ABBYY FineReader Professional is a powerful program that lets you convert your scanned documents and image files into Word, PDF, or other formats. Scan items directly, or use files you already have saved on your computer, and once the program has done its work, you'll be able to search and edit them with ease.
Excellent interface: This app features a smooth and streamlined interface that makes its features accessible to users of all experience levels. Large buttons denote the various actions you can carry out, including Scan to Word, Scan to PDF, Image to PDF, and Quick Open, among others. The program walks you through the process of initiating the scan, adding pages, and completing the process nicely, and once the recognition phase is completed, your new document will open automatically.
Selection options: In addition to Word and PDF output options, you can also select from several other useful formats. Scan to ePUB, and Scan to HTML are options listed under the More tab, and you can also choose to save scans as images and then convert them later to either Word or PDF.
Complicated installation: The installation process for this app was long and a bit confusing. There were multiple steps, and instructions weren't always clear about what to do next. There was a Help manual, which explained things clearly, but it didn't seem like it should be necessary to consult the Help document just to open the app. Installation also took nearly 15 minutes to complete.
Frequent mistakes: Even in a very basic page of a document, there were still several errors, most of them involving letters being substituted for numbers. These seemed to happen when the font was slightly different in certain areas, and although some errors are understandable and expected, it doesn't bode well for the results of this recognition technology working on more complex documents.
ABBYY FineReader Professional provides a valuable service, especially if you often have to work with scanned documents. It will always require you to go back and edit the documents it produces, but depending on the types of documents you're working with, these edits may not be extensive. The free trial is good for 30 days or 100 pages, whichever comes first, and it only allows you to save three pages at a time. The full version costs $169.99.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of ABBYY FineReader Professional 12.