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ABBYY Announces the Availability of High-Performance OCR Software for Macintosh Users

November 30, 2001

ABBYY FineReader 5 Pro for Mac Offers the Most Accurate and Feature-Rich Solution for the Mac OS

ABBYY, a leading provider of document recognition, data capture and linguistic technologies and services, announced today the availability of FineReader 5 Pro for Mac, bringing the company’s award-winning OCR technology to the Macintosh platform. The software converts paper-based documents and scanned images into editable text with the highest level of word accuracy and format retention – even when converting complex pages and poor quality documents. FineReader 5 Pro for Mac includes ABBYY’s award-winning OCR engine, which provides superior recognition accuracy with 2 to 3 times fewer mistakes** than other Mac OCR solutions.

"The Mac community has been asking for improved OCR technology to fill a void left by OCR developers that have not introduced new Mac versions for years," – said Dean Tang, president and CEO of ABBYY USA, – "We are answering that need by giving Mac users the most powerful OCR software – more robust than anything they’ve seen before. We’re excited to make such a strong entrée into the Mac market." 

"Sound & Vision, a startup company founded with the vision of bringing the best products to Macintosh users is very proud of the accomplishment. By utilizing the best OCR engine available and with user interface designed from the ground up on Mac and by Mac enthusiasts we now have a strong player on the Macintosh software market.” – said Maxim Abalyaev, President and CEO of Sound & Vision.

ABBYY FineReader 5 Pro for Mac, co-developed by Sound & Vision, Inc. is designed from the ground up as a Macintosh application with features that fully leverage the strengths of the Mac platform. The software’s extensive controls, including toolbars, icons and dialog boxes, are designed to work seamlessly with the Mac OS Appearance Manager. The application utilizes AppleSpeech to enable a voice-read-back tool that helps users to easily proof read recognition results. FineReader also takes advantage of Mac OS technologies such as QuickTime, Drag-and-Drop, and Navigation Services. In addition, the program supports AppleScript, enabling users to run the application from scripts, which can be written to automate repetitive tasks, such as recognizing fax files as soon as they are received. 

OCR Features

FineReader 5 Pro for Mac provides an extensive set of capabilities to give users full control over the OCR process, in addition to the features unique to the Mac OS. These features include:

  • One-button OCR – converts paper documents with a single click of the Scan&Read button. 
  • OCR Assistant – guides users through the OCR process, allowing them to select preferred settings, which can then be saved to automate repetitive projects.
  • Runs from MS Word.
  • Multi-language Recognition – recognizes any of 117 languages, including multiple languages within the same document.
  • Spellchecker – highlights questionable words (in any of 23 languages) and suggests possible alternatives. Users can magnify the image area containing questionable text for easy verification.
  • Advanced document layout analysis – retains the original document layout, including columns, tables, pictures, graphics, wrapped text, dropped capitals and superscript symbols.
  • Image Processing – gives users control of scanned images with tools such as despeckle, rotate, invert or locate blocks.
  • Batch Processing – enables users to quickly and easily scan multipage documents and universally apply functions such as read, rotate, locate blocks, despeckle and save.
  • Image File Input - supports a wide range of image formats, including TIFF, JPEG, and PICT.

Saving Formats – supports a wide range of output formats, including AppleWorks (RTF), MS Word (RTF), MS Excel, or SimpleText. Users can also choose to publish documents in the HTML or PDF format.

Try&Buy Version

These and other features give FineReader 5 Pro for Mac an uncanny capability to reproduce practically any printed page. A free full-functional time-limited Try&Buy version can be downloaded from (the only limitation - export of recognition results is possible only for 30 application launches).

The powerful OCR engine and user-friendly interface eliminate many of the shortcomings of previous generations of OCR software, which have discouraged use in some applications. User can easily upgrade Try&Buy to the full version by pressing button “Buy now” in FineReader interface. 

Integrity, Purposefulness and Adaptability

FineReader 5 Pro for Mac was designed based on the principles of IPA: Integrity, Purposefulness and Adaptability are the keys to recognition. ABBYY researchers developed this the IPA-technology from observations of human and animal behaviour. Humans and animals learn to recognise images by proposing hypotheses and then purposefully verifying them. ABBYY applies this same principle in OCR.

Integrity: an object for recognition is described as an integral object by using a set of basic elements and relationships between them. The object is only recognised as a particular object if all the defined elements are present. 

Purposefulness: FineReader then uses a unique approach to distinguish problematic characters. When analysing the object, the software purposefully looks for features, which are expected to be there. The result is an improvement in recognition accuracy. 

Adaptability: the program’s ability to adapt itself by intelligent learning or through training.

Software and Hardware Requirements

  • iMac, iBook, PowerBook, PowerMac, PowerPC compatible computer, G3 or higher processor recommended
  • MacOS 8.6 or later, MacOS X (Classic Environment only). If you use MacOS X, then version MacOS 10.1 or later is recommended. 
  • 32 MB RAM (64 Mb recommended). If 32 MB RAM used, 80 MB virtual memory required
  • QuickTime 4.0 or higher
  • Free hard disk space: 80 Mb for installation and 20 Mb for system functioning
  • 100% Twain-compatible scanner, digital camera or fax-modem or scanner accessible via PowerPC Adobe Photoshop Import Plug-Ins 
  • CD-ROM drive

Pricing and Availability

FineReader 5 Pro for Mac is priced at $129. A downloadable version is immediately available at the company’s on-line store. A full retail box will be ready shortly after. A Try& Buy version is also available on the company’s web site. For additional product and purchasing information visit

About Sound & Vision, Inc.

Sound & Vision Inc. is headquartered in Moscow and develops software for Macintosh computers. The company strives to meet all user needs and expectations with regard to interface design and adoption of unique Mac OS technology. Visit:, e-mail:

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