When you scan a document that has text or numeric data on it, you are able to read and understand what is written in the scanned image. However, to a computer, the resulting image file is just as meaningless an assortment of pixels as a landscape photo. In order to transform this information into an editable format that you can search through, copy, and modify without retyping it manually, you will need the an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

There is a wide variety of OCR software available. While they all share the ability to convert images of machine printed (not handwritten) text or numbers into an editable format, the various software often have different features, accuracy, prices, and language options.

Asian OCR, which is the ability to convert some combination of East Asian characters to editable formats, is becoming more mainstream. Asian OCR was first introduced by ABBYY FineReader. All versions of FineReader include support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai characters. The latest versions of ReadIRIS and Nuance OmniPage include support for Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean character recognition in their base packages.

Both ABBBY and IRIS also offer Asian OCR options in their enterprise server OCR solutionsFineReader Server and IRISDocument Server.

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