ScanSoft OmniPage 4 SE review

3 Oct 2007

4

The full version of ScanSoft OmniPage might have passed its 15th version, but there's still plenty to commend 4 SE.

Accuracy is up there with the best. It wasn't 100 per cent in our tests, but it wasn't far off. Standard fonts - Times New Roman, for instance, copied perfectly, and formatting, such as bold or italics, survived the process. We were impressed with OmniPage's document handling - badly-scanned, skewed pages were all automatically righted before being processed.

OmniPage automatically zones your pages, recognising areas of text and images reasonably well, although some tables - such as a feature table from PC Pro - failed to register properly. If this happens, you can always re-zone the page manually, although this is pretty painful if you have a multi-page document.

We also appreciate the inclusion of various enhancement tools, which allow you to alter your scan qualities, such as brightness, contrast and saturation - perfect if OmniPage is struggling with old or damaged documents.

So what does the full version of OmniPage offer that this doesn't? Irritatingly, some options can be clicked on, only for a pop-up box to tersely inform you that only the full version of OmniPage supports them. For instance, you can't create your own workflow, so you're stuck with the standard scan-recognise-save steps. Version 4 SE also lacks folder watching, so you can't set up a folder to automatically be scanned and processed. But for less frequent jobs, OmniPage offers superb accuracy and good speed, besides being very straightforward to use.