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What good is Paperport?

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Posted by Gary N
Oct 8, 2006 at 07:01 PM


I have often read that Paperport is one-of-a-kind software, or nearly so.  But it doesn’t sound so unique compared with the some of the software discussed here.  Over at Amazon, it says it helps you “to scan, organize, find and share photos, paper and electronic documents.”  But it costs about $165, discounted, and gets very mixed user reviews.  It looks to me like it does nothing more than allow you to sort PDF’s and scanned image files into folders.  But that can’t be what sets it apart.  What does?  Has anyone tried it?  Does it do things that none of the software here—like Ultra Recall—does?



Posted by Hugh Pile
Oct 9, 2006 at 04:29 PM


I ought to say straight away that I don’t have Paperport. But I did monitor the yahoo Paperport group a year or two ago because I thought - in pursuit of the paperless office - I would purchase it. I wanted to put all my key paper documents on to disk and index them ( a key part of Paperport’s USP is that it creates searchable PDFs).

The yahoo discussion implied the then-current version, version 10, was something of a nightmare, with all sorts of serious problems, such that some people were even reverting to much earlier versions.  The next version may have been better, but at the price I wasn’t going to take a chance.

I discovered that other similar programmes did exist, such as PaperMaster, but most seemed very expensive and/or even more poorly reviewed than Paperport. The technology ought to be improving - presumably the biggest software project in the world for the UK National Health Service has some elements of this, though maybe that’s a reason it’s in trouble. But I think the quest for the paperless office continues.


Posted by Hugh Pile
Oct 9, 2006 at 04:43 PM


This url refers to a thread in the Ultra Recall forum which deals with UR’s inability to index image-based PDFs:


Paperport on the other hand is designed to have the ability to scan such documents and index “keywords” so that they can be searched for.


Posted by Ken Ashworth
Oct 10, 2006 at 01:23 PM


I recall being introduced to PaperPort over ten years ago thru our local user group. This would’ve been running under the last itineration of Win3.1. At the time PaperPort would provide the interface to the scanner, then invoke OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert the scanned image to text, then it would invoke whatever Word Processor was installed on your computer and use the spellcheck from the Word Processor to “clean up” the text.

Although I am not currently familiar with the program (I was introduced to the program back around v.2 or v.3) I suspect that conversion to text thru OCR is still at the heart of the program. Output to pdf offers portability.

Regarding Ultra Recall’s inability to index an image pdf, this is understandable since the scanned image (of text) has not been converted to text - there’s no content to index.

I suspect that the attraction to PaperPort would be it’s use of OCR and any file management/organizational/search-index features it might offer.



Posted by NW
Oct 10, 2006 at 05:34 PM


The beta version of OneNote 2007 offers the ability to search text in images and may be an potential alternative.


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