I'm trying to find OCR software that will run on WindowsME with a late-model Canon Twain scanner. It must have "Smart ASCII" output. I have a circa 1998 Textbridge Plus with this output, but it seems that nearly all recent OCR packages, from TextBridge to OmniPage, have abandoned this file format. My 1998 TextBridge Plus came with my 1999 low-end Canon scanner, but my client is having trouble getting it to install on his late-model Canon.
The format dates back to the days when the Internet was largely text-based. "Smart ASCII" basically is an ASCII scan that takes the leading white space on a line seriously. You need this to scan an outline, or an index in the back of a book that has indents under the entries.
The idea is to do an index scan, and use the indent information to consolidate page numbers with another program that I will write, if my client can find proper OCR software. Without the indents respected, important information is lost in the scan. All OCR programs we've tried without the "Smart ASCII" format occasionally screw up the leading white space on a line, or wrap the lines in arbitrary fashion. The "Smart ASCII" format works beautifully.
Any ideas? The client has been calling OCR software companies. The techs know what he's talking about, and know what he wants, but just shrug their shoulders and say that "we don't do that anymore."
I own a copy of Presto OCR 3, it simply duplicates a document in a digital format with a minimum of fuss. I suspect "Smart ASCII" is a particular software company's buzzword, Presto doesn't call it that but does retain all white space in a doc. They offer several versions now and free trial downloads. Check them out at [newsoftinc.com...]