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At the moment I use the software that came with my CanoScan flatbed scanners. My major complaint about the bundled software: no possibility to define scan profiles, too slow (not capable of using multiple CPU cores/threads).

What I look for is not for batch processing with higher-volume ADF document scanners but for ad hoc capture with flatbed scanners. It is for scanning documents not suitable for ADF scanners, i.e. documents that are too thin/thick/large or that consist of several smaller pieces that need to be together on one image.

I imagine a workflow comparable to that on enterprise MFPs where you place your document on the glass and choose a scan profile on the display, except that you choose the scan profile on the PC to which the flatbed scanner is attached.

Envisaged software features:

  1. works with TWAIN drivers,
  2. scan profiles (= user defined combination of dpi, image enhancement settings, OCR language, output file type),
  3. optimized for multiple CPU cores/threads,
  4. image enhancement features (selectable as part of scan profiles) e.g. descreen, prevent bleed through, deskew, auto-crop,
  5. OCR for the major European languages,
  6. output format: TIFF, searchable PDF, PDF/A, jpg, jpg2000

I would like to avoid a software that follows the batch scanning approach because it adds unnecessary complexity.

I run Windows, but I am considering to move to Mac OS as an alternative if I don't find some suitable Windows software and there is a good software for OSX.

  • Worth a look then: Tool for extracting text from a scan. Not exactly what you're after, but see the OCRFeeder answer: that tool directly supports scanners (one page per scan), and should fulfill at least points d to f of your list. Not being a Windows user, I have no direct recommendation for that platform. – Izzy Feb 15 '14 at 22:38
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    It looks like you want faster software. Would you accept a single threaded solution if it performed noticeably faster? – Kelly Thomas Feb 16 '14 at 9:59
  • @Kelly Thomas: Yes, I would. – user291737 Feb 16 '14 at 13:15
  • @Izzy: Thanks for your hint. – user291737 Feb 16 '14 at 13:18
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I add Vuescan by hamrick.com to my suggestion list.

I suggest Omnipage Pro by Nuance.

It supports 120 languages.

http://www.nuance.com/for-business/by-product/omnipage/ultimate/index.htm

As far as scanning profiles my epson scanner software does have them. So "scan profiles" could be missing depending on your scanner.

Scanning programs love memory, you need at least 8GB if not 16GB

Loading support enter image description here Saving Image type: enter image description here Saving text type: enter image description here Here is image enhancing toolbar enter image description here From left to right "Pointer" "Zoom" "Select Area" "Switch between primary and OCR image" "Syncronize views" "Brightness/Contrast" "Hue/Saturation/Ligthness" "Crop" "Rotate/Flip" "Despeckle" "OCR brightness" "Drop-out Color" "Resolution" "Deskew" "3d Deskew" "Fill" "AutoCrop" "Clean borders" "Punch hole remover" "Enhanced Whiteboard Photo"

  • Many thanks for your hint! The software is quite pricy at 500 USD. From the list of features at the link you provided, it is not clear whether my criteria 2., 3, 4., and 6. are met. Omnipage is on the market for a long time. Such legacy software is often overloaded with unnecessary features and awful to use. Is it userfriendly so that you don't need to spend hours to figure out how to use it? – user291737 Aug 3 '14 at 9:39
  • I suggest you call/email/etc and get a trial version of Omnipage Pro Ultimate. Adobe acrobat Pro is similar but equally expensive. – cybernard Aug 3 '14 at 16:45
  • In terms of user-friendly all normal features are. There are advanced features you make have to learn. I have not tested the newest version of every software, but this product was at the time of testing better than any other software than came with a scanner, except Adobe Pro was too expensive so I have not tested it. I have used version I and friends/family/etc have. Features like scanning a page with 3 columns and one or more have a picture, or the picture cuts across 3 columns usually causes most other scanning products to barf. Omnipage clearly does a better job. – cybernard Aug 3 '14 at 17:13
  • cybernard said ""scan profiles" could be missing depending on your scanner". As you say, scan profiles can be a part of your TWAIN/ISIS driver. But there is also scan software on the market with scan profiles independent of the scanner driver (e.g. ExactScan for Mac). Scan profiles allow to automate scanning a lot. The functions you show in the screen shot "Image Enhancement" are manual ones, which is contrary to my aim of automation. – user291737 Aug 4 '14 at 18:18
  • Adobe has 5 predefined scan profiles, one of it is "Custom Scan...". What I need is the possibility to define my own profiles - not only one but let's say at least 10. Omnipage Pro Ultimate apparently does not support that features. So, it is not suitable for my purpose. – user291737 Aug 4 '14 at 18:19
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You should take a look at Abbyy Finereader, honnestly, I'm not sure it meets all your criteria because I used and older version a few years ago. All I remember is it worked with my scanner and was really efficient and easy to use.

Anyway, you can try it for free so the best way to find if it really suits your needs is give it a try I think.

Edit : According to the technical specifications of the latest vesrion it seems to meet your expectations pretty well.

  • I know Abbyy Finereader. It's focus is on OCR not on scan automation in my sense. Because it does not offer scan profiles, it is dead in the water. – user291737 Aug 14 '14 at 19:52

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