I have 20 pages of experiment measurement data which I need to digitalize. The results are in tabular form, scanned in 600 dpi resolution, and as far as scans go, they came up pretty clean and readable.

Here's an example of how it looks:

enter image description here

... and I need it finished by sunday afternoon (:-o) <-- smiley in a state of panic

(then why did't you start sooner?)... yea, yeah ... I know ... but, it came up late, and I wasn't thinking I was gonna need this data also.

So, I'm looking for recommendations. I haven't much experience with OCR programs, save scanning a page or two of pure text, but just to mention, I haven't the wish also to test out every OCR program out there. So this isn't a "name your OCR favourite".

What I'm looking is advice from someone who's done something like that, and his/hers experience on what would be the best way to undertake.

I need the data in txt form but since it will have to be checked (by drawing it, and just simply watching whether some points "jump out") I'll probably be entering it in Excel at first.

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    I tried gocr on the scanned pages of a lab book without success. The handwriting would have been bad enough, but the grid totally borked it. I couldn't get close even when I diddled contrast, balance, etc. I quickly reached the point where it was less trouble to transcribe by hand. But then I only have three pages at low density. No advice. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Apr 1 '10 at 22:42
  • @dmckee - Thanks dmckee. At least you made me laugh :-))) – Rook Apr 1 '10 at 22:50

I have used both Omnipage and Finereader page in the past to a limited extent. According to CNET:

"OmniPage Pro 12 Office aced table-data translations, not only nailing the content but also reproducing the correct fonts and formatting. With long stretches of text, it made remarkably few recognition errors--far fewer than Abbyy FineReader."

Note, Omnipage is at version 17 now so I don't know which one between the two is better, but I assume Omnipage would do what you need.

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