Apr 29 2013

Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Techie_Review_OmniPage_Ultimate_20134_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

A new version of OmniPage has just been released. I did a review on OmniPage professional 18 last year and and I tried to cover some of the features that offered at the time, but Nuance is continuing ever forward; pushing the abilities of OCR technology and the integration of the cloud storage.

If you’re in the process of trying to migrate to a paperless environment, you are obviously going to be interested in using document imaging, the document imaging by itself isn’t enough. Your going to need software that is going to streamline and assist you in the most positive way possible to really adopt the lifestyle of being a paperless environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re using document imaging in a small home office, small business or if you’re a larger business just getting into document imaging, you’re going to need a software package that’s going to be the most economical and performance driven for what you’re trying to do. OmniPage is a good solution for that.

OmniPage offers automated OCR with options to import from multiple locations. It can import from local hard drives, network locations, cloud storage and even digital camera images. With OmniPage digital images can be collected automatically, OCR’d for text output, retain document formatting and filed automatically by using barcode technology.

OmniPage Ultimate comes with a full professional copy of PaperPort 14. Having a software package like OmniPage and PaperPort as a starter into document imaging, but even if you didn’t have PaperPort, OmniPage would still work as a great OCR front end and/or filing engine for just about any document management application you are planning on, or currently, using.



Feature highlights…

Speech recognition technology so converted documents can be read to users on their mobile devices.

– File formatting for easy access of OCR’d documents on smartphones and tablets.

– Tablet-like software interface that provides a fast, visually appealing way to work.

– Connectivity to multiple cloud services to manage documents on the go.

– New document management and document scanning capabilities (expanding how users can work with/manage documents).

 

You can see more about OmniPage here; on the product page:

http://www.Nuance.com/for-business/by-product/omnipage/index.htm

 

For my review, I already had a copy of OmniPage 18 installed, as well as PaperPort 14 Professional. The base installation of OmniPage Ultimate is 1.7Gb with and additional 350Mb for PaperPort 14 Professional.




The Installation Process…

Here’s some screenshots and some notes from the installation process.

 

OmniPage_Ultimate_1_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Standard stuff…

OmniPage_Ultimate_2_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

I chose to use the custom installation to see what Nuance was going to install with OmniPage Ultimate, and it only listed 3 items.I deselect the PDF Converter 8 because I already have Nuance’s PDF Converter Professional.

OmniPage_Ultimate_3_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

I already had a previous version of OmniPage installed on my PC. The installer automatically detected that I had a previous version and was asking me if I wanted to skip the installation. I think the proper response your should’ve been to ask me if I wanted to upgrade.

I thought the question prompt was a little bit odd. And for testing purposes I did choose the option to skip the installation and the result was to exit the installer. Later on, I found out that the installer will advise me again that the previous version of OmniPage is already installed.

OmniPage_Ultimate_previous_version_found_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage_Ultimate_Welcome2_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Here’s an example of the additional prompt that previous version of OmniPage is already installed. I consider this prompt a bit redundant since the installer package has already told me, and asked me, if I want to continue the installation. I chose the option here to upgrade.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Welcome_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage Ultimate indicates that it comes with a full version of PaperPort. At the time of the installation for OmniPage Ultimate, I already had a version of PaperPort 14 professional, fully updated. The prompt, shown below, indicates that I have to remove my current version of PaperPort 14 professional in order to install OmniPage Ultimate.

thumb_down Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

I wasn’t happy about having to uninstall PaperPort 14 professional, considering it is the latest version and it was up-to-date. OmniPage Ultimate, the installer, should’ve been able to detect which version of PaperPort was installed and give me the option if I want to continue or not. Having to uninstall a perfectly good version of PaperPort 14 came across to me as a perfectly good waste of time.

 

OmniPage_Ultimate_PaperPort_included_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage_Ultimate_PaperPort_14_already_installed_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Once I had stopped the installation, gone back and removed PaperPort, I was able to restart installation package again. From here, I was able to move on to the standard licensing screen.

OmniPage_Ultimate_License_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

For the setup type, I chose custom. I like to choose the option for custom installations because I want to see what the application is installing in the background. Not that it’s a waste of hard drive space but installing software on your system that’s not required, or you’re not going to use is simply just waste.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Custom_Install_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

The selections for the custom set up were OmniPage Ultimate, RealSpeak Solo Modules and the Vocalizer Expressive. Obviously, OmniPage Ultimate is the base application that must be installed, RealSpeak Solo Modules the new module for OmniPage allows the recognize text be read aloud and optionally saved as MP3 files. Vocalizer Expressive is another module for languages that allow OmniPage to read the text that’s been recognized.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Custom_Setup2_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage_Ultimate_Install_Ready_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

One of the things I didn’t see, from what I saw last year, was the separate installation of a C++ redistributable and.Net Framework. It was included with the visual installation of OmniPage; which made the appearance of the installation that much smoother.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Install_copying_files_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage_Ultimate_Install_Complete_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

The overall installation of OmniPage Ultimate, without any complications or additional steps, took just a few minutes. After the installation, you go figure standard process of registering the product.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Register_Product_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

questionmark Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Registering the product with OmniPage Ultimate is a bit different than what I’ve seen in the past. In this version, OmniPage Ultimate takes you directly to the webpage for Nuance to register your product. You’re able to create an account with the Nuance website and enter your certain number for the product. But what’s different here is that after the product has been registered through the website, the installation package comes back and ask you for the serial number again, to be able to officially launch the application.


I would’ve guessed that after you’ve registered your product with the website, you shouldn’t have to enter the serial number of additional time to launch the actual application.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Register_activation_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

OmniPage_Ultimate_Installation_Complete_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

 

Installation is complete at this point.



Look, Feel and Use…

The overall look and feel of OmniPage remains consistent and well planned out. and for those people who have never used OmniPage before, I like the efforts that Nuance is continuing with their direct approach to making sure that the users have access to help resources.

Nuance_OmniPage_Ultimate_screenshot_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Getting files/images in to OmniPage is easy. You can select specific files, you can select folders, you can even schedule when you want a folder of documents to be processed; like off-peak hours. The application even allows for the ability to drag-and-drop right into processing.

idea Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

I wonder after looking through all the ways to get information into OmniPage, if the developers for OmniPage have ever thought about allowing for the ability to cut-and-paste images; like for screenshots or just snippets of information. Because there are situations where you don’t need an entire document OCR’d, you just need a particular section converted to text.

The user interface from the previous version to this one really hasn’t changed, but I like the fact that Nuance continues to allow users to switch between the classic view of OmniPage and the flexible view, which allows users to place the processing Windows from on the page in just about any configuration they choose. The widescreen interface that OmniPage is taking advantage of is right in line with the current orientation of the majority of users displays, and the displays of smart phones and tablets.

I’m consistently impressed by the level of accuracy that OmniPage can produce; it can recognize up to 123 languages. When information is scanned in and processed with OmniPage, it intelligently tries to look at the information as it’s formatted/presented and try to preserve that once the information has been OCR’d. It recognizes forms, text, tables, graphics and images.

In addition to the base offering of OmniPage being an OCR software package, OmniPage has the ability to create workflows, use barcoding [File-it Assistant], extract information from specific points of interest in documents and directories can be set up automatic polling [DocuDirect], so it documents can be recognized and filed automatically. This makes OmniPage an excellent software package for offices who are looking to go paperless.

thumb_up Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Building a custom workflow in OmniPage is kind of difficult to describe here, but it provides a very powerful function to be able to tell the application what to do and what order should be done in. In addition to the very basic function of scanning and having a document OCR’d; during the OCR process text can be highlighted and redacted to help you go through the process of proofreading/reviewing.


When scanning information in through OmniPage zone templates can be assigned to determine how that information should be handled. for instance, standardized documents typically have information presented in a fixed format. By using OmniPage zones, operators can take advantage of the fixed format and set up fixed zones with OmniPage to automatically detect and extract information from those zones. The result of those zones can be exported in several different ways; including filing it to a specific directory.

One of the benefits to be able to do something like this is that empowers people with portable devices, such as smart phones and tablets, to be able to capture images [textual] have that converted to a pure text based format and then have it easily converted to something that’s more ambiguous with the portable devices of the day.

OmniPage_Ultimate_Kindle_assistant_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

thumb_up Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

This supports the standard ePub format that supported by all the popular e-book readers. Documents can be converted quickly to the EPUB format with a could be loaded onto devices like iPads, android tablets, smart phones, Microsoft Surface, Nooks, Sony readers and Kobo’s. As long as the device is compatible with the EPUB format, it should work.


There’s also been some improvements in the area of creating searchable PDF’s. As everyone knows, PDF files can come from various sources and they can also include some embedded objects. Previously PDF files that had fillable forms, scanned pages or other types of documentation could cause problems with a standard PDF, making it searchable. Latest version uses electronic discovery [eDiscovery] to intelligently look at the PDF file and determine whether or not it needs to be OCR’d. Now, when you convert standard PDF’s to a searchable PDF, not only will you be able to find the standard text but also information that might have been inserted into the forms.

OmniPage Ultimate has an offering that’ll streamline the processing the core functions of the software quickly, by using the Launchpad. It looks right in line with the UI of Windows 8.

onmipage_ultimate_launch_pad_ss_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Noting the power of accessing the flows; your 5 most used flows can be on the right side of the form for ease of use.


Speech/Proofreading…

One of the exceptionally nice things that has been included with OmniPage Ultimate is the inclusion of several high-quality voices that can be used to convert the OCR’d data into an MP3 file that can be loaded onto mobile device, to be listened to later.

thumb_down Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage UltimateOne of the things that I was kind of disappointed about with this version was that although OmniPage Ultimate has the high-quality voices that can be used for proofreading, I was kind of disappointed that the options for using the speech recognition options more openly were not included anywhere in the file menu or the toolbar. The option for using the proofreading, having the application read the results to you, is something that you have to find in the help file.

OmniPage_Ultimate_speech_proofreading_options_keyboard_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

And I should note that there was no issues whatsoever with the quality of the voices that were used, I just wish that the options for listening and exporting to the OCR’d information was accessible a little easier; perhaps/maybe with a toolbar preset or a right-click option. [If I missed it, my apologies.]

 

Cloud Access and Storage…

OmniPage_Ultimate_cloud_storage_options_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage UltimateIncluded with the installation of OmniPage is the option to access cloud storage. Nuance includes their cloud storage connector. What’s great about this utility is that it not only connects to Nuance his own cloud storage option, it also connects to other cloud storage options like Dropbox, Google, Evernote, FTP locations, Microsoft SkyDrive, Amazon, etc. This application manages those multiple cloud storage accounts and facilitates the quick access to upload information or synchronize it; whatever you need to do.

Once the couple very application installed, it sits in the system tray waiting on you to click on it [left click and right-click selections provide the same options].

thumb_up Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

Using the collective functions of OmniPage, you can utilize services like your Google Drive account and your smart phone/tablet to take a picture of a page of text, capture it, save it to your Google Drive and then OmniPage can pull that folder automatically and have the text OCR’d for you at home/office when you get back. It’s a pretty slick function. I use it myself. Of course you can do something like this with other cloud storage services.

OmniPage_ultimate_workflow_progress_thumb Techie Review: Nuance OmniPage Ultimate

 

Product Pricing and Availability…

OmniPage Ultimate is available through Nuance’s global network of reseller partners. OmniPage Ultimate is $199 for upgrades from previous OmniPage version and $499 for new purchases with volume discounts available through the Nuance Open License Program. For additional information on OmniPage features, pricing and volume licensing programs, please visit www.nuance.com/omnipage or call 800-443-7077.


Conclusion…

This release of OmniPage, OmniPage Ultimate, is a great package because it includes a great OCR engine with lots of abilities to scanned documents, recognize them, OCR them and to be able to place them into the proper folders. And because OmniPage Ultimate comes with PaperPort professional, this means that not only are you going to have an application to browse through and organize your information efficiently which also going to have access to search through all the documents that you scanned to find information that you’re looking for quickly.

In addition to the accuracy of the OCR engine that OmniPage uses, the utilization of the workflow portion of this software is solid investment. Being able to custom build profiles for documents and to be able to create barcodes to automatically OCR and to accurately file document batches is going to be a massive benefit to any office. By moving to document imaging and using a powerful tool like Omnipage, you’re immediately going to be able to save large amounts of time and money on just research alone; way more than the cost of the software.

 

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.
LEHSYS.com 

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5


Support the site — Share this!

  • Rick75230

    Do you notice any significant difference in the accuracy of Ominpage versus PDF Converter Pro (or Acrobat Standard)? I am primarily interested in OCR on scanned yearbooks or a handful of scanned books (entirely text). In both cases the page images are very good — no smeared text, bleed-through, etc. For the most part there are no charts, tables, etc. Just names in the yearbooks (sometimes white on gray or black, which Acrobat can’t handle but PDF Converter Pro can) and straight text in the books–no weird fonts, etc.

    I already have PDF Converter Pro and I’m not interested in paying $100+ if the difference will be 1-2% better accuracy. Almost all the “review” I’ve read just list the features or copy the marketing text.

    • I can’t honestly compare that; I don’t have Adobe PDF Converter Pro. I have had so many bad experiences with Adobe, I have no overwhelming interest to work with their products anymore. Sorry.

      Later,
      Larry

      • Rick75230

        I downloaded the trial version of Omnipage Pro. If it’s not 100% text, it’s a NIGHTMARE — FOUR HUNDRED OCR “suspects” on ONE PAGE ?!?

        Omnipage considers pretty much EVERYTHING as “potential text”. It “found” text in yearbook senior portraits, class group photos, etc. And then it spit out random “letters” it “found”. In a 225 page high school yearbook it had 9800 “suspects” — the vast majority in photos that contained no text at all.