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ABBYY FineReader Tutorial: Adjusting Areas

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

Adjusting Areas

Normally, ABBYY will make a text area solely around text, while new paragraphs will sometimes be in different boxes. If the boxes are of the same type, you can just take one box and expand it to cover everything by clicking and dragging at the corners of a box:

 

Combining multiple text areas into one:

 

 

Note: It is necessary that when you expand one text box that it fully covers the other ones or else it will instead overlap.
 

The default shape of an area is a rectangle, but sometimes parts of a document you wish to recognize cannot fit in a simple rectangle. Let’s say you want all the text to be in one text box:

 

 

Expanding as in the previous method will not work because of the irregular shape. If you click on the area you wish to expand, a floating toolbar will appear:

 

 

The two dashed boxes with the plus and minus sign are for creating and deleting areas in relation to the text box you clicked on. If you press on the dashed box with the plus sign, you can create a text box that can connect the disconnected ones.

Note: Merging areas that are arranged side-by-side would lead the text pane to output the text in one straight line, so if you want two separate columns, be sure to have two separate text areas.

 

Again, the zoom pane can be used for more precise adjustments of the areas. The same will work for picture areas.
For tables, however, there are different options that pop up.

 

 

This will let you separate parts of the table into rows and columns, delete separators, and ANALYZE the area created into a table so you don’t manually have to do it.


As you can see, ABBYY did not recognize this page of the document as a table:

 

 

Using the TABLE tool from the toolbar, we can create a table area:

 

 

The table hasn’t been separated into any columns or rows. Instead of manually doing this, from the pop-up toolbar...

 

 

...select the table with the wand in front for ABBYY to try to guess where the lines would be.

 

 

Now there are columns and rows mostly where they should be. Still, there were a couple of mistakes. If you look in the zoom pane ABBYY created an extra row where there shouldn’t be. In this case, you select from the pop-up toolbar the icon with the red X.

Moving your cursor to the line you want deleted and select that. Dedicating time in ABBYY to adjusting the locations and number of recognition areas that the program attempts based on auto-detection pays off. It leads to much better results and less time spent in postprocessing fixes to ouput.