PROS / Automatic language detection eliminates the need for manual selection.
CONS / Documents photographed by smart phone still require some cleanup.
VERDICT / OmniPage 18 Standard offers outstanding OCR performance as well as a wealth of impressive features like automatic language detection and the ability to save to electronic book formats.
Today’s optical character recognition (OCR) software allows you to re-create paper or PDF documents to electronic, word-searchable text files. If you use the best OCR software, like OmniPage, you can expect each new file to mirror the layout, color and font of the original document. This saves you time and sanity that would otherwise be lost in a sea of missing company information or frantic efforts to retype important documents.
The parent company, Nuance, offers two different versions of OmniPage OCR software: professional and standard. Features included in the standard package work well for smaller companies, and this is the version we reviewed. The professional package makes larger scanning operations even more convenient by adding extra tools such as network scan-to folders, drawing tools, digital signature options, PDF encryption, unattended batch processing and integration with SharePoint. It also allows multiple users to access a single implementation simultaneously.
Both OmniPage versions use the latest and best OCR software technology to bring you exceptional accuracy, innovative cloud services and the ability to recognize 123 languages. With an intuitive design and logical layout, OmniPage OCR software easily sidesteps the risk of being too feature-packed to be convenient. Even an OCR rookie could navigate through OmniPage’s many features. For its superior accuracy and wealth of useful features, OmniPage 18 Standard is, despite a very competitive field, the clear winner of our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
OmniPage is one of the easiest applications to download and one of the most intuitive to use. We used test documents ranging from simple text files to flyers containing images and intricate charts. OmniPage re-created them with the same layout, fonts and colors as the original documents. A variety of pre-process settings and three despeckling modes make it easy to process even the most degraded images with exceptional accuracy. Whether you export the file as a Word document or searchable PDF, the layout is stunning and typos are minimal and easy to fix with any basic spell-checker.
In tests of text documents, flyers with images and tables and mobile computing, OmniPage performed far better than any other OCR software. Photos of a flyer taken with a mobile phone required some adjustments, but the results were easy to correct and far more efficient than retyping the document.
One reason OmniPage's optical character recognition is more accurate − especially for reading images from a cell phone, digital camera or white board − is its use of 3-D correction technology. The software de-skews images that have been scanned crookedly. You can also use OmniPage’s enhancement tools to further improve the quality of your scans. Available options include a punch-hole remover and border-cleaning tool. And, unlike other software we reviewed, OmniPage reads vertical text.
OmniPage Standard 18’s unusual ability to automatically detect languages is impressive. Unlike many applications where you select the language being scanned, this automatic detection requires no manual intervention. OmniPage is equipped to perform OCR conversions in 123 languages with a Latin-based alphabet as well as those written in both traditional and simplified Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters. Once you process your file, it is spell-checked in the appropriate language.
Most modern scanners come with up-to-date OCR software; older scanners do not. One of the advantages of OCR software like OmniPage is its ability to replace existing software on every company scanning device, even if they are all different models. For this reason, the best OCR software should run your scanner and perform OCR on existing images. OmniPage 18 Standard can manage any of your scanning devices that are TWAIN-, WIA- or ISIS-compliant.
OmniPage Standard 18 also makes mobile computing a real possibility. For instance, when whiteboard content is captured automatically or by digital camera, the text and diagrams can be enhanced for maximum readability.
If you are processing large numbers of documents, OmniPage has tools to make these tasks easier. OmniPage's automatic batch OCR function lets you designate a folder where all documents needing OCR can be stored for automatic processing. Another is multi-page document recognition, which automatically detects the end of a document. This not only saves you from combining or separating PDFs, it also means you can load the scanner up and let the software process each document without human intervention.
While OmniPage looks new and fresh and handles OCR services efficiently, it also offers unexpected bonuses. Deeply integrated technical advancements improve daily workflow and the software’s interaction with other applications. Another exciting addition is the seamless integration of OmniPage and the nuance cloud connector. This feature lets you load the files from various web storage sites directly into OmniPage. You can then return the processed results to Dropbox, Evernote, GoogleDocs, Box.net or any other third-party cloud service.
The software also has the ability to export files to a few unexpected applications. Like many OCR recognition applications, OmniPage converts scanned images, PDFs and even photographs into searchable PDF, MS Word, WordPerfect, MS Excel, MS Outlook, HTML, SharePoint and other formats. However, you can even export your scanned documents to your Kindle. No other tested OCR software makes this conversion as easy as OmniPage.
Help & Support
OmniPage's design is intuitive, easy to use and requires little training. If you need technical support, the Nuance website provides phone numbers and email addresses. The site also has user manuals, FAQs and tutorials. The OmniPage Standard 18 OCR software is designed for Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP. Unfortunately, although some of its competitors offer a Mac version, OmniPage does not.
OmniPage 18 Standard clearly is the top OCR software because its performance and features far exceed its competitors. We are impressed with its exceptional accuracy, automatic language detection and wide array of application support. OmniPage's 3-D correction function provides the most accurate OCR conversion results, even for low-resolution images. If you have frequent OCR needs or have a large document conversion project lingering in your office, we wholeheartedly recommend OmniPage.