ABBYY today announced the ABBYY FormReader 6.0, the new edition of its form processing software product
Answering the need for cost-effective, easy-to-use solutions for processing large amounts of paper forms, ABBYY today unveiled for European audiences ABBYY FormReader 6.0, the company’s next generation form processing software product. ABBYY FormReader is an “out of box” solution that can be set up and ready to process forms in a few hours, making it the ideal alternative for integrators and businesses looking to automate their data entry systems without a significant investment in time and resources. ABBYY FormReader offers professional level form processing at a fraction of the investment required for typical systems. At the same time, it gives users the flexibility to design form processing systems that are small – or large – enough to meet their unique needs.
ABBYY FormReader 6.0 provides automatic capture of data from forms for export into information management systems and databases. Based on ABBYY’s award-winning recognition engine, FormReader is designed to extract and read: machine print (OCR), handprinted letters and numbers (ICR), check marks (OMR), and barcodes (OBR). The program is ideally suited to process a variety of form types typically used in businesses, polling organizations, government ministries, and educational institutions including: drop out forms (using white rectangles on a colour or grey background), raster forms (using field borders made up of a series of dots), and black and white linear forms (using standard lines for field borders).
Turnkey Form Processing: ABBYY FormReader “Out-of-Box” Solution
Today’s businesses, government institutions, and organizations are all processing millions of forms -- including tax forms, bank deposit slips, school exam papers, polls and questionnaires, insurance claim forms, and user registration cards – on a daily basis. Until recently however, automating the processing of all of this data required a substantial investment in man hours and resources for services and software. The ABBYY FormReader “out-of-box” solution offers a simpler alternative in the form of a turnkey application with the following features:
- Built-in FormReader Template Editor for Easy Set-up
The FormReader Template Editor makes it easy to create “form templates” that map paper form fields to the scanned images to be recognised and categorised. It allows users to create form templates by scanning blank forms and marking the areas that they want the program to recognise. Users can easily specify field type (text, check mark, bar ode), content type (digits, symbols, languages), fields to be ignored, and rules for verifying recognised data (sum checking, verification of serial numbers, normalization of price, etc.).
- Automatic Template Matching
When creating templates, users can also create “reference blocks” which allow FormReader to match the scanned form images with the template. After users create the templates, FormReader then automatically matches scanned forms with the correct template. As a result, users can scan in multiple page forms or process different types of forms in the same batch without having to manually change the system for each type of form.
- Simplified User-Interface
FormReader offers a user-friendly interface with a “Scan&Read” Wizard that guides users through the form processing steps. To make form processing simple, administrators can specify settings in advance so that users simply use the Scan&Read buttons according to system specifications. FormReader also offers one-click file and database export.
- Reference Guides and Tools for Form Creation
FormReader ships with tools to help users understand how to create better form processing systems. This includes a guide to creating machine-readable forms with explanations on types of forms and instructions on how to create forms using MS Visio or MS Word. The guide also includes stencils for form creation.
“Businesses can save large amounts of time and resources by automating the input of their various forms, but not if the time spent creating the system is many months or years,” explained Jupp Stöpetie, managing director for ABBYY Europe. “With FormReader we try to take the ‘mystery’ out of form processing. Our FormReader package is designed with the following goals: give people the tools to create good form processing systems, make it easy to implement, delivery superior technology with high accuracy, and give it the flexibility to expand and grow with the business.”
New Enhancements in ABBYY FormReader 6.0
Building upon the powerful, yet easy to use functionality of previous FormReader versions, FormReader 6.0 includes new enhancements in both recognition power and user experience. FormReader takes advantage of the newest technologies in ABBYY’s 6.0 recognition platform to offer improvements in the following areas:
FormReader offers new languages Spanish, Dutch, Finnish and Romanian for ICR, improvements in OMR (including the ability to specify the shape of checkmark boxes and “read” corrections by the person who filled out the form), and general accuracy improvements for barcode recognition.
- Template Design and Matching
FormReader 6.0 offers enhancements that improve the system’s ability to match scanned forms to previously designed templates. Improvements include ability to use reference marks such as corners and crosses, new algorithms to compensate for linear distortions for improvement in recognition of faxes or distorted documents, and automatic detection of blank pages.
- Interface and Interface Languages
FormReader 6.0 has an enhanced user interface designed to work with the Windows XP operating system. In addition, the product will be released in new interface languages German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
- Expandable, Scalable, and Customisable
The basic FormReader package includes all of the tools necessary for “kick starting” a form processing system. For developers, integrators and businesses who want the flexibility expand the functionality of their form processing systems, ABBYY offers the following versions:
- FormReader Desktop Edition
FormReader Desktop Edition is a basic FormReader package designed for sophisticated form processing on a single work station.
- FormReader Enterprise Edition
Designed specifically for use in large enterprises in a networked environment, FormReader Enterprise Edition can be easily integrated with document archiving and indexing systems, accounting programs, and customer management systems. The architecture is flexible and limited only by the storage capacity of the server. Features include: batch management, routing and task management, multi page form processing with automatic document distribution, process monitoring, export to information management systems via API and programming languages that support OLE automation, and secured access.
- FormReader Developer Edition
FormReader Developer Edition is for companies who want to customise their form processing system or integrate it within other applications. The Developer Edition grants access to FormReader core functionality using programming languages that support OLE automation (e.g. C/C++, C#, Visual Basic, Delphi, Java, etc.). Developers can carry out the functionalities for FormReader or customise the graphical user interface.
Pricing and Availability
The ABBYY FormReader box solution ships complete with FormReader 6.0 software, a user manual with installation instructions, and a guide to creating machine-readable forms that includes a set of stencils to aid form creation in MS Visio 2000 and instructions on how to create forms using MS Word.
Pricing for ABBYY FormReader Desktop Edition scales according to number pages to be processed. Pricing for ABBYY FormReader Enterprise Edition and FormReader Developer Edition scales according to number of work stations/licenses and amount of pages to be processed. A trial version offering full functionality and time and page limitation will be available in April 2003.