OCR Training?
Thread poster: Tom Gale

Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:13
French to English
+ ...
Oct 1, 2013

Hi hi,

I was wondering if Proz offer any training courses/webinars in using OCR tools (Abbyy/Omnipage etc.). I would say that I'm a competent user and anything that contains rather basic formatting does not pose a problem (particularly with the help of TransTools) but I would be interested in really learning how to really take advantage of these tools and decrease the time spent on preparing scanned PDFs for translation.

As a PM, I know from experience that giving a translator a shoddy conversion will usually result in hours of tweaking and fiddling post-translation and it would be really useful to cut down the time spent on preparing files for translators as offering a pretty Word file can be the difference between a translator saying "hmmmm, better not" and "sure, I'll take it!".

I checked the webinar list but didn't find any sessions relating to OCR. Has anyone had training in the software? If so, did you find it useful?

Thanks

Tom


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
What for? Oct 2, 2013

I wonder, why would someone need any training in OCR. The features of programs are described in their user manuals/built-in help. As for making a pretty Word file, Internet is full of tips, but one general rule is: quality of output documents is strictly proportional to the time spent for the process of marking up the pages to be recognized. When you leave it to the program (i. e., all automatic), you get in most cases garbage, but you get it quick. When you do the mark-up manually, you spend a lifetime for this, but you get a good document.

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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 14:13
English to German
Formatting – really pretty or merely comfortably editable? Oct 2, 2013

[quote]esperantisto wrote:

When you do the mark-up manually, you spend a lifetime for this, but you get a good document.


The time involved depends on whether you want a "good" document or merely a "easily translatable" one which can be re-layouted (by you or by your client) after it has been translated.

In both cases the document should be comfortably editable. But if the goal is "translatable only", you can omit/suppress/delete several formatting details, e. g. you can convert a two-column layout into a one-column-layout. Maybe you can even omit pictures.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:13
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Alexandria webinar Oct 2, 2013

I'm quite a competent OCR user but still picked up a few tips at Siegfried Armbruster's webinar in May:
http://alexandria-library.com/2013/04/01/ocr-finereader-11/

I'm not sure if it's available as a video. Maybe you could ask him?


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Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:13
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To save time where possible Oct 2, 2013

esperantisto wrote:

I wonder, why would someone need any training in OCR. The features of programs are described in their user manuals/built-in help. As for making a pretty Word file, Internet is full of tips, but one general rule is: quality of output documents is strictly proportional to the time spent for the process of marking up the pages to be recognized. When you leave it to the program (i. e., all automatic), you get in most cases garbage, but you get it quick. When you do the mark-up manually, you spend a lifetime for this, but you get a good document.


For the same reason why someone would want training in a CAT tool or any other software, really. The user manual only goes so far with any piece of software and is often so general that it never seems to help you do what you really want to do and fully exploit the software.

Take Word & Excel for example. If you are a competent user of VBA and macros you can save yourself possibly hours of repetitive work, yet I would say most competent users of Office do not know the first thing about creating and editing your own macros.

If quality of output is directly proportional to time spent, then surely speed of output is somewhat proportional to competency of use of the software available to you.


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Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:13
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's exactly what I was looking for! Oct 2, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

I'm quite a competent OCR user but still picked up a few tips at Siegfried Armbruster's webinar in May:
http://alexandria-library.com/2013/04/01/ocr-finereader-11/

I'm not sure if it's available as a video. Maybe you could ask him?


Thanks Emma! Obviously there is no "quick fix", but if I can shave off even 10 - 15 minutes and really fine tune the software then that would be worth it.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:13
French to English
+ ...
Me too Oct 2, 2013

I'd be interested in this too: I wonder if there's any chance or rerunning the webinar or being able to buy a recording? I know some training companies do offer that as a service. Having spent last week working on a nightmare pdf conversion that I processed with both Abbyy and Solid, I'd really appreciate some tips as to how to get round Abby's refusal to let you change the formatting sometimes!

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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:13
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Webinar on PDF conversion/OCR Oct 3, 2013

I was in fact planning to schedule a new webinar on PDF conversion/OCR.
However, the last few webinars showed that there are actually 2 topics that need to be covered.

a) PDF conversion. Using a OCR solution like Finereader is not always the best solution to convert PDF files. For files that do contain text (that can be copied) Finereader is suboptimal. There are better solutions. Discussing the various options for the various PDF files already fills a webinar.

b) OCR. This is a topic on its own to fill a webinar.

We are currently busy organizing our conference TriKonf 2013 (http://trikonf.com/), therefore the first possible date for a webinar would be beginning of November 2013. Check out our CPD website http://alexandria-library.com/, were will announce some new webinars (including PDF/OCR topics) beginning of next week.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 14:13
English to German
Learning outside the classroom Oct 3, 2013

Tom Gale wrote:

Take Word & Excel for example. If you are a competent user of VBA and macros you can save yourself possibly hours of repetitive work


Quite right.

yet I would say most competent users of Office do not know the first thing about creating and editing your own macros.


Again, quite right. But in the Web there are hundreds of step-by-step tutorials about VBA. Why not use them? Translators should be masters in the art of doing research, shouldn't they? So they can google for "first steps"+"word+"macros" or the like.

Nobody will ever learn how to write software (macros are software!) in a classroom during only one hour or one weekend, instead one has to try, to try, to try ... until the screen displays what you wanted. In some cases learning by doing is the only method that works in the long term. And: By learning by doing you learn how to learn.



[Bearbeitet am 2013-10-03 09:45 GMT]


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