ABBYY FineReader Express Edition
Full user review
"Mac implementation leaves A LOT to be desired!"
OCR capabilities are fantastic
Mac implementation is terrible!
Having used Abbyy on our windows computers, I must say I was very disappointed with the poor user experience I've had attempting to use the Mac version.
Seems like the Abbyy company has taken a page from the play book of Quicken with reduced features etc for the Mac version - a huge disappointment as it appears the company seems to think that Mac users have diminished OCR requirements than Windows users, otherwise why have features and functions been deleted in the Mac version?
I downloaded the Abbyy Finereader Express version for Mac demo version. However, once I decided to buy it, there was no way to upgrade or buy a license from the application, as in most other programs. Instead I had to download the program again from the purchase page on the Abbyy website - waste of time!
Then the activation process is quite hard to understand and lacks logic. Activation key does not work on demo copy so had to erase/uninstall demo copy, then download/install again from purchase confirmation email link.
Then I had to restart my computer twice before the program would show the Activation window when starting up. Furthermore, the invoice email lists a "Licence Key" while the Activation asks for a "Serial Number" - took me many tries and curses to realize that these two terms were actually one and the same! Again wasting my time before I've even used the program...
So, finally got the program running, then I find out there are no preferences, they're all greyed out - don't think I've ever seen that in a Mac program!
Then I check for an update using the menu command. This takes me to a webpage which lists the latest version number in a strange format, different from what's listed in "About FR". So then I have to go back to FR application, go to "About FR" and find out what application version I have. However, "Get Info" shows no version number, only a "created date" .
Downloaded new version (2010) and restart, but "Get info" still shows 2009 date! So I delete the 2009 version and pref's and download the latest version (2010) again... This time the download "takes" and the created date is 2010 - still no version number though... Next it asks for "Serial number" again, so I enter the "License Key" number...
Now onto the using of the program:
Program works great, but a bit different from the Windows version I've used prior;
Abbyy automatically analyzes pages and starts recognizing text/numbers with no apparent problem. However, after "deleteing all areas" and only selecting certain text, it still analyzes the whole page, even areas/text not selected - is this a joke or something?
In a 4 page pdf analyzed document, if I delete "all areas" on all pages and "draw a table" of only a section of one page, it still process all 4 pages. Have to "delete pages" before analyzing which seems to do the trick...
In addition, the program does not have a fraction of the functionality of the Windows version.
Abbyy is a fantastic program that handles OCR excellently - however, for the Mac version they have really not paid any attention and are treating their customer in a very rude fashion! - A great dissapointment for an otherwise excellent program... Had I not previously used the Windows version I would have never bought this program based on my experience with the abysmal Mac implementation.