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Old 10 July 2009, 08:52   #1
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Best Book Scanner Hardware and Software under $1000

I was looking for a book scanner and also some PDF OCR software to scan in a few books and magazines.

On the hardware side I have found the following from Plustek:
Plustek OpticBook 4600 (1200 dpi, fast, $600)
Plustek OpticBook 3600 (also Plus and Corporate versions) (1200 dpi, $400+)
Plustek OpticBook A300 (A3, 600dpi, fast, $$$2000)

My top choice right now is OpticBook 4600 as it is fast and comes with software which can do more than 50 page pdf at once. Plustek OpticBook scanners also have the glass go pretty much right to the edge so you don't break books' spines or get distorted text. I would go for the A300 but it is too expensive for what it does IMO.

I do not think there is another book scanner series available for less than $2000. If anyone knows of one please let me know.

On the software side:
IRIS ReadIRIS 12 Corporate (http://www.irislink.com)
- an older version 10 Corporate comes with the above Plustek scanners 3600 Corporate, 4600, A300
ABBYY FineReader 9 Corporate (or Professional) (http://finereader.abbyy.com/)
- a very basic FineReader 5.0 Sprint version of this is included with the cheaper Plustek 3600 Plus scanner above
Nuance OmniPage Enterprise 17 (or Professional) (http://www.nuance.com/imaging/products/omnipage.asp)

Anyone know of any other good OCR software which can:
- take any number of input scans and do unlimited page searchable pdf files
- (auto) deskew
- (auto) crop
- (auto) flip for every second page due to different orientation after scan
- has very high OCR accuracy
- handles colour images fine
- handles multiple languages

Also, if anyone knows of any other useful tools for book scanning let me know.

Last edited by Calgor; 13 July 2009 at 09:22. Reason: Added FineReader and OmniPage to software
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Old 13 July 2009, 05:19   #2
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Just bumping this, surely someone has some knowledge? No one has scanned anything to high quality before?

I have spent more time searching for hardware and think I have found the best option above, but not so much on software - would really appreciate someone with experience posting.
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Old 13 July 2009, 09:12   #3
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Found that there may only be 3 main OCR software to PDF contenders and have updated the first post to also include FineReader and Omnipage.


Last edited by Calgor; 13 July 2009 at 09:30.
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Old 14 July 2009, 12:38   #4
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check out the fujitsu 5120 I think, might be 4120. It's a sheet feeder, so you have to cut the binding and stuff, but it does 50 pages per minute double sided. Pretty sweet scanner, I do all my books and mags with it.

Then I use a program called ReadIris Pro to OCR it. Another great app, all automated with many options for output and a bunch of languages supported...

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Old 15 July 2009, 04:15   #5
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Thanks for the hardware tip, but I do already have a scanner with auto document feeder and auto duplex, but did not want to destroy any books.

With ReadIris Pro, how often do you find it has errors in the OCR, and does it handle pictures and diagrams on the pages well? Does it always give an exact copy of the original when you convert to PDF with the same fonts and everything?

I have read reviews on the 3 main pieces of software above and different reviews have different opinions - some love one program, others hate it with a passion. ReadIris on the Mac at least is a total nightmare and patches from company impossible to get from them. OmniPage apparently used to be the best a few years ago as it has a long history but current status is hard to fathom. Equivalent versions of all 3 packages have approx the same price. So it is quite confusing.
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