Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but is it worth it?, 10 Feb. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I received this product as a review copy, and I am left asking myself if I would ever have contemplated spending the asking price for it....

Good points:
- installation went flawlessly on my Windows 7 PC (unlike many packages)
- lots of input options. Abbyy will do its stuff on scanned images, photos, PDFs or even a selected area of your VDU (which could presumably have anything on it)
- application is quick to startup
- nice friendly options are offered immediately, so the beginner is led straight into the most likely tasks
- support for over a hundred languages, from Armenian to Zulu, including Chinese/Japanese and even programming languages!
- processing of images is very quick
- good integration to Word and Excel (no other 'office' products appear to be supported)
- PDF options means this could replace the need for specialist PDF-writer software
- character recognition is generally very good (but see formatting comments, below)

Not-so-good points:
- On linking to my scanner, Abbyy offered me the choice of 300 or 600dpi scan. However, on selecting 600dpi it just errored out (even though my scanner supports 600, even 1200dpi). Of course, I can scan an image at 600dpi and then separately OCR it, but this failure of integration undermines the ease-of-use I would expect from a 'professional' product
- I tried it on various 'complex' documents, including an official form in French and a complicated bus timetable. It mostly captured the text, but the layout had problems on every page. The last column of a table would be captured separately from the rest, words would wrap where they should not have done, or suddenly shift font size in mid-sentence. Abbyy clearly did a better job than the freebie OCR I got with my PC, but not the perfect job that would put it into a totally different league
- It's a lot of money for a specialist, single-purpose product. Unless you are someone who needs to constantly transcribe hard-copies into soft-copies, I doubt if this would constitute good value for money.

In conclusion, if you ARE a professional transcriber of documents, other reviewers on this page may give you a better insider's view of how well this product compares with similar offerings from other suppliers. If you are a normal home PC user, this product is probably too expensive for the narrowness of its scope and the amount you will use it.
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Location: UK

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