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Author Topic: Anyone Using OmniPage and PaperPort?  (Read 18585 times)
J-Mac
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« on: August 28, 2007, 02:04:25 PM »

Just when I thought I was weened of of most Scansoft/Nuance programs, they sent me one of those "too good to pass up" upgrade offers.

I had previously used their PDF Converter Pro 3 and had a real love/hate relationship with it. When it works, it is pretty amazing.  However it has a way of throwing errors of the "Must Terminate" variety and usually does that just when you really do not have the time to deal with it.  I also use Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 Professional and get by with it even though they tend not to support any of their products, except for enterprise versions, and then only with a paid support plan.

But a couple of weeks ago I received a promotion offer from Nuance that may be too good to ignore:  OmniPage 16 Professional, with PaperPort 11, PDF Create 4, and a throw-in called MediaRecover. The whole package will cost me $99.99.  I checked Nuance's web site and the full prices for each are OmniPage 16 Pro:  $499.99; PaperPort (but not the Pro version): $99.99; PDF Create 4:  $49.99; and MediaRecover, which I never heard of before: $29.99.  They total $679.96. All for $99.99.

Unbelievable price.  But are the programs worthwhile?  If not, then even at that price, why bother?  The product pages read great, but of course that's Nuance tooting their own horn.  PC Magazine wrote them up pretty good, but I would prefer to hear from someone who has used these applications.

Thanks.

Jim
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 02:15:05 PM »

I haven't used OmniPage but it's gotten good reviews i think.

I am, however, a big fan of PaperPort.  Now i have to warn you i haven't really compared it against other programs, so take this with a grain of salt, but it's one of those programs that just feels right to me.  I don't do too much scanning but everything seems intuitive to me, and i've been very happy with it.  Nice basic tools for straightening scans, organize scans, etc.

Recently i found an abandoned scanner with an ADF (automatic document feeder), and ScanSoft handles it so wonderfully that i wanted to hug the program.  Scans in some sheets, lets you then reverse the stack and scans in the other side while properly collating it, etc.  very nice.

Here's an image of the multiple (ADF) interface:


Last caveat: I do *not* do heavy duty and frequent scanning.. there are a ton of features in PaperPort i never use.  I imagine that if you do a ton of scanning then you'd really want to test other programs and find the one with the most efficient workflow for you.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 02:21:52 PM by mouser » Logged
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 03:27:00 PM »

I have OmniPage Pro 11 (though it isn't installed now) ... I "upgraded" to version 12 and was so appalled I asked for a refund.

I got their upgrade off you mentioned but personally I won't be looking at Scansoft (Nuance) again. Their tech support sucks  - I have TextBridge before OmniPage too - and every version has been bug ridden but updates to fix bugs are non-existent and each new version doesn't seem to add much new apart from a few bug fixes (and a pile of new ones). They always claim that accuracy and speed impove - but their marketing is pretty much like MS and Windows hype - each version gets more bloated and slower, with bigger demands on hardware. Yes things get faster if you upgrade your computer to a higher spec ... and why wouldn't it but the basic products installed on the same system degrade in performance version by version as far as I can see.

I also use PaperPort for a while - but that was a long time ago and it seemed to me to crash more than it worked - I haven't bothered with any version since. Maybe it is time for me to re-evaluate that as it is a good idea but I can't bring myself to buy an upgrade.
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2007, 04:59:45 PM »

PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.

My question is for basic text, what does this converter offer that a copy/paste doesn't. I have a Sony Ereader that I love but it's PDF display capabilities are limited. I'm looking for something that will convert a pdf to editable text that I can work with in Word.

I was looking to give it a go but they don't seem to offer a trial version.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:02:04 PM by edbro » Logged
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2007, 05:03:11 PM »

It converts documents into PDF format - you can use it like a printer to output PDF files. See http://www.nuance.com/pdfconverter/professional/

There are other free utilities that work just as well, and other rival products that work better (IMHO) such as JawsPDF and NitroPDF.

My one experience with PDF Converter is that it told me I had to uninstall another application before it would install !!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:05:58 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

edbro
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2007, 05:06:25 PM »

It converts documents into PDF format - you can use it like a printer to output PDF files.

I think it is more than that. From their website:
Quote
Edit PDF documents directly just like working in the original file

This is the part I'm interested in.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2007, 10:33:48 PM »

PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.

My question is for basic text, what does this converter offer that a copy/paste doesn't. I have a Sony Ereader that I love but it's PDF display capabilities are limited. I'm looking for something that will convert a pdf to editable text that I can work with in Word.

I was looking to give it a go but they don't seem to offer a trial version.

Oh, PDF Converter will definitely extract PDF files to Word. Also, what I do a lot of is type directly into PDF forms rather than print them out and write on them. Fro example, prescription mail-in forms, rebate forms, etc. I just download 'em, type in what I need, and then either send them electronically or print & mail them.

But you can also extract into Word, or create one PDF file from several documents.

As I mentioned above, and in another post in a thread here about PDF programs, it crashes for me more often than not.  When it works, it is really helpful. When it doesn't work you really hate it -- and the failures always seem to occur right when "Murphy" always says they will - when you need it the most! Aarrgghh!

Jim
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2007, 10:36:40 PM »

And its worth remembering "Murphy" was an optimist  Grin
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J-Mac
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2007, 10:39:11 PM »

I have OmniPage Pro 11 (though it isn't installed now) ... I "upgraded" to version 12 and was so appalled I asked for a refund.

I got their upgrade off you mentioned but personally I won't be looking at Scansoft (Nuance) again. Their tech support sucks  - I have TextBridge before OmniPage too - and every version has been bug ridden but updates to fix bugs are non-existent and each new version doesn't seem to add much new apart from a few bug fixes (and a pile of new ones). They always claim that accuracy and speed impove - but their marketing is pretty much like MS and Windows hype - each version gets more bloated and slower, with bigger demands on hardware. Yes things get faster if you upgrade your computer to a higher spec ... and why wouldn't it but the basic products installed on the same system degrade in performance version by version as far as I can see.

I also use PaperPort for a while - but that was a long time ago and it seemed to me to crash more than it worked - I haven't bothered with any version since. Maybe it is time for me to re-evaluate that as it is a good idea but I can't bring myself to buy an upgrade.

Thanks Carol.  I see you have had some wonderful experiences with Nuance as well! Maddening, aren't they?

Which is why I simply laughed and shrugged it off when I received this offer. Then I read it more closely and --- Wow - it IS a lot of software for under $100. I got PDF Converter 3 Pro for about 1/3 retail price, and though it drives me nuts, crashing so often, it does work enough to make me keep it on my PC; especially at the price I paid.

Which is why I am considering getting this deal.

If I saw a lot of posts like mouser's, above, I may go ahead and get it. If most are like yours, I probably won't. It's hard to know much about it - even with a trial - until you hear from those you trust in software matters how they like it.

Thanks.

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007, 10:42:06 PM »

PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.

My question is for basic text, what does this converter offer that a copy/paste doesn't. I have a Sony Ereader that I love but it's PDF display capabilities are limited. I'm looking for something that will convert a pdf to editable text that I can work with in Word.

I was looking to give it a go but they don't seem to offer a trial version.
As I mentioned to Carol, if you can get it at a really good price, go for it. It will no doubt frustrate you at times, but when it does work, it is pretty cool. However Nuance supports nothing - except its "Enterprise" offerings and only with a paid plan.

But if it's cheap enough, it can't hurt too much, I figure.   Cool

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 10:46:44 PM »

PaperPort supposedly is primarily for organizing a lot of documents in a quick and easily recoverable manner. Now, for all documents scattered all over, I just try to reorganize how I file them away. But I do have some projects where I could really use something that would essentially allow me to set up a kind of "Document Control and Tracking" system. If that is what is does, and if it does it fairly well, then that beats what I don't have now!  tongue

At the promotional pricing, even if it is not all that, if it helps me organize these projects at all it is of some benefit.

BTW, I do have One Note 2007 and it is great for clippings and notes, though I have seen some say that they use One Note to track all kinds of documents. I don't know how they are doing that, though. If anyone cares to expand on that, I would love to hear it.

Thanks.

Jim
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 10:48:31 PM by J-Mac » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 11:44:13 PM »

PDF Professional 4 is a a quantum leap over version 3, J-Mac. It's much more stable, much quicker rendering pages, and integrates better with Office. It also plays nice wtih other third party software, something that drove me batty with version 3 (I *think* it was WindowBlinds 5 and Tenebril's SpyCatcher that sent it into a spin every time)...
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2007, 01:21:30 AM »

I'm using Omnipage Pro 14. It can convert PDF to text.

I think basically it does that by scanning PDF as an image.

Actually, the recognition is quite good whether for scanning pages of PDFs. The retention of the page formatting is not fantastic though. But that did not quite matter for me.

Perhaps it's to do with tweaking the settings.

But one thing that keeps me from upgrading is that I reckon Omnipage Pro 14 is that it is good enough for my purposes.

The other thing is that Omnipage Pro 16 and probably all their other products require me to activate the products.

I'm always a bit leery activation of this since, from time to time I have to reinstall, or wipe my harddisk clean and do a fresh install. And besides I'm thinking, what if I upgrade my computer or for that matter if my computer dies. Do I have to beg them to allow me to move to another laptop.

Activation would be fine for me provided they have a properly set up system to allow me to deactivate and move to another computer to activate again. I doubt they have a such a system.

I don't want to beg them for an activation code each time I have to move on. What if the company shuts down or even drop the product. Of course if the software is absolute must have type then I don't really have a choice then.

So the present version is fine with me.
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2007, 01:29:19 AM »

PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.


Sometimes Bitsdujour timing puts a lot of pressure on you to make a decision you would later regret.

If you are in no great hurry, you may wish to check out
http://www.retailmenot.com/view/nuance.com

But do take note that they do not always work. So it's a gamble I guess
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tomos
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2007, 03:11:40 AM »

I believe
PDF Converter converts PDFs to text
PDF Converter Pro does that & creates PDFs as well (& possibly more..)

just to clarify, there seemed to be some confusion above between the two  smiley
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2007, 04:37:49 AM »

It converts documents into PDF format - you can use it like a printer to output PDF files.

I think it is more than that. From their website:
Quote
Edit PDF documents directly just like working in the original file

This is the part I'm interested in.

Yep - but if you order the upgrade mentioned you don't get that version - you just get a PDF Maker - and there are plenty of free ones out there.

Here is the current offer:



This is not the Pro version.

[ed... sorry if there is some confusion I was looking at the upgrade offer from Nuance ... having said that I still wouldn't buy it from Bits du Jour ... There are a lot of options on the web (eg. http://www.freedownloadsc...Best/pdf-editor-free.html) or if you want a good professional solution that is a lot cheaper than Adobe have a look at http://www.jawspdf.com/desktopsuite/index.html which is excellent reliable software and provides PDF creator and editor]
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 04:50:01 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2007, 02:36:10 PM »

I use Omnipage 15 Pro at work. The OCR seems to work pretty well, though its page formatting is pretty rough.

I still haven't really got my head around the interface so it's possible I could do things to improve the formatting, but then that's the software's fault for having a rubbish interface, not mine for not knowing how to use it  smiley

It runs pretty quick too.

But the best thing about it - and what I wouldn't even have known about if I hadn't delved into the installation CD - is PDF Converter and PDF Create (both version 3). Every time Acrobat fouls up someone else's machine I can't help sniggering  tongue


The big question is: what do you actually want it for? If you just want OCR, then you might find that the freebie software that gets thrown in with scanners does the job - my Canon 70 had a cut down version of .... Omnipage  Wink
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2007, 03:35:50 PM »

OmniPage Pro 16 comes with PDF Create and PDF Converter 4 (which are essentially PDF Converter Professional 4) and I am much happier with the GUI over version 15 - they've improved it a lot (I too found OP 15 confusing to navigate around).
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J-Mac
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2007, 04:19:07 PM »

It converts documents into PDF format - you can use it like a printer to output PDF files.

I think it is more than that. From their website:
Quote
Edit PDF documents directly just like working in the original file

This is the part I'm interested in.

Yep - but if you order the upgrade mentioned you don't get that version - you just get a PDF Maker - and there are plenty of free ones out there.

Here is the current offer:
 (see attachment in previous post)
This is not the Pro version.

[ed... sorry if there is some confusion I was looking at the upgrade offer from Nuance ... having said that I still wouldn't buy it from Bits du Jour ... There are a lot of options on the web (eg. http://www.freedownloadsc...Best/pdf-editor-free.html) or if you want a good professional solution that is a lot cheaper than Adobe have a look at http://www.jawspdf.com/desktopsuite/index.html which is excellent reliable software and provides PDF creator and editor]

Carol.

edpro was the one who asked about this, and he/she DID ask about PDF Converter Pro 4.

However the offer I initially mentioned in the first post of this thread does include PDF Create 4.  However I am fairly certain the OmniPage 16 Pro does all the conversions that PDF Converter Pro does.

Jim
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2007, 04:28:45 PM »

The trouble with OmniPage (and all OCR software really) is that it just isn't accurate enough. If it is 99% accurate (and it isn't unless you have a scanner that makes perfect copies of ideal fonts) then there will be 1% error rate - that is roughly a wrong character on every line in a document - by the time you manually edit the errors out for a fast typer it probably would be quicker to have retyped the text in the first place.

The other, and biggest problem, is formatting - one of the reason's I got interested in OmniPage (back in version 10/11 days, I forget which) they pushed the idea of maintaining formatting and outputting perfectly formed Word documents. This never worked (even on simple documents) and one of the reasons I demanded a refund on version 15 was that it had got no better. My experience was documents full of OCR errors - formatting pretty much all over the place and new styles created for practically every line of text which meant the only way to edit the file was to go through and change all the styles.

Formatted output never worked at all in my experience in automatic mode - you had to spend time telling it which parts of the page were text and graphics by drawing different colour boxes. The auto correction (using a dictionary) was a joke as half the time it OCRed text so badly it couldn't make an intelligent guess.

Sorry - but if others are reading this thread they shouldn't be led into thinking OmniPage is a good solution for all OCR needs. It claims to be be the industry leader and of professional standard but the latter at least is just not true.

Anyone interested in this sort of software should try the demo version first and make sure they are happy with what it does. Also try out the opposition before comitting good money to OmniPage!

If you want to 'read' PDF files then Adobe do a free plugin with Adobe Acrobat (not sure if it works with the free reader version - but it works well with the full version).

Also if you have Microsoft Office it has rudimentary OCR capability that may be enough for your needs. See http://office.microsoft.c...3.aspx?pid=CL100636481033
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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2007, 04:29:59 PM »

I'm using Omnipage Pro 14. It can convert PDF to text.

I think basically it does that by scanning PDF as an image.

Actually, the recognition is quite good whether for scanning pages of PDFs. The retention of the page formatting is not fantastic though. But that did not quite matter for me.

Perhaps it's to do with tweaking the settings.

But one thing that keeps me from upgrading is that I reckon Omnipage Pro 14 is that it is good enough for my purposes.

The other thing is that Omnipage Pro 16 and probably all their other products require me to activate the products.

I'm always a bit leery activation of this since, from time to time I have to reinstall, or wipe my harddisk clean and do a fresh install. And besides I'm thinking, what if I upgrade my computer or for that matter if my computer dies. Do I have to beg them to allow me to move to another laptop.

Activation would be fine for me provided they have a properly set up system to allow me to deactivate and move to another computer to activate again. I doubt they have a such a system.

I don't want to beg them for an activation code each time I have to move on. What if the company shuts down or even drop the product. Of course if the software is absolute must have type then I don't really have a choice then.

So the present version is fine with me.

I hear you, though some programs that I really need or want to use are doing this now, so it is up to how much I really want the application.

I haven't had any major issues yet, fortunately!

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2007, 04:45:16 PM »

The trouble with OmniPage (and all OCR software really) is that it just isn't accurate enough. If it is 99% accurate (and it isn't unless you have a scanner that makes perfect copies of ideal fonts) then there will be 1% error rate - that is roughly a wrong character on every line in a document - by the time you manually edit the errors out for a fast typer it probably would be quicker to have retyped the text in the first place.

You obviously have never seen me type, Carol!!  Grin  Plus, I am losing the use of my left arm/hand more and more as time passes, so I have to use Dragon Naturally Speaking Pro version for any significant inout. That is - I still type out most of these posts, though you will see lots of typos, mostly on the left-hand side of the keyboard. But for Word documents I dictate all input. Believe me, the error rate I have to correct after dictating (I am getting >98% accuracy with standard stuff) will make a 1% OCR error rate look easy!)

Quote
The other, and biggest problem, is formatting - one of the reason's I got interested in OmniPage (back in version 10/11 days, I forget which) they pushed the idea of maintaining formatting and outputting perfectly formed Word documents. This never worked (even on simple documents) and one of the reasons I demanded a refund on version 15 was that it had got no better. My experience was documents full of OCR errors - formatting pretty much all over the place and new styles created for practically every line of text which meant the only way to edit the file was to go through and change all the styles.

Formatted output never worked at all in my experience in automatic mode - you had to spend time telling it which parts of the page were text and graphics by drawing different colour boxes. The auto correction (using a dictionary) was a joke as half the time it OCRed text so badly it couldn't make an intelligent guess.

Sorry - but if others are reading this thread they shouldn't be led into thinking OmniPage is a good solution for all OCR needs. It claims to be be the industry leader and of professional standard but the latter at least is just not true.

Anyone interested in this sort of software should try the demo version first and make sure they are happy with what it does. Also try out the opposition before comitting good money to OmniPage!

If you want to 'read' PDF files then Adobe do a free plugin with Adobe Acrobat (not sure if it works with the free reader version - but it works well with the full version).

Also if you have Microsoft Office it has rudimentary OCR capability that may be enough for your needs. See http://office.microsoft.c...3.aspx?pid=CL100636481033

That does stink - the formatting errors. Currently I have the latest version of ReadIRIS, which does OCR great in my opinion. But that ius all it does - OCR. My understanding of Omnipage and PaperPort together -- at least from Nuance's literature -- is that I can grab documents all over my PC, put them into an easily stored and retrieved format, and then organize them. I am guessing it is like a database-type organization. That sounds inviting to me, as with three internal drives of 80 GB, 500 GB, and 500 GB, I have a lot of docs spread all over!

Omnipage's putting all into one format is simple PDF conversion, I imagine. If it does not do that well I have three or four other ways to accomplish that. And I probably could do what PaperPort says it does with a lot of forethought and MS Access, which I have as part of Office 2003. But I have NEVER been able to get Access to work well. That is particularly frustrating because I used to do wonders with dBase III+ many years ago. But Access just makes me think I have it all done right. That is until I pull it up later and try to extract what I put into it! Then I realize I have no clue as to what it is doing!!

At $99, it is very tempting to give it a try. I know that $99 "ain't hay" as they say. (Hmmm.. WHO says that?) But after all it IS about $700 of software - I know that some have paid close to $500 for OmniPage Pro alone. Decisions, decisions...
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2007, 06:24:29 PM »

To be fair it really isn't $700 worth of software - they are constantly doing special offers. It reminds me rather of the kitchen cupboard companies who have permanent sales - the 'retail' prices look like you are getting an amazing deal. Anyone who pays $500 for OmniPage must have more money than sense.

You haven't got too much to lose provided they still do their 30-day no quibble money back offer by buying the software but given the offer runs until September 30th why not download the trial apps and make sure it actually does what you want:

Here is the trial page for PaperPort:

http://www.nuance.com/paperport/trial/

They seem to have removed the trial versions of OmniPage and PDF Converter!

If they really have done a good job with version 16 let us know 'cos I could really do with something like this that works well.
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2007, 11:47:33 PM »

I use somewhat outdated versions of both OmniPage and PaperPort -- I have found both to be very helpful.  I do a lot of research for a book, and I move back and forth between residences in Mexico and the Philippines.  These programs really help me get research material into portable form.  Of the two, I use PaperPort more often and so far have no complaints about it at all.  I use Omnipage mostly to get documents into text form for insertion into my askSAM database.  Yes, it's not perfect, but it has saved me a lot of time [especially since my eyesight is pretty bad].

One issue that does bother me: one cannot install the programs on different computers, which is a problem for me because of having desktops at each residence, along with a laptop which I carry between the two.  I pray for a policy change that allows at least two installations, as long as one does not use the program simultaneously on more than one puter.

Tom
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2007, 02:23:59 AM »

Good input, Tom. Greatly appreciated!

Jim
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"I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath."
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