OCR Office 2010

Hi All,

I have a client who has a Line of Business software they used to use with Office 2007, they now are using Office 2010 but they can no longer scan with OCR and send it to Line of Business software.

Is there any solutions out there for them to get OCR to work for free or paid I tried the SharePoint tools install as per Microsoft and it did not work.

All help appreciated!


Thanks
DarazrAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEConnect With a Mentor DeveloperCommented:
Hi Darazr,
The software you're talking about that was bundled with Office 2003 and 2007 is called Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI). Here's a link to some good info about it:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/about-microsoft-office-document-imaging-HP001077103.aspx

While it's true that MODI was removed from Office 2010, here's an article on how to install it in 2010:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982760

If that works for your client, great; if not, there are many free and paid solutions for OCR. Two well regarded, non-free OCR programs are Nuance OmniPage and ABBYY FineReader. Here are links to more information:
http://nuance.com/for-business/by-product/omnipage/professional/index.htm http://finereader.abbyy.com/

Here are links to feature comparison charts:
http://nuance.com/ucmprod/groups/imaging/@web-enus/documents/collateral/nc_016052.pdf
http://finereader.abbyy.com/editions_comparison_chart/

Both are good choices – I use both and can say that both are very accurate, but I can't say that one is always better than the other. I've tested them on the same documents, and sometimes one is better, sometimes the other is, but for the most part, the accuracy is similar – both very good! They both can make searchable PDF files (i.e., a PDF file with both the scanned image and a layer of text created by the OCR process) and both can make CSV files.

Another idea is Nuance's PaperPort product, which is not a dedicated OCR package, but can perform OCR via Nuance's OmniPage, which is included "under the covers" (the OmniPage OCR engine is built into PaperPort):
http://nuance.com/for-business/by-product/paperport/index.htm

PaperPort is a robust scanning/imaging package that does a lot more than just OCR (but for pure OCR, is not as robust as OmniPage and FineReader). I use PaperPort extensively (more than OmniPage and FineReader combined) to create PDF Searchable Image files. It can also scan directly to CSV, DOC, XLS, and many other file types. Unless you have extreme OCR requirements, I recommend PaperPort. Its OCR capabilities (via the built-in OmniPage) are adequate for most purposes.

In terms of free OCR, several ideas:

(1) Take a look at FreeOCR.net, which has a list of free OCR packages available to download:
http://www.freeocr.net/

(2) GOCR/JOCR is an open source OCR package developed under the GNU Public License: http://jocr.sourceforge.net/

(3) Another open source package (now maintained by Google) is the Tesseract OCR Engine:
http://code.google.com/p/tesseract-ocr/

(4) SimpleOCR is not open source, but it is free, with both an end-user version and a royalty-free SDK:
http://www.simpleocr.com/
http://www.simpleocr.com/Info.asp

Regards, Joe
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DarazrAuthor Commented:
Thanks very informative I went the way of the Microsoft solution as that is what they were used to.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome! I have no idea why MS removed MODI from Office 2010. But installing it in there makes a lot of sense for folks who used it in Office 2003 and 2007. Regards, Joe
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