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Currently we are using OmniForm 5.0 and are NOT necessarily looking to stick with ScanSoft.

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Public use in which type of environment? There are many interpretations of the term... Something such as a library (ie- general public)? –  squillman May 29 '09 at 20:30
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

See www.freeocr.net and freeocr.co.uk

FreeOCR is a scan & OCR program including the Tesseract free ocr engine also known as a Tesseract GUI. It includes a Windows installer and It is very simple to use and supports multi-page tiff's, fax documents as well as most image types including compressed Tiff's which the Tesseract engine on its own cannot read .It now has Twain scanning.

The Tesseract free OCR engine is an open source product released by Google. It was developed at Hewlett Packard Laboratories between 1985 and 1995. In 1995 it was one of the top 3 performers at the OCR accuracy contest organized by University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The Tesseract engine source code is now maintained by Google.

Free OCR is freeware and you can do what you like with it including commercial use. The included Tesseract free OCR engine is distributed under the Apache V2.0 license.

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