Giving up on Omnipage / Nuance (Scansoft)
Thread poster: Comunican

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Catalan to English
+ ...
Apr 16, 2010

Since moving to Windows 7 and re-installing Omnipage 17, I've had very poor support from Nuance ("formerly Scansoft"): they have ignored my support requests for days on end, sent me supposedly "accurate" scans of documents which were full of errors (especially with regard to accents) and made no attempt to track or respond to the comments I was making. Given that I have spent hundreds of pounds with them and there have been major deficiencies in the product, I am dispappointed to say the least.

I reckon that no PDF scanner is better than an inaccurate one. So I've deleted Omnipage from my computer. And will be avoiding Nuance and Scansoft products from now on.

Could anyone recommend a good PDF scanner that accurately converts PDFs into Word documents, from a company that provides responsive could-care-less technical support, please?

Thanks!


 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Swedish to English
+ ...
OmniPage Apr 16, 2010

Sorry to hear about your problems with Nuance since moving to Windows 7.
It sounds as if you are a pioneer.
I am still on Windows XP, and get excellent results with OmniPage 17.


 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:18
English to French
+ ...
The best OCR software--with the worst support Apr 16, 2010

Sorry to read about your misadventure.

I use OmniPage with excellent results, although I am still only using OmniPage Professional 15. Having said that, when it comes to support, Nuance are literally thieves. Just to have a person contact you, you need to give them twenty bucks. And then, they don't seem to be helpful at all, at least from my experience.

I would still like to check if you are using the software correctly. The thing with expectations of OCR software is that they are usually very high--users seem to think they can just feed a document into the software and out pops the perfectly recognized result. This is unrealistic. Any OCR will give you poor results if you just feed a document into the default automatic process.

I have painstakingly learned to use OmniPage, and I now know that you should not let OmniPage automatically zone the pages for you. You should do the zoning manually. You also should set the document language, otherwise you may end up with some nasty accented character problems, and the proofreading process will give you an incredible amount of false positives as well. So, if you are just throwing documents into the OCR process and letting the software decide how the document is processed, then I respectfully suggest that it is not the software that is at fault but rather your expectations that are unrealistic.

True, the learning curve with OmniPage is steeper than with most other OCR software. However, the difference in final output quality largely justifies that learning curve.

But you are right that Nuance personnel is not quite helpful to say the very least, and technical support is virtually non existent. If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of output quality and ability to fine-tune the OCR process in exchange for great support, Abbyy is most likely the right fit for you.


 

Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
I upgraded to Windows 7 Apr 16, 2010

and then installed Omnipage 16.

Everything works fine!


 

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 05:18
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
what about acrobat? Apr 17, 2010

In the few cases I have had I've been using Abby FineReader but then I realized that my Acrobat Pro does it too. It´s not as heavy-duty as Abby for instance (just an impression) but could be an alternative.

Regards

smo

PS: could it be it was the scanner - and not OmniPage in your case? I have an Epson scanner - the dumbest among USB devices - but cant get it working on win 7.

[Edited at 2010-04-17 19:28 GMT]


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, was using it correctly Apr 23, 2010

ViktoriaG wrote:

I would still like to check if you are using the software correctly.


Hi Viktoria
Yes, I had been using Ominpage for some time and had steadily upgraded to version 17 (I think I probably spent about 300 euros on the product in the end).
The problem came when I upgraded to Windows 7 and then re-loaded Omnipage 17. The fisrt (and subsequent) documents I converted included many of mistakes that Ominpage would never have made before.
Nuance's support included sending me an "accurate" version of a document I was trying to work on that was literally full of errors - many where it turned every accented "i" (í) into "l", but also many other basic errors.
I asked Nuance repeatedly to call me and guide me through what was going wrong but I just kept getting a rather poorly trained (or just stupid) support person who would take 3 or 4 days to reply to my response e-mails and then ask me to do the exact same thing I had already done and had already told it had failed :S
Don't buy Omnipage if you think you might want support, would be my advice!


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hopefully you'll be ok when you move to version 17 Apr 23, 2010

Alexander Chisholm wrote:

and then installed Omnipage 16.

Everything works fine!


Hi Alexander
I moved from 16 to 17 because I was having some compatibility issues (I can't remember what they were now), plus I fell for the "better accuracy" sales pitch. Disappointingly, it didn't work out for me.
Good luck to you as/when you move to version 17; you may not have a problem.
Actually, my main beef with Nuance is their incredibly disappointing support. I still have their Dragon Naturally Speaking and would switch to a different product in a heartbeat since it messes up and grinds to a halt every 4 or 5 months and usually causes me to have to take some kind of drastic action (latest being to upgrade to Windows 7!). I have a reasonable spec PC (2GB/Intel Core 2 Duo, 100GB storage) so i don't know what the problem is, and Nuance support is not particularly helpful when it comes to Dragon Naturally Speaking either - they normally tell me to uninstall and re-install the software (which is a time-consuming hassle, and it seems unnecessary to have to do that 2 or 3 times a year). But DNS is my primary productivity tool so I have to grin and bear it (or get on here and moan about it and get it off my chest LOL)


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
now trying Abbyy Finereader Apr 23, 2010

Vito Smolej wrote:

In the few cases I have had I've been using Abby FineReader but then I realized that my Acrobat Pro does it too. It´s not as heavy-duty as Abby for instance (just an impression) but could be an alternative.

Regards

smo

PS: could it be it was the scanner - and not OmniPage in your case? I have an Epson scanner - the dumbest among USB devices - but cant get it working on win 7.

[Edited at 2010-04-17 19:28 GMT]


Hi Vito
No, it's not the scanner because the documents are always PDFs (I don't even have a scanner, shockingly!), and the PDFs I have had lately have not been "messy".
On a very strong recommendation from a colleague who had to help me out by converting some PDFs for me over the last month, I have now moved to Abbyy Finereader (another 90 quid, but hey, it's a cost of doing business!).
So far so good, but the test will come when there is a problem that I can't fix...
Regards

[Edited at 2010-04-23 13:56 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-04-23 13:56 GMT]


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:18
Catalan to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not really a pioneer Apr 23, 2010

Peter Linton wrote:

It sounds as if you are a pioneer.


Hi Peter
No, not really a pioneer, just very lazy and always looking for anything that might mean I can get more done for less efforticon_biggrin.gif
Regards


 


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