Scanner and OCR Selection
Thread poster: Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth

Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to German
+ ...
Oct 30, 2003

Having had a Visioneer that worked once and has since refused to do anything, I am a little hesitant to buy another one; but I have a 120-page translation job pending that needs to be scanned before I can use TRADOS to translate the text.
Am I correct that it is feasible to a) scan a text and then b) to use an OCR program to render the text in say MS Word?
If so, what medium-priced scanner would you recommend? My predominant use would be text scanning.
However, I need to be sure that the scanner will read and reproduce languages other than English i.e. German, Spanish and possibly Italian.
Next please recommend an OCR software. I read about OmniPage 9.0 that has just been released. I read somewhere that the OCR software usually comes with a scanner. Is this correct?
I have a Gateway 2000 Pentium 4 PC with Windows XP Pro and Office XP Pro.
I would appreciate your input and advice
Thanks,
Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Just had the same experience! Oct 31, 2003

Hi Antoinette!
Just last week I bought a scanner for the very same reason.
I bought an Epson Perfection 1670, which came with Abbey Finereader. The "light" version comes with the scanner, but there is a demo of the Pro version that is free for 15 days.
One of the advantages of the Pro version is that it can scan multiple pages. So I scanned 100 pages, working in chapters. It was quite fast and the results are far better than I had expected.
Once you've scanned, you need to do some reformatting before you use a CAT tool (I use WordFast), because sometimes there are hard returns where there shouldn't be, and you need to connect the pages (divided by a section break). But I did all that last night in less than an hour.
I can't tell you how much the Pro version of the OCR is, but I CAN tell you how happy I am with the results.
The scanner is quite inexpensive (probably around $100). However, if you also plan to scan photos with it, you may want to buy a more expensive one.
Hope this helps!


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
English to Polish
+ ...
Scanners and OCR Oct 31, 2003

Most (if not all) scanners come with bundled OCR softwre, but they are mostly light versions with limited functions.

Abbyy Finereader 7.0 is pretty good and at $129 isn't very expensive.

Omnipage 12 costs $600...

Visit the sites of these companies to find out more about these programs.

www.abbyy.com
www.scansoft.com

I believe even the light versions support multiple languages, but they may lack options, such as scanning PDF documents.

Depends what you need.

What you do, is run the OCR program. It uses your scanner to scan the text (you don't need to open your scanning program) and export it straight to Word or Excel.

You don't need to scan first and OCR next.

One word of warning - if the paper document is of poor quality, you may spend a lot of time fixing the mistakes. This is critical especially with tables full of numbers - the mundane stuff.
Omnipage is very good, but it's not perfect.

I don't know if this helps you. Trial versions of the software are downloadable, so you can try it out first.

Pawel Skalinski


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
German to Polish
+ ...
Have a look here: Oct 31, 2003

http://pcworld.pricegrabber.com/home_catpage.php/catzero=16/ut=d4bfa9cac5b700f4

You will find lots of usefull information: prices, ratings, FAQs etc.
HTH.
Regards
Andrzej


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
English to German
+ ...
I have made good experience Oct 31, 2003

with HP Scanjet 3400 or higher.

Comes with decent OCR software. You can scan and save the scanned text right into Word files.

However, the text files would require some proofreading and editing afterwards, varying due the quality of the original and the resolution chosen for scanning.

Cost is less than 100 bucks.

HTH

Steffen

[Edited at 2003-10-31 09:59]


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Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scanner and OCR Selection Oct 31, 2003

Thank you, Steffen. The only question that remains is this: will any scanner read foreign (other than English) languages?
Antoinette
Steffen Pollex wrote:

with HP Scanjet 3400 or higher.

Comes with decent OCR software. You can scan and save the scanned text right into Word files.

However, the text files would require some proofreading and editing afterwards, varying due the quality of the original and the resolution chosen for scanning.

Cost is less than 100 bucks.

HTH

Steffen

[Edited at 2003-10-31 09:59]


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Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
German to Croatian
+ ...
Go for Abbyy FineReader Oct 31, 2003

I have tested several OCR software and found out that Abbyy FineReader produces the best results in combination with my HP scanner. It is excellent for technical manuals where both hardcopy images and texts have to be converted into a translatable Word document.

[Edited at 2003-10-31 17:44]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
English to Polish
+ ...
It's the software, not the scanner Oct 31, 2003

[quote]Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth wrote:

will any scanner read foreign (other than English) languages?
[quote]

This is up to the OCR software to recognize the language, not the scanner.
The scanner itself is like a copy machine - you can put anything on the glass - it doesn't make a difference.

Abbyy does a fine job of recognizing the languages you need.

Please note, that I am referring to separate software that you have to buy.
The OCR software that came with my HP 4470C+ was, well, uh, pretty sad.

But ask the salesperson what software comes with a particular scanner. Some scanners bundle Abbyy Finereader Sprint, which recognizes a whole bunch of languages and does a very fine job.


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Walter Blaser  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 14:22
French to German
+ ...
Language recognition depends on OCR software Oct 31, 2003

Antoinette

The question is not whether the scanner can read a given language because the scanner reads an image, it does thus not even know that it is text it is reading.
The ability to recognise a given language depends on the OCR software you use. Most well-known OCR programs (Omnipage, Abbyy Finereader) support all Western-European languages by default and offer an option for support of other groups of languages.

Conclusion: you may use any scanner that fits your purposes, but check that the OCR software you are going to use supports the languages you plan to process.

Walter


Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth wrote:

Thank you, Steffen. The only question that remains is this: will any scanner read foreign (other than English) languages?
Antoinette
Steffen Pollex wrote:

with HP Scanjet 3400 or higher.

Comes with decent OCR software. You can scan and save the scanned text right into Word files.

However, the text files would require some proofreading and editing afterwards, varying due the quality of the original and the resolution chosen for scanning.

Cost is less than 100 bucks.

HTH

Steffen

[Edited at 2003-10-31 09:59]


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Antoinette-M. Sixt Ruth  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scanner and OCR Selection Oct 31, 2003

Thank you everybody who contributed toward answering my question.
I have enough information now to take from here.
Antoinette


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