Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Scanner manufacturers in the vast majority of cases supply their products with a set of specialized software for actually scanning, processing the received images, saving in different formats, and various additional functions such as text recognition. Some types of scanner software are provided even by the operating system itself. However, the trouble with many software tools from the manufacturer is limited functionality, illogical structure, inconvenience of use. That is why for the full use of the scanner (both for general purposes and for narrow specialization) it makes sense to install additional utilities. Today's rating is dedicated to the five best programs for the scanner, which solve most of the tasks where the standard software 'falls short'.
Rating of the best scanner programs
|Nomination||a place||program name||rating|
|The best compact scanner software||1||OCR CuneiForm||4.9|
|The best comprehensive multifunctional scanner programs||1||ABBYY FineReader||5.0|
The best compact scanner software
In this collection, we will consider miniature utility programs that take up a minimum of disk space, consume vanishingly little RAM, and work quickly and accurately. Each of the programs under consideration solves its own range of specialized tasks, so that everyone can choose a suitable program for themselves or install all four at once, using them alternately.
The first program in the rating is a worthy replacement for the huge ABBYY FineReader complex, which will be discussed at the end of the review. Unlike the world famous ABBYY product, this program is completely free. Developer – Cognitive Technologies, Russia.
Despite its compactness and lightness, the utility is capable of performing OCR with high quality and minimal errors. Particularly impressive is the program's ability to normally perceive a huge number of fonts and maintain the original structure of the document during processing. Due to the absence of everything superfluous, the conversion from graphic to text format takes place at high speed.
The program allows you to easily transfer scanned and processed materials to other applications, such as word processing. In addition, CuneiForm has its own spell checker with a large dictionary.
A separate functionality is responsible for bringing the scanned document to the most acceptable form for further editing, optimization is carried out automatically. This is especially well implemented in the last 12th version, where the developers managed to fully implement adaptive content recognition.
The functionality of the program allows you to process originals both in page mode and in batch. You can save the received files in a variety of popular or rare formats. For the convenience of analyzing the work done, there are convenient search tools in waste documents. Russian-speaking users will be pleased with the presence of a full-fledged interface in Russian, and without the “horrors of translation”, since the company-developer, we recall, is Russian.
As of the beginning of 2019, the program is in active development. The creators regularly release updates and new versions, improve content and text recognition algorithms.
- high-quality and fast text recognition with the perception of many fonts;
- high-quality and correct processing of documents, photocopies and faxes with poor quality;
- adaptive content recognition;
- Russian-language interface;
- continuous improvement.
- although the program is generally fast, there may be some slowdowns in text recognition.
One of the most common forms of using a scanner is in conjunction with a printer to copy documents. It is good if an MFP is used for this, since such devices have a separate hardware button for copying. If the scanner and printer are separate devices, using such a pair as a copier is no longer so convenient. A simple program PaperScan completely solves this problem, and we will talk about it in this part of the rating.
The utility includes the functionality of a scanning device and an editor, and is able to send a document for printing immediately after scanning and necessary processing. Additional tools are available to extend the capabilities of the scanner program.
A separate set of tools allows you to conveniently and without restrictions use a scanner connected to another computer in the local network. To provide these tools, you need to share the scanner on the PC to which it is connected.
The internal toolkit of the program includes: tools for editing raster images (adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, removing minor flaws, filtering), drawing tools, text recognition.
There are two versions of the program available: shareware PaperScan and completely free PaperScan Free. The latter, as expected, has limited functionality, which, nevertheless, may be enough to solve your problems. The program works only under OS of the family Windows.
Some users are frustrated by the lack of a Russian-language interface, but all sections and blocks are provided with fairly obvious graphic icons, so that even a person who does not know English at all can easily understand the interface.
- convenient 'transformation' of a scanner with a printer into a copier;
- extremely simple and clear intuitive interface;
- raster image processing tools;
- text recognising;
- work on a local network.
- no Russian interface.
The rating continues with a special program that will help to quite easily solve the widespread problem of obsolescence of equipment with the subsequent refusal of the manufacturer from support.
Due to the technical peculiarity, even despite a significant percentage of moving mechanics, the scanner still belongs to the class of devices that can operate smoothly for many years. However, manufacturers are not interested in such frugality, and often stop releasing drivers for the next updated operating system. This causes a stalemate, when you need to either refuse to update the operating system, or buy a new scanner, despite the fact that the old one is fully functional and works no slower and no worse than new models. The VueScan program is just recognized to 'make friends' an old scanner with a new 'hardware' and a new operating system.
VueScan's key role is to act as a generic driver for outdated scanner models. The program has built-in support for hundreds and hundreds of scanner models of different generations that are not officially supported – this is its main value.
With VueScan, you can easily scan originals and save in popular formats, or, alternatively, send them directly to print. There are two standard operating modes built in – 'Master' and 'Detail'. The first mode is for beginners, it involves step by step processing of originals with instructions for each step. The second is for more experienced users who are familiar with specialized terminology.
The program is capable of high-quality scanning not only paper documents, but also photographic film. At the same time, using the built-in tools, you can increase the clarity of the frame, correct shades, eliminate graininess, and more. Typical settings can be saved in a separate profile for loading and reuse.
VueScan also includes OCR tools. The program can automatically recognize text and immediately turn the document into RTF or PDF format. There are search tools for the text received after recognition. Of course, the correctness of recognition cannot be compared with specialized OCR software systems, but here you need to understand that this is not the main, but an auxiliary function.
- support for hundreds of obsolete scanners;
- the ability to scan film with high quality;
- wide functionality (makes the program useful even for modern scanners);
- detailed and simplified operating modes;
- availability of a standard free version.
- interface language – only English.
The selection of the rating of simple programs for the scanner is completed by a small utility that completely solves the problem of multi-user access to the scanner in the office.
In the vast majority of organizations, scanning devices are rarely used, unless we are talking about MFPs, which are often used as a copier. Accordingly, even in a large office there may be only one scanner for a large team of dozens of people. Standard software from the manufacturer rarely allows you to organize full-fledged general access to the scanner, and then it makes sense to use the BlindScanner toolkit.
The program consists of two functional parts. One is installed on the server side (a conditional server – meaning the computer to which the scanner is connected), the other – on the client side. The client part has a simple and intuitive interface, completely similar to that of the main computer to which the scanner is directly connected.
To scan, just select the device, set the color and resolution, set the output format, specify the save destination and press the appropriate softkey. Typical settings can be saved as a profile in a separate file.
The program works only in the OS environment Windows, support for other operating systems is not provided.
- ease of use;
- accessible and intuitive interface;
- saving configurations to profiles.
- work only in the OS environment Windows is supported.
The best comprehensive multifunctional scanner programs
Among the large software systems that are most closely associated with scanning paper originals, the most recognizable is, contrary to some opinions, not Photoshop. The latter is, albeit the most powerful, but still a photo editor, and does not have its own means of scanning and working with content. And the most versatile and powerful scanning and OCR program is, without a doubt, ABBYY FineReader. We will conclude our rating and consider it.
In fact, from the very first versions, FineReader has won the leadership in the market for similar products, and since then has been continuously developing, leaving competitors far behind. A special pride is the fact that the world-recognized software package is Russian-made. The last, 14th version was released in early 2017.
FineReader allows you to quickly and efficiently scan originals, recognize text, correctly place content elements and save a document in any popular format: plain text; RTF; Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint; PDF and many others, and starting from the 11th version – and in djvu.
The program is multilingual, it can effectively recognize text in 192 languages (starting from the latest 14th version). There are built-in spell checkers for 48 languages. No other OCR program can afford this.
ABBYY FineReader has been honored with a whole list of prestigious awards for thematic competitions, exhibitions and specialized publications. OCR technologies used in FineReader are licensed by companies such as Xerox, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujitsu, etc. Currently, there are tens of millions of ABBYY FineReader users in the world.
- quality of text recognition;
- correct recognition and placement of content in the resulting documents;
- batch processing;
- an exceptional variety of recognition and spell checking languages;
- support for many formats;
- de facto monopoly (in a good way) position in the market.
- there are complaints about the 'overload' of the program with settings and functions, up to a complex understanding.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.