Handheld devices grow more and more powerful every year. Now the mobile device in your hand can not only create digital images of documents and pages from a book, it also can even perform OCR (optical character recognition) that converts the printed words into computer-readable and editable text. This should be a very useful tool for genealogists, historians, and anyone else who does a lot of research and needs to save much of the information found.
A scan from the Redbook. Click on the image to view a larger version. Your image viewing program in your computer should allow you to zoom in or out as needed and also to print.
ABBY FineScanner has been available on other operating systems and has become one of the most powerful OCR products today. New versions for Apple iOS and for Android were released recently and are also gaining in popularity. ABBY FineScanner is available in two versions: free and paid.
The free version of ABBYY FineScanner lets you scan documents, apply perspective corrections, use filters, and print from the app. A $39/year Pro Subscription adds OCR and removes ads. Either version will convert your smartphone or tablet into a powerful mobile scanner to quickly capture any paper, create electronic copies in PDF and JPEG formats, and (optionally in the Pro Subscription version) extract text from scans for further editing and sharing in DOCX, XSL, PDF, and 9 other formats.
A one-month free version of the Pro Subscription is also available for anyone who would like to take it for a test drive.
Both the free and paid versions will scan any printed or hand-written papers, create perfect digital copies and save them to JPEG or PDF documents. The program also includes something called BookScan, a unique feature for digitizing books quickly and easily. It splits facing book pages into two separate images, removes any defects, and straightens curved text lines.
The paid Pro Subscription also will recognize text from scans in 193 languages and save results in 12 formats (DOCX, PDF, TXT and more), preserving the original document formatting.
I have been using the free version for a couple of days and am impressed with it. I will probably upgrade to the paid version with OCR capabilities the next time I have a need for OCR. Until then, I’ll settle for the free version.
You can learn more at http://www.finescanner.com/.