ABBYY FineReader, one of the most intelligent Optical Character Recognition software, is now available as an online service.
ABBYY FineReader Online which is still in beta, allows you to take advantage of ABBYY’s OCR technology to convert scanned copies of text, such as those from books or magazines, to editable documents. During the beta period the service will be available for free, although page recognition is limited to 10 pages per day for each registered user.
ABBYY FineReader Online automatically detects text, images and tables, retains the layout of the original, and recreates the formatting elements, such as tables, graphics, columns, bullets and numbering. It can also correctly recognizes documents written in any combination of the 6 supported languages - English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
The service supports a wide range of popular image formats, such as TIFF (including multi-page files), JPEG, JPEG 2000, BMP, PNG, PCX, DCX GIF, and even DjVu, and converts them into editable documents in any of the following formats: Microsoft Word, Excel, Rich Text Format, TXT and PDF.
One limitation, apart from the 10-page a day limit, is that the conversion is not real time. Your uploaded document goes into a queue probably with documents uploaded by other users. When the conversion is completed, the converted document is emailed to you. I haven’t received mine which I uploaded 30 minutes ago.