service.
OmniPage 18 Standard boasts 67 percent improved layout accuracy and improved word accuracy as well. Our sample documents ranged from simple text files to detailed charts and complex mathematical equations. Omnipage recreated them with the same layout, fonts and colors as the original documents. Images are processed with more clarity due to a variety of available settings and improved pre-processing. You can select between three despeckling modes – Normal, Halftone, and Salt and Pepper –depending on the quality of your document. After each file is processed and spell-checked, you can save the output in a number of formats.
You can now turn your once unsearchable PDF and image files into completely searchable text documents. The software also offers 50 percent greater compression for your searchable PDF-MRC files without any loss of document accuracy, meaning you save valuable memory space. You also save time as OmniPage processes files 30 percent faster. The converted text is displayed in the program's flexible display window. You can select between Classic View and Quick Convert View, or create your own custom view.
The OmniPage results were stunning. Some of the OCR software we reviewed only created a searchable PDF document using the original image. To see the actual OCR results required a copy and paste of the text into a word processor. But with OmniPage, we knew the displayed results were the actual OCR conversion. The formatting didn't perfectly mirror the original image, but it was accessible and editable regardless of its output form. Whether exported to a Word document or a searchable PDF, typos and errors were minimal and easy to fix with a basic spell-checker.
OmniPage provides all the convenient features of OCR services as well as some extra bonuses. It converts scanned images, PDFs and images from digital cameras into searchable PDF, MS Word, WordPerfect, MS Excel, MS Outlook, HTML, SharePoint and other formats. With this software, you can even specially format your scanned documents so you can easily read them on your Amazon Kindle. The Kindle works with several different formats, but no other OCR software makes this conversion as easy as OmniPage.
One reason Omnipage's optical character recognition results are so accurate is their use of 3D correction technology, especially for reading images from a cell phone or digital camera. This technology is revolutionary in the OCR industry. The software de-skews images that have been scanned crookedly, and it allows you to adjust the direction of the page. OmniPage comes with a set of scanner enhancement tools to improve the quality of your document scans, such as a punch whole remover and border tools. Unlike other software we reviewed, it also reads vertical text.
Automatic language detection is one of the new and exciting features of Omnipage 18 Standard. The automatic detection requires no manual intervention to determine the language of your scanned documents. Omnipage is equipped to perform OCR conversions in 123 languages, with a Latin-based dictionary as well as Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters, both traditional and simplified. We particularly liked that this software remembers the output formats you select. The default is rich text format, which is compatible with many applications. The software works with wave audio converter technology, the same as its sister speech recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Nuance offers two different versions of OmniPage OCR software: Professional and Standard. We found that the features included in the Professional package are perfect for a corporate environment. The features allow for completing batches of documents in large projects such as converting archived files into electronic, searchable files. The Professional package is also compatible with business software such as PaperPort and Open Text and allows access for multiple users simultaneously.
The design of OmniPage is intuitive and easy to use. When the program opens, it prompts you to select what type of document you're scanning and what format you want it converted to. The convenient 1-2-3 button in the top right corner is another way to select the document types and formats. Once you have selected this, the process is automatic. You can also select each step separately using functions under the Process tab. If you have a scanner with an ISIS driver, you can scan your documents directly into OmniPage for conversion.
Nuance emphasizes personal customer support via telephone over impersonal electronic communication. The Nuance website provides phone numbers for technical support and customer service. If the representatives you are trying to reach aren't available, their emails are often on their voice mails and you will receive a prompt, helpful response. You can also connect instantly with a Nuance representative using their live chat support. Chat Now links are located throughout the site. The site also has user manuals, FAQs and product tutorials.
When we contacted Nuance for a trial copy, their representatives were very forthcoming over the phone as well as through their live chat support option. We received a response to our query within one business day when we asked a question through their online contact form.
Like many software companies today, the software does not include a manufacturer's warranty. If you have problems with the software package, you should work with the distributor from whom you purchased it. However, a Nuance purchase does include a 30-day money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied. This OCR software package is designed for Windows 7, Vista and XP. It doesn't offer a Mac version like a few of its top competitors do.
OmniPage 18 Standard clearly is the top OCR software because its performance and feature set excels that of its competitors. We were impressed with its increased accuracy, automatic language detection and wide array of application support. OmniPage's 3D correction function provides the most accurate OCR conversion results, even for low-resolution images. If you have frequent OCR needs or you have a large document conversion project lingering in your office, we recommend OmniPage.
Automatic language detection eliminates the need for manual intervention.
This software doesn't come with a warranty other than a 30-day money back guarantee.
OmniPage 18 Standard offers the best OCR performance and the largest selection of features.