Scansoft - How to choose?

  Harper Boy 07:04 06 Jan 05

I want to scan in my paper pile and to be able to search it (and of course retrieve from it) later. Both Paperport and Omnipage seem to do much the same, but getting a straight answer out of Scansoft is like pulling teeth. What are the primary differences between these 2 packages? And is there another suitable product out there from a manufacturer more inclined to talk to customers?

  shellship 15:03 06 Jan 05

Paperport seems to be the thing acording to this:

click here

  Harper Boy 18:46 06 Jan 05

Thanks. It looks impressive (on paper!!!!), but I still don't fully understand how it differs from Omnipage. Just to make matters even less clear, I found this comment from a user (on Amazon) - "you only discover after you have bought it (Paperport) that it ONLY works properly if you have Omnipage 11 or higher as well".
See why I'm confused?

  Simsy 21:24 06 Jan 05

is an OCR, (Optical Character Recognition), programme. It "looks" at an image, (either one you already have on disc, jpeg, bmp etc, or one you scan in), and "reads" it, deciphering anything it thinks is text.

Then it saves this text as a file of some sort, eg Word document, Spreadsheet, textfile.

PaperPOrt, (as far as I recal; I played with a coverdisc trial a while back), is essentially a file management tool, like windows explorer, but with everything shown as "thumbnail" images. It INCLUDES an OCR function, but the OCR function isn't as powerful, (in terms of options), as the standalone OCR programme, Omnipage.

With apologies if I've got this wrong. I hope it helps,



  Harper Boy 11:25 07 Jan 05

Please don't apologise, that's the clearest answer I've found anywhere so far!
What I really need is to hear from people who have experiemce in using either or both to organise their paperwork. I'm not so naive as to believe in the truly paperless office; but I can't be the only one who is drowning under piles of the stuff and would like to be able to get it out of sight and into a less intrusive form of storage ie electronic. But I do need to be able to retireve some of it . . . .

  shellship 12:36 07 Jan 05

Harper Boy

Sorry if I have mislead you. Simsy is quite right. However, I have used Omnipage in all its versions over several years and found it pretty good most of the time and getting better at OCR each time. Ugrades from earlier versions are relatively cheap but I suspect the starting package is quite expensive - it certainly used to be, but then I am going back a long time!

  shellship 12:37 07 Jan 05

Forgot. Omnipage also saves as pdf file for reading in Acrobat.

  stylehurst 14:15 07 Jan 05

I have also used Omnipage for a number of years. Its latest version (14) has an impressive accuracy rate; probably the best of all OCR programs.
As stated previously Paperport is really an organisational program with a weak OCR capability.
Omnipage is really what you want

  Harper Boy 12:01 08 Jan 05

Many thanks. Lots of good advice. Lots to ponder on! From what I've read so far, I guess that the organisational strengths of Paperport are likely to be of more immediate use to me than the powerful OCR of Omnipage, since I suspect that retrieving documents is going to be necessary much more often than manipulating them. I assume Paperport will let me allocate keywords when I save a scanned document; and I don't need to carry out OCR to know what keywords I want to allocate. (It's not a major company we're talking about, just me and my overflowing "back copies"!).

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