OmniPage 17If you ever scan a book or magazine page, you’ll find that the result is a picture of the page, not words you can edit. To make that picture a set of words that can edited and searched, you need an Optical Character Recognition program (OCR), such as OmniPage, Abbyy FineReader or Iris. We just got a look at the new OmniPage Pro from Nuance, which is just out in version 17. It has some features that might make the $500 sticker price easier to take. The Mac version is called OmniPage Pro X.

The new version lets you upload multiple files much faster than previously and automatically adds clickable OCR commands to your Microsoft Office programs. It now recognizes Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can put a document on your scanner and a few seconds later have it sent to your Microsoft Sharepoint network in any format you want. It comes packaged with ScanSoft’s PaperPort 11 and Nuance’s own PDF maker. PaperPort is a marvelous way to quickly and easily organize anything that is scanned into the computer.

The new OmniPage 17 can also convert scanned PDFs into the proprietary format used by Amazon’s electronic book reader, Kindle and send them to the Kindle in one step. (If you have the new and larger Kindle DX, you can read PDFs without converting them.)

Speaking of the Kindle, you can email PDFs to your Kindle without converting them but Amazon will charge you for this. To avoid the fee, email them to yourself at “” where “name” is the name given to you as part of a special email address when you register your Kindle. If you’re not sure what yours is, click on “Account” at Amazon and look at the Kindle section.

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