by Wayne Kawamoto
ScanSoft’s TextBride Pro 9.0
If your office is like most, it contains a ton of paper. Optical character recognition (OCR) software programs, such as ScanSoft’s TextBridge Pro 9.0 Business Edition, can help. When used in combination with a scanner, OCR software “reads” paper documents and digitizes them into computer text files, thus eliminating mountains of messy paper. Once paper documents are converted to electronic files they can then be edited, shared over file systems or via e-mail, or published on the Web.
With its intuitive interface, precise HTML output, and impressive accuracy, TextBridge Pro is a powerful capture system. The software excels at converting complicated magazine and newsletter layouts into almost identical HTML documents. It can scan multi-page paper documents and automatically build Web sites that are complete with a table of contents, built-in links, and navigation tools to move from page to page.
In our tests, TextBridge Pro did an excellent job of recognizing headings and graphics, and straightening crooked scans. The program averaged better than 99 percent word accuracy on high-quality scans, and with poor quality faxes it achieved an accuracy of 90 percent.
It also did a great job of converting documents into the PDF file format so companies can easily share, publish, and distribute information via e-mail and on the Web. This way, anyone with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader can view these formatted documents.
The interface makes it easy to switch back and forth between a scanned image and the OCR results, making proofreading the converted documents simple.
In the end, TextBridge Pro 9.0 Business Edition offers excellent accuracy and is easy to use. But if you don’t need the useful PDF output or accurate HTML re-creations of scanned page layouts, then take a look at the less expensive standard version of TextBridge.