[ Go to April 1997 Table of Contents ]|
-- by Serdar Yegulalp
Xerox Pagis Pro 97 is a strikingly powerful OCR (optical character recognition) and document-management program. Pagis Pro has a smarter OCR engine than OmniPage-one that lets you reconstruct page layout-plus tighter integration with the Windows shell. Anyone who uses a computer to scan and organize piles of paper will appreciate Pagis Pro.
The layout reconstruction capabilities in Pagis are superb. It will recognize everything in a document, including pictures and tables, and can re-create the document as closely as possible in HTML 2.0. Columns are not reproduced. Furthermore, it's fast; I built Web pages that were spitting images of their printed counterparts with less than two minutes of work. OmniPage, a competitor to Pagis Pro, also exports to HTML, but only HTML 1.0, with no layout or graphics reconstruction.
Pagis will function well in a high-volume environment. It has a semiautomatic, Eveready-bunny mode that continuously feeds page after page without interruption. OmniPage doesn't have anything that comes close. Pagis is a good choice for new scanning projects with reams of documents.
The program has right-click menu options that include opening a scanned document directly into Pagis or converting the file format of an image.
Pagis' accuracy and correction capabilities are equal to OmniPage's. Faxes required the most OCR training, but Pagis' results were consistently usable. It supports TWAIN and ISIS scanners, which are nearly the entire scanner market.
Pagis Pro has an Editor utility that lets you browse, annotate, draw and highlight scanned images with unlimited undo to erase all your changes.
On the downside, the Pagis Pro OCR engine retains many of its old limitations, most notably the inability to mark specific areas of a document for OCR. The Pagis Editor component has a workaround: Mark and copy areas, store them to the Clipboard and then send them to Pagis Pro for OCR. But this is slow and clumsy.
Pagis Pro 97 meets or exceeds the capabilities of Caere's OmniPage Pro 7.0, which is now replaced by Pagis Pro 97 on the Recommended List. Armed with it, your mountain of paper can be made into a molehill in no time.