OmniPage Pro a real
Computer users have
cause for great joy thanks to the constant improvement in Optical Character
OCR software is
the missing link between your fax/modem or scanner, and your word processor
or other application. OCR applications take the fax or scanned page, which
are merely pictures of the original text, and turn them back into real
text you can edit and save as a word processor (or whatever) file. That
makes it more than worthwhile in this age of electronic communications
because it turns a tedious task of re-typing into a relatively quick "spell
we say, not necessarily quick. But still better than endless retyping!
Pro (Windows 3.1, 95 and NT) is the Lexus of such programs, and version
8 is easier and better than ever.
But with OCR software
generally bundled as a freebie with scanners and fax software, why would
anyone in his right mind shell out for a standalone app like OmniPage
Simple. The "garden
variety" OCR packages usually throw up their little electronic hands
in confusion and disgust when faced with columns, tables, or pictures.
In fact, it takes a pretty gutsy OCR app to handle anything more than
And OmniPage Pro
8 is, indeed, gutsy.
only powerful, its extremely easy to use and it does the job very
well under most circumstances. If your original looks like it was
in Titanics safe beside Jack Dawsons drawing of Rose, even
OmniPage Pro wont help, but thats merely proof of the old
"garbage in, garbage out" truism (if your original sucks, so
will the OCR job). If you have a nice and crisp original, however, OmniPage
does a remarkable job.
The easiest way
to OCR stuff with OmniPage is to click the "AUTO" button and
let the Wizard walk you through things (kind of "Wizard-WYG,"
to coin a new buzzword). Not only will its "True Page" feature
automatically figure out a pages layout, highlighting and recognizing
all the text areas, it translates the original page layout very well and
passes it through into the final application in which youll be using
the text. In all, a most impressive performance.
We had some trouble
with putting OCRd tables into Word 97 and then into FrontPage, and
ended up going through a copying-and-pasting routine that was tedious,
to say the least, but which still beat the pants off typing the damn thing
in again from scratch.
has its own spelling checker that lets you tidy things up nicely before
passing the recognized pages to the destination application.
Caere still hasnt included a quick and easy way to OCR faxes from
WinFax Pro it works with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, which
is fine, but we wish it would work with the fax software we use. The only
way to do it is to save WinFax faxes as TIF files, then go at them with
OmniPage, which is about two steps more than we want to go through.
Other than that,
OmniPage Pro 8 works extremely well with scanned pages, and it comes set
up to work with more scanners than you can shake a stick at.
OmniPage Pro 8
is admittedly pricey compared with the "free" versions, but
it does so much more that its worth the price of admission
if you need this type of software.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think