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ABBYY FineReader Tutorial

A guide to using ABBYY FineReader for text extraction from documents using OCR (Optical Character Recognition).

Image Preprocessing

Although ABBYY FineReader is able to recognize text from a regular image taken by a camera, the purpose of using these apps is to reduce the likelihood of errors from a lack of clear contrast between the text and background, and to correct for possible distortions. The scanner apps can also correct for lighting problems. 

  • Best results can be achieved with bright and evenly distributed light, preferably daylight. 
  • If there is enough light, turn the flash off to prevent sharp highlights and shadows. When using the flash in poor lighting conditions, be sure to take photos from a distance of approximately 50 cm.
  • If the image is too dark you can either set a lower aperture value to open up the aperture, set a higher ISO value, or use manual focus, as automatic focus may fail in poor lighting conditions.

Important: If possible, seek an even, unskewed scanning plane from the original document. ABBYY reports that the text lines should not be skewed by more than 20 degrees, otherwise the text may not be converted properly.