Newbie: Getting paper documents into MS Word?
Thread poster: Dr. Jason Faulkner

Dr. Jason Faulkner  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
Sep 23, 2006

Hello Everyone. Until now, my clients have always given me paper medical charts for translation. I would simply scan them into Microsoft Document Imaging (MODI) and save them as a TIFF, allowing me to return the original chart to my client immediately. I would then view the TIFF window side by side with a Word window and type away.

Now that I'm taking this business legit, I started using Trados. Problem is, the "send to Word" function in MODI leaves much to be desired. The OCR is lousy and the formatting isn't preserved. I started using Omnipage today and the OCR is great. Now I just can't figure out how to preserve the original scan. I'm not comfortable proofreading from an OCR-produced document since all I do are medical charts so I would like to see the original, as either a TIFF or PDF, when proofreading.

So my question is:

What is the best way to get paper documents into Word and still have the original scan on my hard drive? I think Omnipage does it but I'm still struggling with all it's functions. Has anyone built a simple workflow in Omnipage that gets this task done? Maybe I should be using different software? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 23:49
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hello Jason Sep 24, 2006

If you're willing to spend some $$$, I'd suggest ABBYY Finereader 8.
It keeps the layout, the OCR is good and available in many languages, and you can even help the software to recognize special fonts.

You would have to scan your paper document and save it as an image, then the process is quite simple, the software "reads" (in fact identifies text and images), then spell cheks, you help it in this step, and then you send it to Word. You work on (or from) "your" original.

Claudia


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Krys Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:49
Member (2003)
Polish to English
+ ...
I have Finereader but Sep 24, 2006

I have ABBYY Finereader, but quite frankly it is a pain in the ____
because its solution for preserving format is to introduce loads of text boxes, peculiar changes to font, columns, margins, etc etc. For me at least, it takes longer to work through an ABBYY document than to translate directly from the paper version. This is even more the case with medical reports, where the ones that I get tend to be very poor quallity faxes, which would be impossible to OCR properly. You mention medical charts. If a lot of these are in tabular form, this is again an area in which using Finereader is the stuff of nightmares.

[Edited at 2006-09-24 02:06]


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Manuel Rossetti
Local time: 03:49
Getting Paper docs into MS Word Sep 24, 2006

Krys Williams wrote:

I have ABBYY Finereader, but quite frankly it is a pain in the ____
because its solution for preserving format is to introduce loads of text boxes, peculiar changes to font, columns, margins, etc etc. For me at least, it takes longer to work through an ABBYY document than to translate directly from the paper version. This is even more the case with medical reports, where the ones that I get tend to be very poor quallity faxes, which would be impossible to OCR properly. You mention medical charts. If a lot of these are in tabular form, this is again an area in which using Finereader is the stuff of nightmares.

[Edited at 2006-09-24 02:06]


I agree with you, Krys. I have experienced the same problems.

There's no easy way or shortcut that I know of to scanned documents.


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Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:49
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Try also Solid Converter Sep 24, 2006

I have both Abby Finereader & Solid ConverterPDF.

Though Abby Finereader is a very good program, I is indeed a pain in the ... I personally use more Solid ConverterPDF because it is much easier to use, and you do not get the "text box" crap from Abby.

On the other side, Abby is much better when it comes down to low quality scanned/faxed text or pdfs that were originally images...

I suggest you try out both packages yourself. You can download a demo for SolidConverterPDF from their website (http://www.solidpdf.com/) and Abby Finereader from http://www.abbyy.com, in both cases from their download area.

Bests,

Ramon


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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:49
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Perhaps some extra work will do the trick Sep 25, 2006

Krys Williams wrote:

I have ABBYY Finereader, but quite frankly it is a pain in the ____
because its solution for preserving format is to introduce loads of text boxes, peculiar changes to font, columns, margins, etc etc. For me at least, it takes longer to work through an ABBYY document than to translate directly from the paper version.


Curious... I use Finereader and find it quick and accurate, even for text embedded within photographs.

Perhaps you're using the Wizard or the autoread functions, and that's why you get so many textboxes. I draw text and picture boxes manually, and the quality of text and formatting improves significantly.


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Dr. Jason Faulkner  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
It keeps plugging along!! (sort of) Sep 25, 2006

Thanks to everyone for their replies. I stayed up all night and got Omnipage to do what I wanted (with the exception of some really annoying auto-formatting that I still haven't figured out how to back out of).

For the record, I scanned into Omnipage, then ran OCR, then used the multiple save function to save both a TIFF of the original document, as well as a .doc of the OCR'ed text. A little labor intensive, but it'll get faster as I go along. I think I'll try some of the programs you all recommended this week to see how they compare.

I used Trados for the first time on this project. That was an interesting experience. It took me at least twice as long as it does manually, but that's because I was in the manuals for the first ten pages. By the end it was really flying along. Medical reports tend to have a lot of repeated sections so it will certainly be a help.

Thank you all for the suggestions.


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John Robin ALLEN
Local time: 20:49
English
Abby FineReader Textboxes are no problem Dec 13, 2006

I'm sorry to join this discussion so late. Those who dislike FineReader text boxes that "help" in the formatting have a legitimate complaint, but the same problem exists with all OCR products.
There is a very simple solution. When you export recognized text to a word processor, do not choose the "Retain Full Page Layout" option. Just choose "Retain font and font size".
I have used extensively three OCR programs: OmniPage, ReadIris, and Abbyy FineReader. About a year ago I wrote an article comparing the then-current version of each in several different modes, but the article was mangled by the editor and became unreadable. However I still have the original text and would be happy to send it to anyone who wants to read it. Its conclusion was that each program works best in different situations. One is best for converting spreadsheet tables. Another is best for working in languages other than English, and so forth.
Since then, however, I've changed my opinion. For me, Abbyy FineReader is by far the best program. When working with a difficult French text in an ornate script (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade), Abbyy is hands down more accurate than either of the other two. It also is easier to use, particularly when training it to hande difficult texts.
However FineReader still is not perfect. Perhaps I should write an article devoted to it alone.
J. R. Allen
Priddis, Alberta
allen@cc.umanitoba.ca


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