IN MANY WAYS, Young Abbyy FineReader Professional outclasses its long-established competitor, OmniPage Professional, now in version 16. FineReader keeps basic tasks simple and gives clear
explanations of complex ones. And though both products produced roughly the same number of mistakes in converting newspaper text, corrections were far easier to make with FineReader.
In the impressive spell-checker, I liked the small window that showed the text I was reviewing, and I especially appreciated the three associated panes. One gave a reduced view of the page, outlining the region I was checking. An enlarged view highlighted that region within the surrounding area, letting me see what I was proofreading in the context of adjacent text. The third pane held the editable text already extracted. If I saw unflagged mistakes or wanted to correct several at once, I could simply switch to the editable text, then jump back to the proofreading window, which I could also move as much as I liked to make multiple changes—a task that’s clumsy or impossible with OmniPage.
But FineReader’s automation capabilities aren’t nearly as powerful. OmniPage has a deeper automation feature set. It also proves superior at reproducing complicated page layouts. For high- volume work, such as archiving, it’s probably more efficient. For producing editable text from poor- quality originals, though, or if you plan to do more tweaking, but to fewer documents, FineReader is almost unquestionably the better choice
PROS Accurate output. Convenient, intuitive proofreading. Clearest interface of any comparable product.
CONS Doesn’t reproduce complex page layouts as well as OmniPage.