Why are the prices of OCR applications so different?

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OCR software ranges in price from freeware all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. What explains the difference between these applications? Here’s the breakdown:

  • OCR Freeware uses the or Tesseract engines and provide limited scanning and output format capabilities. Recognition quality is generally poor except for the highest quality document images.
  • PDF OCR Converters provide good quality engines like ABBYY, IRIS and OmniPage, but limit the output to searchable PDF files. These cost less than $100.
  • Standard OCR applications range from $100-$200 and provide full capabilities including converting scans to Word, Excel, HTML and other editable formats.
  • Corporate OCR applications add advanced features like automated hotfolder processing, concurrent licensing and other features useful for business applications. Pricing for these is $200-$500.
  • OCR Servers provide scalable, enterprise OCR services for processing very high volumes of documents or providing OCR capabilities to users throughout the organization. Prices start around $1,500 and go up based on processing volume.
  • Enterprise Data Capture and Forms Processing applications are used to capture structured data from complex documents like healthcare claim forms and invoices that include things like tables, handwriting, checkboxes, and movable zones. These solutions can cost anywhere from around $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the document volume and complexity of the project.

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