Re: How good is OCR?

Subject: Re: How good is OCR?
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 12:34:06 -0800 (PST)

I first did comprehensive tests of OCR programs then available about fifteen years ago. At that time, by far the best available PC software was TypeReader from Expervision. This was far more accurate at the time than anything else we could find, with the possible exception of a $20,000 specialized system from Kurzweil (run on a Sun workstation and produced by a Xerox subsidiary). You can get a trial download of the software from (with whom I have no connection, nor have I tested the later versions).

Of course, the best known product is OmniPage, now produced by Scansoft (a *former* Xerox subsidiary). Info at This one I have tested fairly recently, and I can confirm that for most clear input sources it is about 97%+ accurate (depending on the original and the experience of the operator to have the settings correctly set).

However, for the price difference, I'd be most interested in trying TypeReader ($249 to buy the license "key" for the downloaded code). As I understand it, it still has extremely good typefont recognition...stemming from its original design, which was intended to be an OCR program for Japanese kanji characters.

Nothing replaces a careful proofreading, of course, but these products can greatly speed input if you must work from printed matter only.




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How good is OCR?: From: Hart, Geoff

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