Fulltext OCR SDK vs. Data Capture SDK

This is a feature and usage comparison between FineReader Engine and FlexiCapture Engine. This will help you understand the differences between the individual product capabilities.

  • FineReader Engine is a OCR toolkit, designed for converting images and image PDFs into plain text, Office formats, HTML, searchable PDFs or XML. There are different options how the layout of the original document should be analyzed and restored.
  • FlexiCapture Engine is based on the same core ABBYY OCR technology - but the purpose of this SDK is developing data capture solutions for processing documents with fixed forms and semi-structured documents with repetitive layouts. FlexiLayout technology uses document layout information and also textual information to locate the relevant areas to be able to extract the data that is required for a business process.

Here a brief overview how the document analysis makes a difference:

document analysis comparison OCR conversion vs. data extraction - illu

Detailed Feature Comparison

Usage Scenarios

FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Application Areas Intelligent Document Conversion into Text,
Microsoft Office formats, HTML,
XML and PDF; full text recognition
Intelligent Data Capture, data extraction of specific fields of interest
Document Types Any kind of documents
e.g. books, magazines, letters,
manuals, business documents etc.
Structured Documents
e.g. fixed forms, multiple-choice tests, questionnaires;
Semi-structured Documents
e.g. shipping documents, passports;
Further processing - Access to full textual information (search) Document conversion for further editing
- Document conversion for business
process streamlining (searchable PDFs instead of paper)
- Document Archiving
- Extracted data is used in further business processes and applications
- Documents routing and workflow integration
- Document Archiving

Core Recognition

FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Image Pre-
Processing (Noise removal, deskew, despeckle, etc.)
Yes Yes
OCR 207
Yes Yes
Arabic OCR Add on Add on
Chinese, Japanese, Korean OCR Add on Add on
ICR in 126 Languages Yes – manual definition of the recognition area Yes – recognition areas are defined via Fixed Form Templates and/or found by FlexiLayouts
Barcode Recognition 1D and 2D barcode support included 1D and 2D barcode support included

Document Processing Technologies

FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Document Separation - No built in document separation,
- Document splitting through own logic and code possible
- “Simple” automatic separation, based on blank pages and barcodes
- “Advanced” separation, based on multi page document definitions: Fixed Form Templates and FlexiLayouts
Document Classification - Yes, via API for automatic document classification Documents can automatically be classified via Fixed Form Templates and FlexiLayouts
Document and Layout Analysis - Focus: Detection of all text on the document pages, layout retention
- Automatic analysis of the page/document layout; Location and identification of text blocks, text columns, tables, images or barcodes.
- Full access to the analysis and recognition results
- Focus: “Own” document analysis based on FlexiLayout technology
- Key elements for orientation are detected (specific text strings, lines, white space, barcodes), then the relevant data is located and extracted. Identification based on regular expressions, alphabets, text length, etc.
Access to required data - Own logic, based on OCR results
- No built in data access logic
FlexiLayouts internally deal with different hypotheses and uncertainties, for example when the search elements are not unique or OCR errors occur


FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Verification - Full text verification
- Layout optimization
- Data verification
- Group and context verification
Visual Components V11: Yes, Details...
V10: Yes
V9.0: Yes
V8.0: No, only data via API
V12: No, verification only via API
V11: Yes, Details...
V10: Yes
V9.0: Yes
V8.0: No, only data via API


FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Export Formats to backend systems Document Export for Digital Editing
- Text, RTF, ODT, HTML
- DOC(X), XLS(X), PPT(X)
- XML (with character, layout & formatting info), ALTO, XPS
- vCard
Data Export to back end applications
- Text, CSV, XLS, DBF
- XML (with data, field types, field position, errors, character recognition quality information)
- ODBC-Export via own application
Export Formats for archiving - BMP, TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG
- Searchable PDF, PDF/A, MRC PDFs, PDF/UA
- Searchable PDF, PDF/A, MRC PDFs


FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
SDK Integration and Project Setup Set of DLLs that are used to integrate FineReader Engine functionality in custom solutions or applications 2 tier development:
a) Document description and data extraction logic development in FlexiCapture Developers Package (= Fixed Form Templates and FlexiLayouts)
b) FlexiCapture Engine DLLs, for integration and document processing in custom solutions or applications
API Extension FineReader Engine API only
(no FCE extension possible)
The new adjusted licensing scheme contains the FineReader Engine API in Version 12 1)


FineReader Engine FlexiCapture Engine
Summary - Access to the layout and text recognition results
- Sophisticated document export to a variety of formats.
- Technology for data capture solutions for processing documents with fixed forms and semi-structured documents with repetitive layouts.
- Data export and easy to use document export.
1) Licensing scheme can be different in other regions, please contact your local ABBYY Office/Distributor for details
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