OCR Processing Steps

ALL ABBYY SDKs and products have some basic processing steps in common.
In this section you will get an overview and some more details. The steps list the options for FineReader Engine on Windows. The focus here is on “fulltext OCR” and “document conversion” - some of the steps are slightly different when specific data should be extracted (Data Capture)

Important Note: not all of the options describes below are available on older versions and all operating systems!

Document Input

FineReader Engine can process documents and images from different sources and different formats. This can be a variety of image formats, but also all types of PDFs. More details can be found here.

Image Preprocessing

Once document pages are loaded, the FineReader Engine offers a lot of options for image preparation to ensure the best input quality for recognition. Options are for example garbage/noise cleansing and skew correction. Read more...

Document & Layout Analysis

After the image quality was enhanced, the document pages have been analysed by algorithms based on artificial intelligence. The goal is to “understand” the structure of the page, and locate:

  • Paragraphs
  • Lines
  • Images
  • Barcodes

This processing step is very important, especially when the output format should also have the same layout as the original documents. Document Analysis is also needed to create a searchable PDF where the text is invisible behind the original image. Read more.


Once the recognition areas are set up, character and word recognition are executed. Different parameters play an important role:

  • Languages
  • Fonts
  • Print types

Developers can work with standard settings, but there are also a lot of opportunities to fine tune the process. Read more.

Verification & User Interaction

After recognition FineReader Engine provides basic information like:

  • Character Coordinates, but also
  • advanced attributes, like:
    • font and formatting information
    • word and character recognition hypotheses.

Read more.

Export/Document Output

The last processing step is the document export. ABBYY technology offers not just “pure text” output. Here a short overview on the different formats:

  • Text only
  • Editable office formats like RTF and Microsoft office
  • PDF, PDF/A Export
  • XML Export
  • Internal Engine Format

More details on the Output Options can be found here.

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