RE: OCR Software

  • From: "Dean Martineau" <dean@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 13:53:36 -0800

The topic of purchase of OCR Software by the blind is a very interesting
one.  On the one hand, products such as Open Book and Kurzweil are
considerably more expensive than OCR Products purchased off-the-shelf.  On
the other hand, they provide features of use to blind folks which sighted
folks simply don't need.  For example, using both the above mentioned
products, you can scan one book while simultaneously reading either that
book or a different book.  Both those products come with extra high-quality
speech synthesizers, and give you the ability to save your scanned results
either as Daisy or as mp3 files.  Kurweil comes with a somewhat effective
feature to scan a form and then fill it out.  Both programs come with
procedures for optimizing scans which go beyond, or are more useful than,
what is available in packages designed for the sighted.  In short, they have
taken into account the different needs that blind and sighted users have.
This is not to say, of course, that a blind user cannot be satisfied with an
off-the-shelf package.  Many are. I've been working with On thePage Pro
lately, and it is very accessible.  Finereader is also very accessible.  I
believe you pay about $400 for each of those packages.
So, as always, the key is to ascertain exactly what features you want and
need, and then find the package that has them.  I am personally very glad I
own Kurzweil, and wouldn't trade it for anything.  The new version of Open
Book also deserves a serious look based on the features it contains.  But if
a person either does not want all those features or cannot afford them, then
a the two packages designed for sighted use will provide a good tool for
inputting print material into the computer.
From: jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Kevin Prince
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2008 12:42 PM
To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: OCR Software
OpenBook is obviously optimised for JAWs use, personally I prefer Kurzweil
1000 but the results are close. If you are just looking for something simple
Omnipage is good and comes bundled with a lot of low-end scanners for a
competitively priced package - it isn't  quite as good as the two packages
avbove but is JAWs friendly and readily available. (The bundled version has
some limitations such as the inability to OCR pdf directly but you can
always print and then scan.)
Kevin Prince
Adaptive Technology Consultant
Technology Employment and Awareness Division Royal New Zealand Foundation of
the Blind Te Tuapapa o te Hunga Kapo o Aotearoa
96 Bristol St
Phone: +64-3-375-4333
Fax: +64-3-355-9151
Mobile: +64-27-245-6687
For Adaptive Technology Helpdesk enquiries: call 0800-24-33-33
Website:  <> 
From: jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jfw-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Larry Stansifer
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 3:31 AM
To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: OCR Software
Hi folks,
I am considering some kind of an OCR package and wondered which one worked
best with JFW 8.latest, Windows XP-Pro and Office XP.

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