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May 26 2011

Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18


axgrqsfk thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18If you are in enthusiast that’s driven on productivity and being organized; and doing things the smart way— document imaging is the way to go. Whether you’re applying document imaging at home or at work, it’s going to be of benefit to you at some point.

As an individual who has been using document imaging since roughly around 1998, I can truthfully say that having documents in an electronic form, being able to search them very fast, or just being able to locate an e-mail information to various destinations is a huge bonus. But even more so is being able to convert printed textual documents into an electronic form that can be edited— this is where Nuance‘s OmniPage really shines.

It’s an absolute must-have for office environments.

OmniPage has the ability to convert paper into a digital form and automatically convert that digital form into something that can be indexed and searched. Images can be captured from scanners or digital cameras; this includes smartphones and tablets. Processed images can be converted directly into a searchable PDF, or you can scan in forms, to have them automatically detected to where you can fill them out.

From here, I start my techie review of OmniPage 18. My version of a techie review is a overall evaluation of the application, how it works and if the application is something you’d be willing to buy for your home or office. I like to dig into all the major features and options that are offered by the application and give my overall opinion of everything that’s offered.

 

From Nuance:

Pricing and Availability

OmniPage 18 and OmniPage Professional 18 are available through Nuance’s global network of reseller partners. OmniPage 18 is $149 and OmniPage Professional 18 is $499 for individual users, with volume discounts available through the Nuance Open License Program. Upgrade pricing and support products are also available. For additional information on OmniPage features, pricing and volume licensing programs, please visit www.nuance.com/omnipage or call 800-443-7077.

Follow Nuance OmniPage on Twitter @OmniPage and visit our OmniPage Fanpage .

 

The Installation:

The version of OmniPage 18 Pro, but I’m using was an electronic version that was downloaded from the nuance website. The size of the compressed file was 579 MB. On my system, it only took about a minute to extract all files to a temporary installation directory. Immediately after the files were extracted, the installation program started by itself. During installation OmniPage 18 installed some prerequisite software such as Microsoft Visual C++ 2005/2010 redistributable 64-bit [for my system] and .NET framework 4.

Early in the installation process, the customer is going to be prompted for their serial number for the application…

image thumb6 Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

One of the surprising things that I noticed about the installation, as you go into the custom set up [if you choose that option], you’ll notice that Nuance has provided 10 digitized voices to allow recognize text to be read aloud and then saved as a compatible wave file. I can only presume how beneficial this can be to individuals with disabilities.

The full installation of OmniPage 18, from the time the installation application started to the time the application indicated that the installation was completed, only about 5 min. elapsed.

I only had one problem with the installation, the installer said that there were files that were in use, but didn’t indicate which files were in use, or which applications needed to be closed; so I closed all applications and continued with the installation— I didn’t receive any errors during or after the installation completed.

Nuances PDF create seven is included with the installation of OmniPage 18. You might remember my review of this application from little while back. But I can truthfully say that including this application with the installation of OmniPage is going to be a true benefit.

OmniPage 18 also includes Nuance’s Cloud Connector. If the software installation that creates a virtual drive on your local machine that points to a cloud/Internet location were files can be placed and accessed from virtually anywhere.

doyxwx4m thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

 

Interface…

As you open OmniPage 18, the first thing you notice is how clean the interface looks and how Nuance has made an effort to simplify the recognition process. They’ve broken the scanning, recognition and export methods down into three steps.

qizefetx thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

I believe in simplicity, and I believe that this was a very wise choice to simplify the application because of all the powerful options that are available to the users.

As you click on the drop-down options for scan, OmniPage has already scanned your system tto find prerequisite compatible applications they can import images from; new options such as, SharePoint, Evernote, Dropbox and Nuance’s own option for the Cloud Connector. But the website says 20 other cloud solutions… I didn’t get that many, but I can see where this feature could be very important. While OmniPage is a powerful application, I’m really attracted to how the time has been taken to simplify the interface, to remove the clutter that could be and make the act of getting stuff done a lot easier.

One of the things that I’m noticing about Nuance products lately is there emphasis on information and helping the users. Getting help with the application is never too far away. OmniPage has links to the help index in several places in the application. The option for help has been conveniently placed atop the same section as you are going to be working with your scanned documents.

1sicboox thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

From here, it’s very simple to click on the help button, type in exactly what you’re looking for and then the help documentation is presented to you. You can read the instructions, see how things are done what you need to do, and then go back to what you need to complete; all without losing your place.

When working with images, with the image enhancements; I do wish that the application offered a more streamlined and simplified method of straightening documents. The application does have a deskew function, but it seems like a manual function at this point. It could be I couldn’t find the auto-deskew button…
[if so, I apologize]

 

 

Hardware…


Upon starting OmniPage for the first time, the application prompted me to download most current listing of supported profiles for hardware; thinking that this was the best thing to do, I went ahead and downloaded the updated drivers from the website. The profile database is a set of configuration settings for OmniPage or for PaperPort that have already been certified as to how that device is going to perform with the software.

I selected my printer/device [Canon MX320 series Printer/Scanner], which is a multifunction machine and has an Auto-Document Feeder [or ADF]. I used the WIA and the TWAIN drivers for my testing and found both to work just fine.

llxhjvgv thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

And sharing functions between applications like PaperPort, there seems to be the scanner Wizard, which allows you to test the abilities of the scanning device that you’re going to be using; to see if OmniPage is going to be fully compatible with what you want to do. PaperPort has the very same function, so I’m glad to see that the code is not going to waste in just one application.

The interaction between the software and the scanner seem to work very well. I wasn’t noticing that I was getting bogged down in a bunch of useless and repetitive clicks just to get something done.

Operation…

This is the 18th version of OmniPage. Nuance has had plenty of time to improve on and work on the algorithms to help recognize the text on the page; not just the text but the formatting as well.  This version doesn’t seem to disappoint. In the course of my testing, I used newspaper articles, books, magazines and handwritten pieces of paper to see how the software package would perform.

um0n5uwi thumb Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

I found the recognition on a high level. Anything the software didn’t recognize, it was asking me. And during the recognition process, I saw options for training the software for special characters. I found this interesting if you’re working with special symbols on a regular basis.

Obviously, I found that the best performance was coming from documents that were preprinted, had formatted text or text that was written by hand fairly well. Unfortunately, my handwriting is horrible, therefore I don’t really hold OmniPage any ill will for being less than perfect on recognizing my handwriting.

What I found impressive about OmniPage is how it perfectly complements the PaperPort suite that Nuance offers. Combining this package with PaperPort would make for an unbeatable home/office document imaging solution.

Workflows; being able to scan these documents in, be OCR’d and then made indexable is where you really want to be with document imaging. Being able to find that information, or snippet of information quickly. And you can accomplish this with OmniPage’s ability to create workflows. Workflows are a specific set of functions that you want OmniPage to perform each time a document is scanned into the application, and you can create your own set of rules on how you want documents to be treated once there scanned in or imported into the system.

This process can be streamlined even more by using the batch manager. This is the process of putting images or documents in a specific directory and having the application process all the information later, possibly after peak hours. This is the best solution when you’re dealing with a large amount documents. Once you have created your workflows and setup the scanning/processing paths; the system can automatically do these functions without your intervention— there’s actually option this is ‘do not prompt’ once you have this set up.

Zone Templates; another fantastic feature of OmniPage is the ability to set templates for documents that have preset information on them. For instance if you have forms, with tables and lines and boxes of information; you can create a template saying this is an X type of document, and then you can set the areas for information like account numbers, dates, addresses and other pieces of information.

Once this is configured, it can be used to extrapolate information and apply it to the document as the documents are being processed and saved off. I really love this feature.

In trying out the text to speech, I thought it was okay. I didn’t see the ‘strengths’ of this application in proof reading everything; rather it being more of a fluff point, and being candid about it, I’m not sure how they could have really made it better. The voices that accompanied the installation are okay. The voice aren’t super smooth [I've heard better rendered voices], but on the grounds of what it does, and what it’s for; it works.

Once the voice option is activated the arrow keys are used to read line by line [sentence]. Surely, this feature will help with the proof reading process [and with those with disabilities], because the human mind doesn’t always read every word, and sometimes assumes words are there, when they’re not— [we're not defective, that's the way it is…]

 

Overall…

I find this software package is outstanding. It has lots of great features and functions you would expect with a document imaging system; tools to help you import, process and index information. Any office could really benefit from this software package. Businesses that aren’t using software like this are losing money.

And having worked in the imaging field for the last 12 years, I know that having this information at your employee’s finger tips, and yours, is a huge benefit. With the level of recognition OmniPage offers, mixed with the workflow and template options; daily ‘batches’ could accumulate during the business day and process at night— ready for the next day. For the functions this software package allows you to do, this kind of of software can save you thousands of dollars over a small period of time.

Nuance has it right; when they said OmniPage is the perfect compliment to PaperPort. With the functions of PaperPort and the power of OmniPage this would make for a great solution for scanning, processing and research.

Here’s Nuance press release:
http://www.nuance.com/company/news-room/press-releases/NC_016236

I would love to hear what you think…

 

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.
LEHSYS.com

 

 Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18


pixel Techie Review: OmniPage Professional 18

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  1. Tom

    Downloaded and started install, installed various components, then started Omnipage install, warned that previous editions needed to be removed and installer exited. Removal required restart, now autorun installer commplains "Not supported OS", (running Windows7 x64).

    Probably just need to find the Omnipage 18 installer and rerun that but hidden in the autorun. Nothing on this error on the net yet.

    1. Dave

      Post Part 1
      Hi. I did get the same Error: Not supported OS Fehlermeldung on Windows Vista 64 bit
      I had been in contact to nuance for several time before my problem could be solved.
      If you don't want to wait on the phone for one hour of ya live, then this should help you:

      First you should clean your installation:
      After deinstallation of your old versions put your Omnipage CD in your PC. CD:OmniPageToolsRemover.exe – delet all regestry entries!

      Then you should have installed (or reinstalled) all of these additional microsoft-software x86 AND x64 on a 64 bit machine:
      MSXML 6 (don't select …ia_64) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      MS VCRuntime 2005 32-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      MS VCRuntime 2008 32-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      MS VCRuntime 2010 32-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      see Post 2 for further instructions!

    2. Dave

      Post 2
      MS VCRuntime 2005 64-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      MS VCRuntime 2008 64-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      MS VCRuntime 2010 64-bit http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      Microsoft .Net FrameWork 4 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/de-de/details….

      After a Reboot and at the last step start the Omnipage 18 installation by executing :
      CD:OmniPageNuance Omnipage 18.msi directly.
      After the Installation succeded you need to go to
      CD:PDFCreate7System64Setup and start setup.exe.
      The Language in Omnipage will be english after manual installation. You can change it via Tools->Options->General.

      Good luck! This steps worked at my PC.

  2. Peter

    I bought OP Pro 18, Product ID OP-1118-001-11260.1426. It installs with no problem on my notebook with WinXP SP3. It eventually integrates into my PaperPort 12.1, if you make the link manually and name it. It goes through Scanner Setup Wizard (I have a bunch of older scanners, which I can shut down and a brand new HP Officejet Pro 8500A).
    Story is different on my new desktop with Win7 Pro 64bit. The compressed file OP Pro 18 would warn, after being double-clicked, that I have a wrong system. I unpacked it into a desktop folder and double-clicked the Setup.exe. OP18 got installed, and it made automatically a link at PaperPort 12.1. Unfortunately, if I throw any image file on the OP18 link, the whole computer chokes. The same happens, if you try to run Scanner Setup Wizard. The wizard gets stuck and kills the computer. In both cases, there is only one solution: to reboot. Neither of this problems happen on the WinXP notebook, which is networked with the same scanners. OP18 works fine even in Win7 Pro 64bit, if used on its own, i.e. if you just open an existing image file in it and if you are not trying to scan.

  3. Den

    I've been trying to decide if this program is right for me, our company has a lot of PDF files that I need to change phone numbers on and I hate the idea of spending $499.00 for Adobe. We received an email offering this software for $99 good through June. So thanks for all the information
    My recent post High Speed Industrial Doors

  4. Steve

    I cant install the omni 18 on win 7 64 bit either. bootstrapper just dies… what the heck??? I paid 99 dollars for this baby!!

    can u help?

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      I don't have anything to offer there… My installation was flawless.
      sorry.

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      1. Bill Bailey

        Larry, your installation was on a Win7 64-bit pc right? I am trying to figure out if it works or not on Win7 64bit before I buy.
        My recent post From ExtremeTech –

        1. Larry Henry Jr.

          Bill,
          Thanks for contacting me… you're correct.

          Here are my Machine Specs:
          Acer Aspire ax3910
          Dual Core E5800 @ 3.2 GHz
          4gb DDR3 Mem
          NVidia GMA x4500 onboard video
          1Tb HD
          Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

          My installation of OmniPage has fine. I've had several people leave comments and send emails that their installation of OmniPage 18 didn't work. Mine was flawless.
          I hope you have a nice day!

          If you've any questions, please let me know…

          Until next time,
          Larry Henry Jr.

        2. Steve

          Bill I cant install on win 7 64 bit yet

      2. MarkM

        Hi Larry,
        I puchased OmniPage 17 online a year ago and works great. I recently purchased a new pc and want to uninstall form the old and reinstall to the new pc, I tried to backup and restore the software but that doesn't work. What would be the best route to take in this case.

        Thank you,

        MarkM

  5. Steve

    there has got to be a way..

  6. Mary

    Thanks for the helpful review, Larry. I have a question: I'm not computer savvy, but I want to de-paper my home and small business. When learning new software, I either "get it and go with it", i.e. Quickbooks; or I get overwhelmed and frustrated and throw in the towel. OmniPage seems like it may be overwhelming, but the intro price of $99.00 is extremely tempting. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Speaking of Quickbooks, can I link copies of receipts to Quickbooks ledgers?

    Thanks.
    My recent post Solved- Missing Blogger Adsense Gadget… Found

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      Mary …
      Thanks for inquiring upon me…
      Going paperless was one of the best things I’ve ever done; and smartest. I've had so many people compliment me on how fast I can find my documents and important papers. I had a realtor go on and on about me to others in in her office, because I had the documents she needed in 30 minutes, where it took other people weeks. That's productive.

      Welp, I have tried to provide a screenshot of OmniPage for it's interface. It's like driving James Bond's car. It's simple, but has a lot of toys to play with… and I'm a fan of KISS myself [that's, Keep it Simple Silly]. Start simple, work big as you need it; as you understand it. I understand your comments; I do. Programs that don't fit the individual aren't a match. If it's more of a hindrance than a benefit; it's not for you; software should help you, not hurt you.

      99$ for OmniPage is unheard of… And I'm very motivated by the BATCH and TEMPLATE scanning that OmniPage offers; especially if you're dealing with like documents all the time. And if you have PaperPort [hopefully v11], this is the v8 of image processing for Document imaging. I'm not impressed that often, but I really liked the interface and options that OmniPage offered.

      Lastly, sorry I'm not able to speak on Quickbooks; I've never used it; hated forever and find it a complete waste of my time to make an attempt to use it. BUT, if you're using PaperPort you can use the tags in the documents to reference later.

      That's the best I can do right now.
      Many thanks…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  7. Mary

    Thanks, Larry. Your review, comments, and especially the screenshot of the simplified interface sold me!

    $99 is unheard of? Yep, but that's what they're offering it for until June 30th. And you mentioned PaperPort, …. well, hold onto your keyboard: this may be an e-mail special for those who have purchased Nuance software in the past, but linking through the e-mail gets:
    – OmniPage Professional 18
    – PaperPort 12
    – Office Printing Essentials
    all for $99.00.

    Looks like this is how I'm going to spend my summer! :)

    One more question: This price is the same for download and physical product, do you recommend getting the physical or just downloading it?

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      You know, I would have to go with downloading a copy; unless you have bandwidth caps to worry about, but it's only 570+mb downloaded. The license key was emailed to me, so it was nice for copy/cut and paste. I had no issues with the download. Of course if you're going to do that, download it and save it off to a CD/DVD for safe keeping; but it beats the Hell out of having to wait 7-10 days or it getting lost in the mail; or the shipping and handling charges [what a joke nowadays].

      So, yeah, download it and then burn it yourself. In the age of get it now; it's the way to go.

      I hope this helps…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      My recent post Solved- Missing Blogger Adsense Gadget… Found

      1. Mary

        Many thanks, Larry. You do a great job here, and provide a much needed service.

  8. Alex

    Hi Larry, what sort of options are provided at installation. Is it possible to disable folder scanning, integration with PaperPort, PDF Create, Evernote, DropBox, Sharepoint, etc? That is, is possible to install just Omnipage without without the extras – a light installation what won't create new services or autostart'ed programs?

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      From the inception, you have the option to NOT install PDF Create 7, but the Cloud Connector is set as something I'm not able to unselect. It's my opinion, but OmniPage seemed to find those things [DropBox, evernote] on it's own. I believe it's just doing discovery. Kind of what PaperPort does with the export options. I believe with some tinkering you probably could, but it might cause some support issues seems OmniPage would be expecting certain services/applications to be in place. When I launched OmniPage from the raw msi; I don't have a cloud install option. Seems to be just when you do the autorun from the disc/installer.

      I hope this helps…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  9. M.C. Whitehead

    I just want to copy from a book or documents and be able to change the dimensions and alter the text. I have no need for office printing, I dont need to be on a cloud or publish any papers. I bought omnipage strictley for the use outlined. I cannot find a manual for 18. I prchased 17 but never was able to make it work. Your article was the only one that I found which even approaches how to use and what to do. I would like to purchase the material which would answer my questions.

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      M.C. Whitehead…
      Thanks, that's exactly what my 'reviews' are for. Everyone else simply likes to spew the corporate sales material, but I like to dig in to the application a little and see how it works for the common user; so thanks on that.

      But to your question, the new version of OmniPage 18 is actually very nice when it comes to documentation. In my review, HELP with the application is right there in your face every second while you're using it [see above]. You really have to make an attempt hard not to see help, but I believe Nuance is really putting efforts in to help users get the most out of this version by putting the information right there…

      If you're asking about a printed user manual, I'm not able to say I have that. And since I download'd the electronic version, I didn't get a manual. But that's the trend, and has been for a while; not just Nuance, but other big companies [like Microsoft]…

      I hope this helps…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      My recent post Solved- Missing Blogger Adsense Gadget… Found

    2. DottyinCA

      I found this users guide very helpful. http://supportcontent.nuance.com/omnipage/18/doc/

  10. Alex

    Does Nuance's EULA permit activation on more than one computer – for example, desktop and laptop?

    Their "Activation FAQ" (http://support.nuance.com/productactivation/faq.asp) states:
    "If the same version of the software is reinstalled on the same machine or is not concurrently installed on any other machine, no new license is required."
    and
    "If you want to move your license onto another computer, or are planning to upgrade any hardware or the operating system (since activation may see this as a new computer), you should deactivate your software .."

    Implying that only a single computer can run activated software, but I know that some software companies are lenient. Any idea?

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      Your right about the licensing; by standard, it's intention is for one machine at a time— it's not a site/family license. Technically, you're supposed to remove OmniPage from a machine you're installing it on another… You bring a good point, but not one I can speak on whether or not Nuance allows for leniency, or room for play. I would think those questions need to go to the support forum or their support…

      I hope this helps…

      Moving forward,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      My recent post Adding Facebook friends – we need this feature…

  11. Will

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for this review. I'm also thinking of purchasing this software for the 99 dollar special which includings paperport.
    Question: I owned Scansofts Pagis pro suite (back in the day) and it had the function of Form field seach: and it would allow doc's to have a field in a form added- so info could be edited. Does the Nuance software do the same?

    Thanks…

  12. Don

    Hi Larry,

    You said in your review above that you would say more about the read back function for those with disabilities, yet I didn't see you cover it. Does it work very well? Thanks.

    Don

  13. Jack

    I could not get the downloaded version to install on Win 7 64bit. Went into the folders and got the .msi file to load and install Omnipage but the program opened with errors of missing files. Nuance has no online support, only phone. I filed a return claim.

  14. Robert Cleveland

    I work for a document management solutions company, and we use OmniPage quite a bit…but I'm thinking of looking for another solution. The concept is sound, the OCR works great, but it is so frustrating to continually have employees get halfway through converting a PDF to .xls, and have the program crash. We waste so much time re-doing work, hoping and praying that the software won't crash, it just doesn't seem worth it.

    I just upgraded to version 18, and was very disappointed to see that we're having the same problem with this version that we had with 17 and 16.

    Anyone else have this problem, and maybe know how to fix it?

  15. milau

    You should run OP18 against Abbyy 11; to my experience the later seams much more robust. OCR precision in less-than-ideal scanned docs is much more accurate. Add shoddy ribbon… Hot folders within Abbyy is very useful solution

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      That's a good idea; I may try that— thanks!
      I greatly appreciate your time…

      Later,
      Larry

  16. bo H

    I found only one way to install and use. I setup another user on the win 7 desktop and installed and used with no problem.

  17. James

    With your recommendation I now have OMNIPAGE 18.1 on Windows 7 Professional.But when I install the software I get an error "Data1.cab file corrupted". Please help

    1. Larry Henry Jr.

      You need to check the installation disc, or re download the installation software; if nothing else, you should contact support; it's free for X amount of time from Nuance when you buy their software. My installation went fine— no issues at all. I used a downloaded install…

      I hope this helps…

      Later,
      Larry

      My recent post Review: ShareMouse

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