[Athen] Accessible OCR for Mac

Sean Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Thu Apr 25 17:36:47 PDT 2013

> I have a client who needs an accessible OCR tool for the mac OS that is usable with VoiceOver. Any suggestions?

For production purposes, I would use Abbyy Finereader for Mac (http://finereader.abbyy.com/finereader_for_mac/), but I do not believe it will be accessible with VoiceOver. Some of the basic menu features could be navigated, but when you are dealing with the zoning tools and functions, then those components will not be accessible.

Another option to consider (although I cannot comment on its accuracy) is OCR Kit on the App Store (http://ocrkit.com/index.html). While the demo videos show dragging a file onto the OCR Kit icon, you can also navigate to the image file with the keyboard and choose "Open With > OCR Kit" from the right-click menu. This will allow the OCR to recognize the document and open the file in your preferred application. It does not have the features of Abbyy, but may be an option.

I have used ReadIris previously (http://www.irislink.com/c2-2115-189/Readiris-14--OCR-Software--Scan--Convert---Manage-your-Documents-.aspx), but this was not that accessible of an interface and suffered from similar issues as Abbyy Finereader in terms of zoning tools, etc.

Lastly, there are also web-based tools to consider, but these are automated and you generally don't have fine control over the scanning, etc. I know the Robobraille and Sensus sites (Robobraille: http://robobraille.org/frontpage , Sensus: http://sensusaccess.com/) both use Abbyy Recognition Server and give you choices for the output option, so it really depends on how good the scan is for the input.

Hope this helps.

Take care,
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