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ABBYY FineReader Tutorial

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


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please attribute this work to the NYU Libraries Scholarly Communications and Information Policy Department.

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ABBYY FineReader is an OCR (optical character recognition) software that allows for the conversion of images of text documents and tables into editable, machine-readable text formats. With ABBYY one is also able to convert image files and non-searchable PDFs into popular office formats such as .docx, .pptx, and searchable PDFs. The program allows for the recognition of nearly one hundred languages, and it can work with multilingual documents.

The goals of this guide are to learn how to:

  • Provide documents suitable for working with ABBYY FineReader
  • Program ABBYY FineReader to detect and reproduce simple and complex documents.
  • Train the program to recognize characters and create a user pattern for a more thorough output.
  • Check and edit the text output.
  • Export the results into the user’s desired format (.txt, .html, .docx, .pdf, .csv, etc.)

If a complete guide to the software is required, consult the software manufacturer's guide.

Where to Access ABBYY at NYU

Members of the NYU community with access to Bobst Library can access ABBYY by first requesting an appointment to use the software. Select the appointment request option, not software request, when filling out your form. Once the appointment is set up, the software will be accessed on workstations in the 6th floor room 617 classroom.

Researchers also have the option of purchasing a license for individual use. ABBYY offers an educational license at a discount. There is also an option for an ABBYY Finereader free trial.

Note that the Windows license of ABBYY currently has a more expansive and developed interface. The tutorial that follows is based on that version.