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Multilingual challenger Recognita Plus 2.0 is least accurate OCR software we've tested
PRODUCT SUMMARY OmniPage Professional, Version 5.0
Company: Caere Corp., of Los Gatos, Calif., can be reached at (800) 535-7226; fax: (408) 354-2743.
List price: $695.
Requires: Intel 80386 or later; 8MB of RAM; 22MB of hard disk space; Windows 3.1 or later.
Pros: Simplified interface; better accuracy than before; faster than previously at recognizing degraded documents; retains formats.
Cons: Slower overall than previous versions.
Summary: OmniPage Pro 5.0 is well suited to various optical character recognition (OCR) needs, from handling simple text pages to recognizing and retaining complex layouts. Its recognition techniques have evolved to match the lower quality of faxed and photocopied documents, resulting in improved accuracy.
PRODUCT SUMMARY Recognita Plus, Version 2.0
Company: Recognita Corp. of America is
located in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be reached at (408) 241-5772; fax: (408) 241-6009.
List price: English Version, $295; Americas Version (supports English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese), $395; International Version (supports 80 Latin-based, non-Cyrillic languages, and Greek), $695.
Requires: Intel 80386 or compatible; 4MB of RAM; Windows 3.0 or later; DOS 3.0 or later.
Pros: Handles simple scanning well; automatic page decomposition; deferred processing; broad international language support.
Cons: High degree of inaccuracy; doesn't retain font styles; manual zoning is clumsy; interface is initially hard to understand.
Summary: Recognita Plus 2.0 is worth considering if your OCR needs are modest, such as recognizing pages with simple layouts. The program provides some productivity enhancements, such as automatic page decomposition. It excels, however, at recognizing multiple languages.
In the past few years, two packages -- Calera Recognition Systems Inc.'s WordScan Plus and Caere Corp.'s OmniPage Professional -- have duked it out for supremacy in the Windows optical character recognition (OCR) software market. The two products are very similar in most respects, although WordScan Plus still provides the best overall accuracy you'll get with an OCR package: the equivalent of about five errors per 8 1/2-by-11-inch double-spaced typewritten page.
In our November 1, 1993, review (page 92), Version 2.0 of WordScan Plus pulled up even with the final score for Version 2.11 of OmniPage Professional (last reviewed in our April 26, 1993, product comparison, page 70). In this head-to-head review, we look at Version 5.0 of OmniPage Professional, Caere's first salvo in a new round of upgrades between it and Calera, and a relative newcomer, Recognita Corp.'s Recognita Plus, Version 2.0.
A Hungary-based product that has just begun to build a marketing presence in this country, Recognita Plus offers some interesting advantages, particularly for recognizing multiple languages, but it doesn't come close to matching what OmniPage and WordScan offer. The latter two OCR products still claim the spotlight.
Both Calera and Caere have worked to streamline their interfaces and tune their recognition engines to handle degraded documents such as faxes. With Version 5.0, OmniPage Pro has become easier to use, delivers better accuracy, and offers outstanding format retention. (This last option lets you load a converted file into a frame-based word processor and have text, graphics, and photos that look like the original document.)
The next version of WordScan, an as-yet-unfinished 3.0 slated to ship sometime this summer, will have an enhanced interface that simplifies operation and tight integration with other software, especially the leading Windows word processors. Using OLE 2.0 and single-command scanning, you will be able to perform OCR directly from within Microsoft Word, with the converted text appearing in your word processing document.
In the sidebar on page 126, we look at Ligature Software Inc.'s Character Eyes 2.1. You'll want to think twice before considering this product; it's expensive and lacks many standard OCR functions.
We evaluated OmniPage Pro 5.0 and Recognita Plus 2.0 according to the test plan introduced in the April 26, 1993, comparison.
OmniPage Professional, Version 5.0
OmniPage Professional 5.0, from Caere Corp., features a redesigned interface with a toolbar that clearly guides you through the optical character recognition process. Its one-button …