OmniPage Pro 9.0

"Don't Retype Your Pages, OCR Them!"

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OmniPage Pro 9.0 is the latest version of Caere's leading OCR software for converting paper-based information into editable text that can be used in word processors and other text-based applications. It has an enhanced OCR engine that provides a high level of OCR accuracy. This new version improves overall OCR accuracy with several new features including support for color documents, the ability to identify and maintain tables as table objects in word processors, improved recognition of spreadsheets, and enhanced format preservation. In addition, Version 9.0 comes bundled with Caere's PageKeeper Standard document management software to easily organize and retrieve scanned and electronic documents. PageKeeper Standard can be purchased separately for $39. OmniPage Pro, Version 9.0 continues to provide ease-of-use features, including its customizable, intuitive AutoOCR Toolbar, which allows users to perform the entire OCR process with a single button click. Other features that add to the product's robust feature set include the ability of Microsoft Word users to verify OCR results from within Word and use the Word user dictionary in both Word and OmniPage Pro; multithreading, which allows a user with a multipage-page document to scan, recognize, and edit pages simultaneously; the ability to automatically straighten page images skewed as much as 10 degrees; enhanced support for 12 Western European languages in addition to U.S. English, and automatic recognition of multiple languages on the same page. Detection of reversed-out text (light text on a dark background) as text has improved. This improvement is particularly helpful for users who scan magazine-style pages, which often include reversed-out text. Users also benefit from HTML output, unattended OCR scheduling, and more. There is a version for the PC and for the Macintosh. Price: $499 and $99 to owners of any OCR product including versions such as the lite or limited editions bundled with most flatbed, edge-fed or multifunction scanners.

Caere also makes OmniPage Wizard, a wizard-based OCR application, which is similar to OmniPage Pro, but has less robust features. OmniPage Wizard has a highly graphical interface and walks users easily through the OCR process. It asks users simple questions about the documents they want to scan and what they want to do with those scanned documents. The user answers each question before OmniPage Wizard takes over to automatically convert the scanned pages. OmniPage Wizard is perfect for scanner owners who want higher levels of OCR accuracy and page format preservation capabilities than the "limited edition" OCR bundled with their scanner, and extreme ease of use, but not the superior OCR accuracy and advanced OCR features found in OmniPage Pro. Price: $49.00. See the Caere Web site for more information on additional products:

Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced users. The program is great for just about anyone. It has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. The OCR Wizard makes the process a no-brainer. Yet the robust features would appeal to Intermediate and Advanced users.
  • Maintains layout of original.
  • Superior accuracy.
  • Superior Word integration.
  • Re-sizeable OCR Proofreader. (New)
  • Supports Windows 95, 98 & NT 4.0
  • Easy, one-click OCR.
  • Spreadsheet recognition. (New)
  • Saves table objects. (New)
  • Preserves graphics in color. (New)
  • Optimized for Pentium II & MMX. (New)
  • Side-by-side views of image and text.
  • Improved OCR Wizard.
  • Includes PageKeeper (New)
  • Office 95 and 97 compatible.
  • Works with image editor.
  • Identifies areas of page to recognize.
  • Scan, OCR, and edit simultaneously.
  • Straightens crooked pages.
  • Schedules OCR at any time.
  • Recognizes text in 13 languages.
  • Supports most scanners.

Installation: The installation process is quick and easy. The Caere Scan Manager is installed during the process, and the user is prompted to select a scanner manufacturer and model in the Scan manager so that they can use their scanner with OmniPage Pro.

Manuals and Help: There are two very thorough manuals: (1) a User Guide for OmniPage Pro, 106 pages; (2) a User Guide for PageKeeper, 80 pages. The User Guide for OmniPage Pro is also available as an electronic PDF file. In addition to using the manuals, you can use OmniPage Pro's online Help topics to learn about features, settings, and procedures. There is also context-sensitive help; HoverHelp, which displays information in the status bar about buttons and commands when the cursor stops over them; and Tool Tips, which display pop-up labels for toolbar buttons when the cursor stops over them. Caere also includes a Quick Reference card that provides an overview of OmniPage Pro's toolbars, settings and basic steps in the OCR process.

Interface: The interface is intuitive and and easy to use. OmniPage Pro's desktop displays the pages of an open document in its thumbnail viewer, image viewer, and text viewer. The thumbnail viewer displays a picture of each page in the document. The image viewer displays the current interfacepage's original image. The text viewer displays the current page's recognized text and retained graphics. You can drag the splitter between the viewers to resize them. The thumbnail view is always displayed but you can drag its right border to reduce or enlarge its view. The image viewer and text viewer can be turned on and off. You can use buttons in the Standard, AutoOCR, and Zone toolbars to perform various tasks on the document. There are three toolbars:

  1. Standard: The Standard toolbar contains buttons and a drop-down list for performing standard tasks such as: New, Save, Proofread OCR, Undo, Image Editor, Rotate Image, Zoom, Open, Print, Cut, Paste, View, Options, Straighten Image, and Help.

  2. Zone: The Zone toolbar contains buttons that allow you to draw and define zones on a page image. zone toolbar It includes the following options: Draw Rectangular Zones; Draw Irregular Zones; Add to Zone; Subtract from Zone; Reorder Zones; Zone Properties; Move Row or Column Dividers; Insert Column Dividers; Insert Row Dividers; Remove/Replace All Row and Column Dividers; Remove Row or Column Dividers.

  3. AutoOCR: The AutoOCR toolbar buttons allow you to take a document through each step ofautoocr toolbar the OCR process. Every toolbar button has different process commands that can be set for the operations you want to perform. OmniPage Pro can go through all steps automatically, or you can start each step individually.

Options Dialog: The Options Dialog box is the central location for OmniPage Pro settings. It is available under the Options button in the Standard toolbar or under Options in the Tools menu. Youoptions dialog box can click each tab in the Options dialog box to access different groups of settings:

  1. Accuracy Settings--settings that affect OCR accuracy: use Language Analyst; use training file; automatically straighten page image; automatically correct page orientation; automatically detect reverse text; and select a character type to identify the printed text characteristics in a document.
  2. Page Format Settings--settings that determine how the formatting of a page is handled during OCR: select original page layout such as single column, multiple columns, spreadsheet, and mixed pages; select output format such as how much of the original formatting you want to retain in your document; and select font options for recognized text.
  3. Table Settings--settings for processing table zones: select to look for tables when creating zones automatically; select the way you want tables to be handled when you save a document; and select the line style for the outside border and inside grid.
  4. Language Settings--language settings for your document: select main language; select additional languages; select user dictionary; select interface language; and select reject character.
  5. Process Settings--process commands and settings for each step of OCR: select auto settings; select to load or scan image; select if you want auto zones; select use template if you want zone templates; select OCR commands to convert images to text, OCR and proof, or train OCR; and select export commands.
  6. Scanner Settings--settings for scanning paper documents into OmniPage Pro: select page settings; select ADF settings for an automatic document feeder; select scanning mode such as black and white, grayscale, or color; and select brightness.
  7. OCR Aware Settings--settings for OCR Aware feature: enable OCR Aware; select to draw zones automatically; select to proofread OCR; select image source; and register applications to work with OCR Aware.
  8. Microsoft Word Settings--settings for proofreading OCR results directly in Microsoft Word: select proofreading OCR; and select the color in which you want suspected errors to appear when the document is opened in Word.

OCR Wizard: Using the Wizard is the easiest way to scan. It interactively guides you through the entire OCR process in an easy six-step "how to" session that not only accomplishes the task but also teaches you how to do it in the future. The OCR Wizard asks you six simple questions and ocr wizardperforms OCR based on the answers to the following: 1) How will you get your image? 2) What is the layout of your original page image (i.e.: single column, multi-column, spreadsheet, or mixed)? 3) What is the main language of your original document? 4) Do you want to retain the original page's appearance? 5) Do you want to proofread OCR results before export? and 6) How do you want to export your document?

AutoOCR: You can also use AutoOCR where you process a new or open document according to the selected process commands. The AutoOCR Toolbar guides you through the major steps of the OCR process. The toolbar offers the flexibility to control sophisticated OCR settings using easy drop-down boxes while providing one-button automatic processing of scanned documents.

  1. Bring a document image into OmniPage Pro. You can scan a paper document or load an image file. The resulting image appears in OmniPage Pro's image viewer.
  2. Create zones to identify areas you want to recognize as text or retain as graphics. zonesZones are borders that enclose the areas of a document image that will get processed. You can create zones automatically, manually, or with a template. Any areas not enclosed by zones are ignored during OCR.
  3. Perform OCR to convert text information into editable text characters. During OCR, OmniPage Pro interprets text characters in an image. After OCR, you can check and correct errors in the text using the OCR Proofreader.
  4. Export the document to the desired location. You can save your document to a specified file format, place it on the Clipboard, or send it as a mail attachment.

Preservation of Original Page Formatting and Integrity: OmniPage Pro does an excellent job of preserving the integrity and formatting of original pages. In 1994, Caere pioneered the notion of preserving a document's original formatting with its True Page technology. Today, Version 9.0 includes more flexibility for users who want to maintain the layout of original pages including the columns and graphics, and tables and color. I loaded the sample multiple column, text and graphic page that is provided with the program and used the various page settings. OmniPage Pro did an excellent job of preserving the information. It also did well with changing a multiple column page to a single column page. You have four choices from precise layout preservation to removing all formatting:

  1. True Page (retain appearance using frames)--True Page very closely maintains the original formatting of the page by placing individual paragraphs in "frames" within the word processing file. True Page recognizes and maintains word and page attributes such as font point size, font style (bold, italics, etc.), lists and tables, graphics, and original page size. Users benefit from very precise replication of the page (limited by system fonts), almost like a photocopy that is somewhat editable. This option if perfect when you want precise positioning of elements and there is no need for text to flow between columns in the recognized page.
  2. Retain Flowing Columns--This option maintains much of the original formatting of the scanned page but reduces the number of frames used. Users benefit from increased editability with free-flowing text. Frames are used only where necessary to precisely place graphics and other separate elements. You can use this option when exact positioning is less important and you want the text to flow between columns.
  3. Retain Font and Paragraph Formatting--With this option you keep the font characteristics (serif or sans serif, bold, italics, underlines, indentation, etc.) as well as margins in a way that is more easily edited. This option is good to use when you don't care about page layout but want to preserve formatting and want to do extensive editing.
  4. Remove Formatting--This provides the quickest output when formatting and layout are not considerations and all you want to keep is plain text.

Verifying OCR Results: OmniPage Pro makes it easy to check or edit OCR results by providing two important features:

  1. OCR Proofreader--This feature was formerly Check Recognition. The Proofreader displays a picture of the text in question during the proofing process to assist you in verifying errors. It identifies questionable characters and words not in the dictionary and presents suggestions, proofreadermuch like a spell check. You can create and maintain a dictionary containing you own words and can share the user dictionary from Microsoft Word. The OCR Proofreader is accessible from within OmniPage Pro or Microsoft Word as well. The OCR Proofreader is resizable, allowing you to see more of the original image while proofreading.
  2. Manually editing OCR results--The output text in OmniPage Pro's Text View is fully editable, enabling you to make additional corrections before saving the document to a text-based application.

Color Support: In January 1998, OmniPage Pro for Macintosh became the first desktop OCR package to preserve color graphics in the output text. Now with Version 9.0, that same capability is available on Windows. Allowing you to take full advantage of color scanners, OmniPage Pro displays color graphics in all views (Thumbnail, Image and Text) and maintains color graphics in your word processor or other text-based application. The ability to maintain color graphics eliminates the need to rescan documents to capture graphics and to manually insert these graphics in the word processor, as previously required. Color graphics are saved at 150 dots per inch in your word processor.

Table Support: In Version 9.0, OmniPage Pro added the ability to detect tables and save them as table objects to Word and WordPerfect. OmniPage Pro preserves the structure and layout of tables (rows and columns of text). If the table is gridded (with lines between the rows and columns), OmniPage Pro will automatically identify it as a table and save it as a table object in your word processor. If it is not gridded, the structure will still be preserved as columns with tabs between them. You can also identify non-gridded tables as table zones, and they will be saved as table objects. OmniPage Pro also provides tools to modify tables in the Image View, before recognition, where it is easy to make changes. You can manipulate tables zones: move or remove selected row or column dividers; insert single column or row dividers; or remove all row and column dividers at once. These tools appear on the new zone toolbar for easy access.

Multithreading Capability: Version 9.0 takes advantage of 32-bit Window's ability to perform more than one task at a time. Multithreading permits you to scan, recognize, and edit pages of a multiple-page document simultaneously. This saves you time as you don't need to wait for each process to complete before moving on to the next. Previously, you had to wait until all the pages were loaded and recognized before any modifications to the document could be made.

Schedule OCR: You can schedule a time to automatically OCR documents. You can identify documents on the scanner or images on the hard drive and schedule a convenient time for scheduleunattended processing. At the designated time, OmniPage Pro scans the documents or loads the identified images and then automatically zones, recognizes, and saves output text to a selected destination. OmniPage Pro also offers Deferred Processing, where images are scanned or loaded, zoned, and saved as OmniPage (*.MET) files until you manually begin processing.

OCR Aware: This feature allows OmniPage Pro to be accessed directly from text-based applications, such as Microsoft Word. OmniPage Pro adds an "Acquire Text" command and an "Acquire Text Settings" command to the File menu of most text-based applications for easy access to OCR capabilities. By using OCR Aware, you can scan or load an image while in your favorite word processing application. OmniPage Pro will OCR the document and place the text directly into the word softwareapplication. You can proofread and manually select zones all within your word processing software. Just this feature alone makes this program a must have. I scanned in pages and loaded existing pages right in Word and had no problem. With the Acquire Text Settings command, a dialog box opens up within Word and you can choose all the same options you have in OmniPage Pro. When you select to create your own zones, a separate OmniPage Pro window will open up right in Word.

Microsoft Office Compatibility: OmniPage Pro is immediately familiar to users of Microsoft Office as it has similar menu structures, toolbar icons, dialog boxes, and commands. OmniPage Pro also eliminates the need for Word users to maintain a custom dictionary in both Word and OmniPage Pro. OmniPage Pro allows users to select the Word custom dictionary as OmniPage Pro's custom dictionary. When this option is selected, words added to the user dictionary are available in both applications.

Image Editor Integration: You can invoke a Windows image editor to manipulate graphics in a scanned document. You simply double click on a graphic in a scanned document and it launches the editor. This feature is available for most popular image editors, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, MGI PhotoSuite, CorelDraw, Corel PhotoPaint, and Micrografx Picture Publisher. OmniPage Pro uses OLE 2.0 integration with OLE-compliant image editors. Otherwise, OmniPage Pro launches the appropriate application and updates the image upon closing.

PageKeeper Standard--PageKeeper Standard, Caere's document management application, enables you to organize, use, and retrieve documents on your PC, and it is now included with OmniPage Pro 9.0. It lets you organize both scanned pages and electronic documents (such as Word, Excel, and Web pages) in a single desktop. As a result, scanner users can easily manage all of your documents, including those scanned into OmniPage Pro, within a single application. OmniPage Pro 9.0 and PageKeeper Standard are very closely integrated. For example, documents scanned into OmniPage Pro can be automatically added to PageKeeper, providing an easy way for users to organize and retrieve these documents. OmniPage Pro is also available on PageKeeper's Application Toolbar, which enables users to launch a scanned page directly into OmniPage Pro 9.0. Likewise, scanned pages stored in PageKeeper can be loaded into OmniPage Pro with a single click. train

Character-based OCR Training: You can train the OmniPage Pro OCR engine for better recognition of special characters such as the Greek letter delta; the copyright symbol; and the spade symbol. OmniPage Pro allows you to create multiple training files to use with different documents (and fonts).

The more I used the program, the more impressed I became with what you could do with it and how easy it is to learn and use. Not only does the program have the ability to preserve the integrity and formatting of pages, it is fast. OmniPage Pro has been optimized for the Pentium II and MMX PCs. You don't have to worry about your scanner not working with the software. It includes support for over 100 flatbed and edge-fed, black and white, grayscale, and color scanners, including models from Hewlett Packard, UMAX and Microtek, as well as TWAIN-compliant devices. It also has support for a variety of file formats. You can load PCX, DCX, BMP, TIFF, JPG, FXS, FXR, and BFX files for conversion. Images can be black and white, grayscale, or color; multipage TIFF images are also supported. It is invaluable to users who have an automatic document feeder as you can quickly scan a stack of double-sided pages using the document feed and the program first scans the front side of a stack of pages and then the back side. OmniPage Pro then automatically places the pages in the correct order. What more would you want!

Windows 95, 98 or NT 4.0
486 PCs and above
16 MB RAM (32 MB recommended)
45 MB free hard disk space
CD-ROM drive
SVGA or VGA monitor with 256 colors

Graphics: Adobe Photoshop & Adobe ImageStyler
Web Page Editor: Macromedia Dreamweaver 2.0
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series