PROS / Acrobat Pro DC offers robust OCR functions plus other document functions.
CONS / It does not export to eBook formats.
VERDICT / For accuracy and ease of use, Acrobat Pro DC is an exceptional tool for OCR projects.
Acrobat DC is the latest version of Adobe's powerful PDF and optical character recognition (OCR) software. If you are familiar with graphic design, animation, web design or desktop publishing, you know that Adobe is one of the premier providers of applications in these arenas.
Adobe offers different versions of Acrobat DC, depending on whether you need the Standard or Pro version. Both versions consist of a monthly subscription rather than an outright purchase of the software. However, by purchasing this software as a service, you will always have the most up-do-date program.
We reviewed Acrobat Pro DC and ranked it as the best OCR software application. For its simple and intuitive interface, top-notch OCR conversion and ability to accurately export files to Microsoft Office documents, we chose Acrobat Standard DC as our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
Performance & Editing
Acrobat DC was easy to download and install. Once we installed it on our computer, large intuitive icons made it exceptionally easy to find and use the functions we needed. Additionally, the software has a setup wizard that walks you through the OCR process step by step.
In our document-conversion test, Acrobat DC converted pages of text and tables to editable PDFs, and it did so flawlessly, retaining the exact layout of tables, fonts and layouts of the original document, while making the text searchable. It also produced exceptional results with full-color flyers containing multiple fonts, images and tables. While it struggled with low-quality images, when we used high-contrast mobile device images and enhanced and deskewed them first, Acrobat Pro DC was notably more accurate.
We found that both the text, font style, formatting and spacing correctly mirrored the documents we scanned. The impeccable accuracy, coupled with the easy-to-use platform, makes Adobe Acrobat the best OCR software in the industry.
In addition to its perfect accuracy, Acrobat DC was easy to download and install. Installation was not as fast as some of the single-function OCR programs, but it wasn't particularly slow either. The companion app was also quick to download and set up.
Once downloaded, you can add files by scanning paper documents, taking pictures with your mobile device or importing electronic documents. Regardless of how you import the document and the quality of the image, you can use the image-editing tools and OCR technology to convert it to editable text and a variety of other file formats.
For multi-page or large projects, Adobe Acrobat has batch OCR processing and multi-page document recognition. These features speed the conversion process for those larger projects and improve the usability of the software.
The cloud storage and integration changes in this new version are quite significant for businesses. Instead of sending an actual PDF to a customer or employee beyond your firewall, you can attach the PDF from the cloud and send it as a downloadable link, rather than the actual document ─ totally removing size constraints.
Additionally, this OCR software for Mac and PCs has an app for both iPhone and Android users so they can add, edit and view documents from anywhere. Adobe Acrobat's app surpasses other OCR software apps we evaluated by far, offering more functionality and superior usability. We found the app was both easy to install and use, offering a similar interface and navigation just like the desktop-version software.
Exporting files to Microsoft Office applications is also a far better experience than it was in previous versions, where text and images were often misplaced and soft returns were added at the end of each line. Now, exports from PDF to Word, Excel and PowerPoint adhere to the original, which makes using this software for exporting purposes truly practical. You can also now use Acrobat Pro DC to export to applications like AutoCAD but still not to any of the eBook formats.
Help & Support
All Adobe software provides user manuals, tutorials, FAQs, a user forum and videos. Myriad support materials accompanied the release of Acrobat DC. However, Adobe does not offer phone support for this product. Instead, you can use the user forums that often offer feedback from customer support.
While you can access live chat and email addresses on the company website, neither of these options offer direct support to Adobe Acrobat. However, when we used live chat and email, the company responded to our inquiries in a timely manner.
Adobe Acrobat has been the industry leader in OCR- and PDF-creation software for years. Eventually, new technologies made the original versions dated. Acrobat DC addresses every one of these issues. It uses updated technologies, vastly improved export options and greater functionality. Full application prices are more expensive than other OCR programs on our lineup, but upgrade prices are competitive. With its intuitive icons, significantly improved export functions and competitive cloud functionality, Acrobat Pro DC earns its place as the best OCR application on our lineup.