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A New Focus for Camera Users – Text!

September 24, 2008

ABBYY FotoReader Makes Text Conversion Simple for Digital Camera Users

ABBYY, a leading provider of document recognition, data capture and linguistic software, today introduced ABBYY FotoReader, a new product which promises to expand the ways people can use their digital cameras, allowing them to do more than just take photos.

Available immediately, ABBYY FotoReader is the first standalone text conversion software product targeted specifically at the broad consumer market of digital camera users. Instead of taking notes or retyping texts, people can simply use FotoReader to turn photographed text into a computer file to store or edit on the PC. A user simply takes a photo of a document, sign, or other printed text, and connects the camera to a computer.  FotoReader converts ‘the image of text’ in the photo into Microsoft® Word, Excel®, PDF and other file formats. ABBYY FotoReader can process texts in 184 languages including Latin, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and Cyrillic languages. It will also read text written in multiple languages and reproduce special text formatting such as columns and tables. 

“Photography is much different than it was just ten years ago,” explained Jupp Stoepetie, CEO of ABBYY Europe. “The adoption of digital cameras, the Internet, and new technologies has changed a static medium into a dynamic one. People can now do so much more with their cameras and photos: they can take hundreds of photos at one time, preview them instantly, share and publish them on the Internet, and even adjust colour and lighting of photos on their PC. ABBYY FotoReader takes the evolution of the camera and the photo one step further. Cameras and photos become devices for capturing not just images but also important texts and documents, and in doing so, become a productivity tool.”

Save Photos in Text Files, PDF, and HTML

Using ABBYY FotoReader, people can convert photographed text into one of the popular computer file formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF, RTF, TXT and HTML.  When using ABBYY FotoReader together with a digital camera, users can photograph book pages and turn them into a Microsoft Word document instead of making copies. They can capture text from presentations during meetings, or save a set of business cards as a PDF file with a text layer, which is easily searchable using desktop search functions.  Converting a photo to PDF format also allows users to save photos in smaller files.  FotoReader makes it easy to work with important or interesting information encountered while “on-the-go” like text on travel schedules, signs, and billboards.


FotoReader is easy to use because the software guides users through the steps of converting photos. From the program starting window, users find a set of quick options to perform the most popular tasks in one step such as “Convert to Microsoft Word”, “Convert to PDF”, and “Convert to Microsoft Excel.” Users simply click on the task and follow the process of opening and converting the files. More advanced users will find additional options for changing default settings and influencing conversion results if necessary.

Special Technology for Processing Digital Camera Images

ABBYY FotoReader is based on ABBYY’s award-winning optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which is used in professional document conversion programs such as ABBYY FineReader. ABBYY OCR delivers highly accurate recognition of printed text in images. Until recently, photos of text were not considered suitable for text conversion, or text recognition. Traditionally, conversion of text relied on a high quality static image of a document captured using specific lighting and parameters such as those used in scanning. Recent advancements in both digital camera and software technology now make it possible to work with texts taken with a camera. ABBYY FotoReader includes ABBYY Camera OCR technology that corrects distortions typical for photos of text and makes camera images suitable for reading text. For example, FotoReader technology will help “straighten” curved lines in a photo of a book or magazine page. The software will detect and correct the page curve and skewing in the photograph before processing it. FotoReader is also able to interpret images and identify the resolution of a given photo to accurately read photographed text. Special photo processing functions are all performed by ABBYY FotoReader as an automated process, without any user participation.

Bonus for Registered Users: ABBYY Screenshot Reader

ABBYY FotoReader also comes with a bonus application for registered users. ABBYY Screenshot Reader is an easy-to-use tool for quickly capturing screenshots and text from screenshots.  More than a typical screen capture program, Screenshot Reader can convert snippets of screenshots into text, using ABBYY’s text conversion technology. It is an ideal utility for clipping bits of texts for use in presentations, or other documents.

Pricing and Availability

ABBYY FotoReader will be sold through ABBYY’s established network of distribution, reseller, and retail outlets throughout Western Europe and via the ABBYY Web store starting the end of September. Recommended retail pricing is 49,95 Euro.

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