Robust enough for high-volume needs; Cost-effective for small-volume jobs
ABBYY today unveiled FormReader 6.0, a major new version of the company’s form-processing software. FormReader 6.0 delivers robust capabilities that rival, even surpass, many professional-level products that cost twice as much. FormReader is an “out-of-box” application that is easy to install, operate and maintain with minimal effort and IT resources. Low total cost of ownership combined with FormReader’s powerful capabilities make it ideal—whether processing a few dozens forms a month or thousands each week. FormReader Desktop Edition will be available in May 2003.
“Some organizations still struggle through the time-consuming task of manual data entry because of the many barriers that prohibit them from migrating to automated form processing. These roadblocks include high cost of software, set-up and maintenance,” said Dean Tang, president and CEO of ABBYY USA. “FormReader removes these ‘entry barriers’ and offers a quick return on investment, even for organizations processing just a few hundred forms per month.”
FormReader provides automatic capture of data from forms for export into information management systems and databases. Based on ABBYY’s award-winning technologies, FormReader recognizes machine print (OCR), handprinted letters and numbers (ICR), check marks and group marks (OMR), and barcodes (OBR). The program reads a wide variety of forms, including dropout forms (those using white rectangles on a color or grey background), raster forms (those using field borders or background made of dots), and black and white linear forms (those using standard lines for field borders).
FormReader can be set up to process forms within a few hours. Before processing forms, form templates need to be created. FormReader makes this easy with its Template Editor that allow users to scan blank forms and mark the areas to be recognized. Users can also design new forms from scratch with FormReader’s Form Designer. Once the new form is created, FormReader automatically generates its corresponding form template.
After templates are prepared, users are ready to begin processing. FormReader offers a user-friendly interface that guides users through the five key steps involved in forms processing. These steps include: scanning/file import, recognition, verification of results, validation, and export of extracted data.
FormReader 6.0 provides significant new improvements across the board, including the following areas:
Recognition: Version 6.0 includes new ICR, OCR, OMR and OBR engines that deliver recognition accuracy improvements —
Form Design: Version 6 now includes a built-in ABBYY Form Designer that is seamlessly integrated with the Template Editor, enabling users to create forms and corresponding templates by drawing the form only once.
Template Design: FormReader’s Template Editor makes it easy to create form templates used by the application to accurately process forms. Users can easily specify field type (text, check mark, barcode), content type (digits, symbols, languages), fields to be ignored, and rules for verifying recognized data (database lookups, sum checking, regular expressions, normalization of data, etc.). Version 6.0 offers many new and improved template design features, such as the ability to: use barcode data as a value in rule expressions; copy-and-paste selected portions or an entire template and place it in the same template or a new template file, which simplifies the creation of similar templates; password-protect templates to prevent edits by unauthorized persons; and elect not to apply rules if selected fields are empty, avoiding unnecessary errors messages.
Template Matching: FormReader automatically selects the appropriate form template and enables the processing of different forms in the same batch without having to manually select or change templates. Version 6.0 includes new algorithms that compensate for linear and non-linear distortion and increase recognition accuracy by up to 60% on forms that have been shrunk, stretched or warped during faxing, scanning or printing. Also, FormReader now can use corner marks and crosshairs as reference points or “anchors“ in addition to cornerstones and static page elements.
Import and export: FormReader supports a wide range of TWAIN-compliant scanners and image capture devices, plus it can open popular image formats, including TIFF Group4 files without uncompressing. Once images are acquired, FormReader performs sophisticated image pre-processing operations prior to recognition. Version 6.0 provides improved detection and automatic rotation of form images and now allows users to define the level of pixel removal during the de-speckle process. FormReader also provides a one-click file and export feature to move data directly into a database or save results to popular text-based formats, including XML 1.0, in which extracted data values are tagged with form information such as batch name, page number, and field details.
Speed: The 6.0 version supports symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) that enables FormReader to utilize the processing power of several CPUs on a single machine. In addition, it now can quickly detect and discard blank pages.
FormReader Desktop Edition is designed to work on a single workstation. ABBYY also offers two additional form-processing solutions that enable users to easily scale as their needs expand and grow. FormReader 6.0 Developer Edition provides Automation API tools to customize FormReader or integrate the solution into Windows applications. FormReader 6.0 Enterprise Edition is a client-server application designed for large-scale form-processing jobs in networked environments. Both will be available later this year. Users can upgrade to these more-advanced products via email, using remote license activation and remote upgrade option.