Rather than bringing together a range of skills, ReadIRIS Pro focuses on OCR (optical character recognition). And it does the job rather well.

On straightforward text documents, ReadIRIS is extremely accurate, although not quite spot on should the font size change. But editing such mistakes is far easier than retyping the document.

Results are best on simple text documents, but it can handle more complex pages with text, graphics and background colours. It retains most of the formatting, but background colours tend to lose their smoothness.

Not everything in version 11.0 works flawlessly. ReadIRIS boasts that its ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) engine allows it to read hand-printed capital letters. But even on the supplied sample file it failed to recognise most of the words.

Despite this, overall performance is very good. The software was fast on our 1.8GHz Core Duo powered laptop – and that was at the highest accuracy setting. If you're using a slower PC you can push this setting down for faster recognition speeds.

One strength is ReadIRIS' support for 21 languages. It's easy to change the recognised tongue, too. ReadIRIS has a good stab at tables, automatically exporting the results into Excel. We found it retained much of the formatting, although things had to be tided up a little.

And ReadIRIS Pro 11.0 offers comprehensive PDF support. It offers four different output types: image over text, text over image, text only or image only. So you can save and share documents in this format.

Click here for our verdict on the IRISPen Executive, Iris's portable scanner and OCR software bundle.

ReadIRIS Pro 11.0: Specs

  • Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows 98 SE/NT 4.0/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 120MB hard disk space
  • Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows 98 SE/NT 4.0/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 120MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

ReadIRIS is a pure OCR product that turns out excellent results on text. It's quite costly, but if you need OCR software with multiple language support, ReadIRIS is a very strong package.

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