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Advice for a good scanner+OCR
Thread poster: gianfranco

gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 13, 2005

Dear colleagues,

I need to purchase a new scanner and I'd like to receive advice and first hand experience from any of you.
The intended use is quite heavy, for scanning a large number of documents (I have decided to go almost 100% paperless) and I need to find a good scanner, if possible bundled with a good OCR software product.

It musst also be a recent model, as it must be still available in the shops, so please avoid praising your 5 years old model that has never failed. Is not in the shops anymore...

Thank you in advance
Gianfranco


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
You should chose one with automated feeding Oct 13, 2005

And the selection is very small then.
In particular I do not know any of them, but I've seen some working - scanning several pages per minute. But they are very expensive.

I'm using a canon LiDE 50. A good scanner, but the scan software is not perfect. You cannot rotate the scan to get the picture in right angles to the sides, so if you scan a copy with slightly rotated view, it will remain so. The scan quality however is good for documents. And it is a fast one. If you want to scan fotos, I would chose another modell, as this one does not use conventional lightning.

As for OCR I can only reccomend FineReader. This is the best what can happen to you. No other OCR software delivers such good results. With FineReader you can even convert PDFs to quite editable form - not all, but still a lot of them.

Regards
Jerzy


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:01
Danish to English
+ ...
scanner Oct 13, 2005

I use the HP Scanjet 3500C which I am very happy with in that I can scan pages in a book without problems, the lid can either be raised up or be removed. I use Scansoft Omnipage 15, which I chose after using FineReader a while. I have used Omnipage 13 and 14 but now 15, which is the latest. I use it for Danish and English. I use Scansoft Paperport Office Pro with the Scanner. This software allows you to drag the scanned document directly to other programs, also to Omnipage, which is also from Scansoft.

[Edited at 2005-10-13 20:38]


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just a good, solid, durable scanner Oct 13, 2005

Thank you Jerzy

I have a small proportion of loose pages, most of my material to scan is bound (books or similar), which makes the automatic feeding not worth the high cost.
I have not many pictures, slides or film (negatives) to scan either.

Most scanner today are really inexpensive, but they seems to be made of cardboard and flimsy plastic. I simply need a really "robust" scanner, well build, possibly with a good OCR software included, otherwise that will be a second purchase.

I prefer to get first hand advice, rather than just believe the advertisement blurb, or lift them to check their weight, or simply buy the most expensive I can afford. Price alone may not tell the whole story.

Thank you for any advice
G


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:01
English to Swedish
+ ...
What's your budget? Oct 13, 2005

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

I need to purchase a new scanner and I'd like to receive advice and first hand experience from any of you.
The intended use is quite heavy, for scanning a large number of documents (I have decided to go almost 100% paperless) and I need to find a good scanner, if possible bundled with a good OCR software product.

It musst also be a recent model, as it must be still available in the shops, so please avoid praising your 5 years old model that has never failed. Is not in the shops anymore...

Thank you in advance
Gianfranco



Hi Gianfranco,

First of all, you need a model with automatic document feeder. And it shouldn't be flimsy. I've seen too many document feeders break down, causing paper jams and headache. Sorry, I can't give brand recommendations here.

Secondly, what's your budget?
We have a marvellous Gestetner/Nashuatec DSc432 sitting here at our office, but it will set you back 10 000 EUR or so...

If you're paying it yourself, anything above €300 will do a decent job. Top up money from here, and you'll get better document feeders, and more pages/minute, which I guess is the crucial function you're after.

For OCR, I swear by ABBYY FineReader 8.0. We just completed a job consisting of 3200 scanned pages for a client, and it wouldn't have been possible without FR 8.0.
Pages with handwriting, newspaper layout, stamps, spreadsheet - everything, customizable and nicely handled by FR 8.0. Read my other postings on the forum about my gripes with OCR.

Best,

Jan


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:01
English to Swedish
+ ...
Look for a FineReader bundle Oct 13, 2005

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

Thank you Jerzy

I have a small proportion of loose pages, most of my material to scan is bound (books or similar), which makes the automatic feeding not worth the high cost.
I have not many pictures, slides or film (negatives) to scan either.

Most scanner today are really inexpensive, but they seems to be made of cardboard and flimsy plastic. I simply need a really "robust" scanner, well build, possibly with a good OCR software included, otherwise that will be a second purchase.

I prefer to get first hand advice, rather than just believe the advertisement blurb, or lift them to check their weight, or simply buy the most expensive I can afford. Price alone may not tell the whole story.

Thank you for any advice
G


Hi again,

You should look for a scanner with FineReader bundled then. It depends on the region, but I've seen Epson, Fujitsu, Umax and Primax scanners come bundled with FineReader. There should be some search engine like Pricerunner for the Italian market too, right? Once you've zoomed in on a few brands/models, post them here and ask for verdicts...

Usually you'll get a crippleware version in the bundle, but you can upgrade it to 8.0 Professional for €99, and I can tell you it's worth it.
Or go searching at DC++

Good luck,

Jan


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Budget Oct 13, 2005

Jan Sundström wrote:
...
Secondly, what's your budget?
We have a marvellous Gestetner/Nashuatec DSc432 sitting here at our office, but it will set you back 10 000 EUR or so...
...


Hi Jan,
it is for personal use, budget more like 300 EUR than 1000 EUR, let alone 10,000 for the monster you have there, "sitting" in your office!!!

bye
Gianfranco


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 12:01
English to Russian
Don't try to become a scanning pro Oct 13, 2005

Gianfranco Manca wrote: The intended use is quite heavy, for scanning a large number of documents


I did and do a lot of scanning and I would say if you want to scan more than 10 pages you must outsource it. There are people doing it for a variety of rates. Doing it yourself is a waste of time, nearly like aligning instead of translating.

if possible bundled with a good OCR software product.


FineReader is the best, it OCRs PDFs too

I have Mustek 1200 USB which I can even take when interpreting away from the town. I scan several pages a week, the scanner is about 3 years old, very slim and light, has been cleaned once.

And when I need a lot of scanning I go to a printing company, I sometimes even chop off spine of a book with guillotine shears and they autofeed it, to avoid uneven scans and to do it fast.

My 2 copeks
Good luck
Aleksandr


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:01
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
HP + FineReader Oct 14, 2005

Hi Gianfranco,

I have one of HP compact printer/scanner/copy machines and an older separate HP flat scanner. Personally, I am very happy with HP, but I have never tried other scanners. The compact one comes with Iris OCR, but didn't help much, so I bought FineReader 7.0 and recently upgraded to 8.0.

FineReader does a great job, you can download extra recognition languages (you can download a trial version). If the image file is a PDF, it works like a charm, retains a lot of the formatting, but the "word corrector" won't recognize special sign, so the process might take some time. Things got worse in terms of time, if you have scanned a bad hard copy (fax for ex.), but it does the trick.
It takes some time, but it is really easy to follow and spot mistakes.

You only have to invest more time in correcting what FineReader got wrong. After that you can export it to MS Word, Excel and some other formats.

FineReader doesn't cost much, now there is an offer for version 8.0, and all in all makes me save a lot of time (even considering the time investment for checking the spelling/recognition).

Giuliana


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GKeuck
Local time: 11:01
German to Spanish
+ ...
An affordable book scanner Oct 14, 2005

Hello Gianfranco,

from my own experience I can recommend you the "Plustek Optic book 3600" scanner. I am using it for also for old, fragile scientific books and it performs very well (only 7 seconds for a 300 dpi scan in DIN A4 format, color or b/w). It comes with the Abby FineReader Sprint 5.0, at least in Germany, and costs about 240 Euro!

You will find a good overview on Plustek's webpage:

http://www.plustek.com/products/book.htm


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NetLynx  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
English to Danish
+ ...
HP or Epson + FineReader 8.0 Oct 14, 2005

- is to be recommended. Choose the model that suits your needs.

Kind regards
Erik


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Florence B  Identity Verified
France
Member (2002)
English to French
+ ...
CanoScan LiDE 500F Oct 14, 2005

I bought one three months ago and I'm quite happy with it:
- it takes little room (it is stored and works vertically most of the time)- my colour laser printer takes half of the room so this gets to be important
- a double hinge makes scanning of books easier
- it only requires one usb plug (no electric wires)
- it is fast, silent and always ready (no pre-heating)
- most important point, the scans are always perfect

I can't say anything about the ocr software that's offered with it though as I seldom use this.

Florence


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 19, 2005

GKeuck wrote:

Hello Gianfranco,

from my own experience I can recommend you the "Plustek Optic book 3600" scanner. I am using it for also for old, fragile scientific books and it performs very well (only 7 seconds for a 300 dpi scan in DIN A4 format, color or b/w). It comes with the Abby FineReader Sprint 5.0, at least in Germany, and costs about 240 Euro!

You will find a good overview on Plustek's webpage:

http://www.plustek.com/products/book.htm




Thank you very much, this model seems to be perfect for my needs, and within my budget. Only 240 EUR!!
I'm trying to get it through the Italian distributor, via my usual computer shop.
Apparently it is not easy to find, not even online. I searched four sites and none of them had it listed.

If I manage to purchase it I will report about its general performance. It appears to be fast, solid and its design is perfect for scanning books without dark areas and without damaging them.

It has not the highest definition, nor is particularly aimed at colour scanning (pictures, slides, etc), but for documents and B/W pages, and books, it should be ok.

Thank you
Gianfranco




[Modificato alle 2005-10-20 14:49]


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