TypeReader WorkStation 5.0

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Type of Product
TypeReader Workstation 5.0 is the latest generation OCR (optical character recognition) software from ExperVision for recognizing and organizing your documents and images. With TypeReader Workstation and your scanner, you can quickly, easily, and accurately convert the printed page into electronic format. With one simple step, business letters, contracts, forms, tables, resumes, newspapers, magazines, and books can be converted into most popular word processing, spreadsheet, database, and page layout formats. This eliminates the costly and time consuming process of retyping. TypeReader Workstation provides several powerful programs to help you organize your business and personal files quickly and simply. With these tools you can create document groups, store, copy, move, delete folders and files, recognize, annotate, view images, and much more. The four modules used by TypeReader Workstation to manage your images and documents include: (1) TypeReader Manager--to help organize your documents and images; (2) TypeReader Imaging--to interact with your images; (3) TypeReader EZ--to perform hands free OCR, and; (4) TypeReader Professional 5.0--a robust OCR program. Price: $295. There is a version for the PC and the Macintosh. See the ExperVision Web page for additional information: http://www.expervision.com
User Level
Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced users. The program is easy enough for even beginners. You can start out with TypeReader EZ and use the OCR wizard to become familiar with OCR and how it works. The wizard guides you through the process step-by-step. When you want more control over the process, you can then use TypeReader Pro. There is an Auto Start button that provides one-button automatic processing for beginners, but you can also process pages individually or in combination with automatic processing. The program is flexible and powerful even for more advanced users who want such features as batch processing, template building, and deferred processing.
  • Accuracy--the program is fast, reliable, has an accuracy rate approaching 100%, and has recognition rates ranging from hundreds to thousands of words per minute;
  • Automatic--the program has one-button "auto" recognition;
  • Identifies Text and Graphics--automatically distinguishes text from graphics and identifies and orders text regions (including columns and tables);
  • Interface--there is a single integrated Windows interface for scanning, recognition, and proofing;
  • Type Styles--reads and preserves type styles (point size, bold, italic, underline, superscript, subscript; even serif and sans serif);
  • Font Sizes--recognizes typefaces in sizes ranging from 5 to 64 points;
  • Fonts--recognizes more than 2,100 English fonts with the improvement of recognition accuracy (New);
  • Formatting--retains document formatting (including margins, tabs, columns, footnotes, headers, and tables);
  • Languages--recognizes French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese with more than 50% recognition accuracy improvement (New);
  • Page Orientation--it detects the page orientation and rotates the page automatically if necessary (New);
  • Proofing--unique WYSIWYG proofing editor highlights suspect characters;
  • Find Features--the "Find Next Suspect" command invokes On-Screen Verifier, showing the original images of suspect characters in context--no need to refer to original documents; the program also has cut, copy, paste, find and replace features;
  • Dictionaries--built-in and user-defined dictionaries;
  • 32-Bit Scanners--supports 32-bit scanner drivers, including more than 100 ISIS drivers and most twain-compatible scanners (New);
  • Windows NT--it is Windows NT compatible (New);
  • Adobe Portable Document Format--it now supports Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) as one of the export formats (New);
  • Page Scanning--it scans one A3 size page and splits it into two A4 size pages (New).

The three programs: TypeReader EZ, TypeReader Imaging, and TypeReader Manager are fairly straightforward and easy to use. In the following sections, the installation and manual information relates to the whole Workstation and the rest of the information pertains to the fourth and main OCR program, TypeReader Pro.

Installation: The process was easy. TypeReader guides you through the installation procedure by: prompting for and collecting necessary user information; copying program and data files to the appropriate folders, and; creating a TypeReader program folder.

Manual: There are two User's Guides that come with the Workstation: a 90 page guide for TypeReader Pro and a smaller 42 page guide for the other three programs. They are thorough. The manual for TypeReader Pro has excellent step-by-step tutorials. They give you an overview of how TypeReader Pro works; step you through running TypeReader Pro for the first time and selecting a scanner; and introduce you to TypeReader Pro's major features.

Interface: The interface is straightforward and intuitive. It is similar to other Windows programs. There is a menu bar on top, the Gallery section or control panel next, and below that a Style ribboninterface section. In the middle of the screen is the area where your pages are displayed. A Status bar runs along the bottom. Most of the common settings and operations are controlled from the Gallery. The Style ribbon section makes it quicker and easier to choose various style attributes for selected locate regions and text. The Status bar contains controls that allow you to choose how to view pages and which pages to view.

OCR Process: It is easy to use the program. There are five steps that you go through for OCR in the TypeReader process:

  1. Getting pages (acquiring pages either from a scanner or by reading in a saved image file);
  2. Locating (indicating which text on the scanned pages you want to recognize, and which pictures to retain);
  3. Recognizing (converting the image to text, how long the recognition process takes depends on a number of factors);
  4. Proofing and editing (checking for incorrectly identified and unidentifiable characters, checking spelling);
  5. Saving and exporting (writing recognized text to a variety of application formats).
Usually you'll use the first three steps during automatic processing. You can also perform the first three steps manually. You can also combine the flexibility of single-step operation with the convenience of automatic operation using Finish Processing or Deferred Processing.
Personal Comments
TypeReader Workstation 5.0 is a no-nonsense OCR program. It has an unadorned interface that is not as polished looking as some of the other OCR programs on the market, but it performs the same functions and does them well. And it is less than the price of the others. It is an excellent choice if you want an easy to use and accurate OCR program.
System Requirements
Processor: 486 based PC or higher
Operating System: Windows 95/98/NT 4.0
Disk Space: 20 MB
Memory: 16 MB RAM (32 MB RAM for Windows NT)
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 5.0
Web Page Editor: Dreamweaver 2.0
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series