3/01 - CeBIT 2001 CeBIT, Germany (March 16, 2001) — ABBYY Software House announced today that FineReader 5.0 is now available in all European countries. Scanner and OCR devotees alike will marvel at the near-human recognition capabilities of this new optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
Developed from intensive research into artificial intelligence at one of the largest Russian software companies, FineReader 5.0 raises the standard on performance in terms of recognition accuracy, layout preservation and output format options. FineReader 5.0 is the long-awaited upgrade of ABBYY FineReader 4.0, which accumulated more than twenty eight awards since its release in 1998. FineReader 5.0 was in development for two years.
This latest version of FineReader offers many exciting new features and advances over previous versions. The recognition accuracy has been improved by a factor of 1.5 to 2.0, depending on the material tested, ranging from high print quality to the very poor print quality of a low-quality fax. Such improvements are significant considering that recognition quality has been improved continually for several decades. Several years ago experts prematurely predicted that OCR technology had reached its limit with regard to recognition accuracy.
Layout retention has been a desirable feature of OCR for several years and was an important focus in the development of the new ABBYY OCR technology. FineReader 5.0 is unsurpassed in layout retention. It recognises the number of columns, the layout of the text, the formatting of tables and the placement of pictures. This new version can easily determine when the user is scanning two pages at a time from a book.
These and many more learned features of ABBYY give FineReader 5.0 an uncanny capability to reproduce practically any printed page. A Demo version can be downloaded from www.abbyy.com. Everything looks just like the original – but the OCR-recognised document is much more useful than the original.
The ABBYY FineReader 5.0 OCR software is loaded with new recognition capabilities. It recognises subscripts and superscripts as well as simple chemical formulas. The recognition of vertical text, e.g., the text running along the vertical axis of a graph or chart, is another improvement version 5.0 offers. It also fully reproduces colour text. FineReader 5.0 can even determine when a picture is embedded in the cell of a table.
FineReader 5.0 supports 121 languages in the European version (and 176 languages in the Cyrillic Plus version) including programming languages like Basic, C++, COBOL, Fortran and Java. The full list of languages supported by FineReader 5.0 is given on the ABBYY Web site (www.abbyy.com).
Users will discover many new applications for this new and improved version of OCR software in small office, home office and corporate settings. The powerful new OCR engine and user-friendly interface eliminate many of the shortcomings of previous generations of OCR software, which have discouraged use in some applications.
Superior Scans In Seconds
In most cases, FineReader 5.0 output files are ready to open immediately from a variety of desktop computer software applications. A new and useful feature is that FineReader 5.0 can be run directly from MS Word. FineReader 5.0 software is sensitive to the nuances of printed words as well as the idiosyncrasies of software applications. It processes text, tables and forms from scanned pages into ready-to-use electronic files in seconds. Users simply place a document on a scanner, click the Scan&Read button and, in a few seconds, the document appears in MS Word or other desktop applications. Gone are the days of endless clicking and retyping to convert the document into the desired format.
New capabilities and the new high level accuracy make it practical to use OCR to scan catalogues and other complex materials for loading onto websites. FineReader 5.0 saves documents in HTML and PDF formats with full page-retention, which is a new feature in great demand by users.
The amount of "clean up" after scanning and OCR processing has been reduced to practically nothing even for complex documents such as the pages from popular magazines. FineReader 5.0 does the hard work. Scanned documents are converted into finished electronic files instantly and effortlessly. New applications are continually being discovered for this speedy, intelligent technology. Channel groups are being formed for professionals to disseminate information on the use of OCR technology by professionals in various occupations.
"We have seen an amazing response since the launch of FR5.0 in November and are sure this strong increase in sales will continue with this superb product" said Jupp Stöpetie, Managing Director of ABBYY Europe; "The use of IPA-technology makes this product more accurate and intelligent than competitive products, which do not use IPA. Users typically begin to understand the possibilities of 5.0 after just a few minutes of training. "
Integrity, Purposefulness and Adaptablilty
FineReader 5.0 was designed based on the principles of IPA: Integrity, Purposefulness and Adaptability are the keys to recognition. ABBYY researchers developed this the IPA-technology from observations of human and animal behaviour. Humans and animals learn to recognise images by proposing hypotheses and then purposefully verifying them. ABBYY applies this same principle in OCR.
Integrity: an object for recognition is described as an integral object by using a set of basic elements and relationships between them. The object is only recognised as a particular object if all the defined elements are present.
Purposefulness: FineReader then uses a unique approach to distinguish problematic characters. When analysing the object, the software purposefully looks for features, which are expected to be there. The result is an improvement in recognition accuracy.
Adaptability: the program’s ability to adapt itself by intelligent learning or through training.
FineReader 5.0 applies the IPA-technology to page layouts. Previous versions of FineReader simply divided a page into blocks of text, pictures and tables and then read them. FineReader 5.0 uses IPA as the fundamental tool for layout maintenance, which results in an unprecedented level of layout accuracy and low sensitivity to printing defects.
FineReader 5.0 Office Edition
ABBYY FineReader Office edition works over a network and supports multiprocessing. It also copes with unusual tasks such as barcode recognition and the creation of new languages. The Office edition is the solution for networked environments, corporate information systems or mass document input departments.
The Office edition interacts with external Document Management System (DMS) by exporting files into through Open Document Management Access (ODMA), which is the universal standard for corporate information systems.
The multiprocessing feature allows distributed document processing over the network, which is well suited for mass document input. Document input speed can be increased in direct proportion to the number of workstations installed on the network.
The Office edition also includes a form-filling application, Formulator. First, the user scans the form and the form appears on the computer screen in a few seconds. Next, the user marks the blank fields, then completes the form using the computer keypad to enter information into these blank fields on the screen. Then the user prints the form. Formulator is fast and easy, and forgiving too as, unlike a typewriter, it allows typos to be fixed without ruining the entire form. Forget the typewriter; use Formulator.
FineReader 5.0 Pro Edition
The FineReader 5.0 Pro includes the same powerful optical character recognition engine as the FineReader 5.0 Office Edition. The Pro user enjoys the same recognition accuracy and layout retention features as the Office user, but it is priced for individual use in the home or office, and it gives the same superior results to the individual user as the Office edition gives to multiple users on a network.
ABBYY Europe GmbH, Anglerstrasse 6, 80339 Munich, Germany, Tel. +49-(0)89-500332-40. Fax: +49-(0)89-500332-22; E-mail: [email protected]