Metrics and rates for transcription (scanned PDF into Word)
Thread poster: Valeria Fuma

Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 07:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 3, 2014

Hi all,

I have received a request to transcribe a set of scanned PDFs with low quality. They need to be typed into a Word document.

I haven't done this task before, the quality is such that an OCR process wouldn't have usable results.

Could you kindly advise of the metrics and rates for this task? My client asked me about the throughput for this type of work: how many words can be produced in 1 hour.

Thank you in advance for your help!


Valeria


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Monolingual copy-typing? Dec 3, 2014

Is that what this is? If so, I doubt whether the hourly rate, or the per-word rate based on the number of typed words, would be very high. It sounds like a basic copy-typing i.e. secretarial job.

How many words can you type in an hour? 100wpm is an average touch-typists's speed nowadays (faster than when I learnt on a manual typewriter back in the '70s)!.


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Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 07:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Dec 3, 2014

Thank you, Sheila. I'm looking for general metrics to use as a reference. I think 100 wpm is a high metric if the quality of the scan is poor.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Words per hour Dec 3, 2014

This is indeed a secretarial job because you have to (copy) type the text.

How large is the file? Are all PDF pages of the same quality? I assume you know how many words you can type in 1 hour, but do take the quality of the PDF into consideration. If portions of the text are difficult to read, then you might be able to type less words than you normally would.


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Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 07:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Thayenga! Dec 3, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

This is indeed a secretarial job because you have to (copy) type the text.

How large is the file? Are all PDF pages of the same quality? I assume you know how many words you can type in 1 hour, but do take the quality of the PDF into consideration. If portions of the text are difficult to read, then you might be able to type less words than you normally would.


Hi Thayenga,

Thank you for your useful advice. Yes, it is kind of a secretarial job. They sent me a sample file: it is a PDF with 29 pages. The quality of the scan is poor, so I would definitely take that aspect into account.

Best,


Valeria


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
"Suck it and see" time? Dec 3, 2014

Valeria Fuma wrote:
I'm looking for general metrics to use as a reference. I think 100 wpm is a high metric if the quality of the scan is poor.

I dare say it is, Valerie, but only you know what the quality is like and how much it will impact on your speed. If it's a general text, written in full sentences, you can often anticipate the next word even if it isn't terribly clear; in other cases you need to be able to see the word clearly if you're to be able to reproduce it at all. I can only suggest you spend, say, 15 minutes typing; or select a certain number of lines and see how long it takes. Extrapolating from there is going to be much more accurate than using a "finger in the air" figure.


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Nancy Matis  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:44
English to French
+ ...
ABBYY? Dec 4, 2014

Hi Valeria,

I was going to answer exactly the same as Sheila. Try 15 minutes and extrapolate.
Now, have you tried ABBYY, the OCR software? We've had similar cases and it worked pretty well - at least we could get part of the text extracted and we typed the rest.
I don't know if you can send me your document, but if so, I can process it here to see if you can get a good result on some parts?

Kind regards
Nancy


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Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 07:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Nancy! Dec 9, 2014

Nancy Matis wrote:

Hi Valeria,

I was going to answer exactly the same as Sheila. Try 15 minutes and extrapolate.
Now, have you tried ABBYY, the OCR software? We've had similar cases and it worked pretty well - at least we could get part of the text extracted and we typed the rest.
I don't know if you can send me your document, but if so, I can process it here to see if you can get a good result on some parts?

Kind regards
Nancy


Hi Nancy,

Many thanks for your kind reply and offer, and my apologies for getting back to you this late.

My client sent me some sample PDFs, but I'm afraid I cannot share them as I have signed a NDA with them.

I used ABBYY in the past, and I will do a test as per your suggestion.

Thanks again, have a nice week ahead!


Valeria


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Nancy Matis  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:44
English to French
+ ...
Trial version of ABBBY Dec 15, 2014

Hi Valeria,

Good that you know the program - you can download the trial version in order to test if it works on those files:
https://store.abbyyeu.com/cgi-bin/dlreg/ml=EN?ID=FR12PETB

Let us know if it has worked!

Kind regards
Nancy


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Metrics and rates for transcription (scanned PDF into Word)

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