Caere boosts OmniPage, cans WordScan

Caere will build on its already-dominant lead in optical character recogniton software with the release of OmniPage 8.0.

The new version is built around an entirely new engine that takes some features from the engine of WordScan +, the product acquired with the acquisition of Calera Recognition Systems two and a half years ago. Caere said today theat there will be no further development of WordScan+ as a separate product.

"The result of the new engine is a dramatic improvement in accuracy," said Amy Bayersdorfer, product manager. "We see a 62 per cent reduction in errors and the improvement is particulalry notable on 'trouble' documents. Also , there's no speed degradation at all. Compare our speed with Xerox TextBridge and see what you find."

Improvements include the ability scan 4-point text, documents up to 10 degrees skewed and inverted text. Multiple languages are automatically identified inside a single document. "Previously we had a one-size fits-all approach to languages but now we have 13 language dictionaries included," Bayersdorfer said.

Other new features include Microsoft Office 97 compatibility, support for HTML Level 3 and multithreading, the ability to manually edit zones, and tighter integration with Microsoft Word. Caere reckons 85 per cent of OCR work done with OmniPage is with Microsoft Word.

Users of any OCR package can upgrade to OmniPage 8.0 for £99 although a full retail version remains at £395. Caere UK's Eva Boyle said at least 30 per cent of UK purchasers shell out for the full price software.