ABBYY FineReader Full Review and Alternatives

ABBYY FineReader



ABBYY FineReader is a PDF program with some of the most robust features necessary for a flawless workflow. With it, you can edit, create, secure, convert, OCR PDF files, among other actions. This software aims at cutting down the cost of purchasing separate tools by bringing you all the PDF tools you need, all in a single app.

Even better, ABBYY FineReader is available for use on the popular Windows and Mac platforms to ensure that you are pretty much accommodated on your most preferred operating system. You are guaranteed very high-quality output, all on a straightforward user interface without any steep learning curve.

This review article is aimed at letting you in on all the perks coming with this amazing program. How about we look at some of the ABBYY FineReader pros and cons before jumping into the plethora of features at your disposal?

Pros & Cons of ABBYY FineReader

  • High-quality results
  • Boasts batch processing capabilities
  • Available for use on both Windows and Mac
  • Built-in OCR
  • Offers PDF creation and editing options
  • Allows you to automate tasks
  • Offers document comparison options
  • Allows you to merge and split PDFs
  • Cost is not friendly for small businesses
  • Lacks full-text indexing necessary for fast searches

How to Use ABBYY FineReader

Key Features in ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader proves very comprehensive, going by our tests, to bring you a ton of useful features that come in handy when working with PDFs. here are the highlight features from this wonderful tool;

Create and Convert PDFs


In the PDF creation process, ABBYY FineReader allows you to make PDF files out of other document or image formats including Office formats, JPG, or PNG files, among others. This ensures that information reaches a wider audience without the need for specialized software considering PDF is more of a universal format. Also, you get to convert PDF into other formats, especially when you are looking to have editable document equivalents.

To be specific, ABBYY lets you convert into popular formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. Even better, you can merge multiple PDFs into one or just extract the pages you need and export them into a single PDF, thereby saving time and effort. Some special features here are that you can specify the output quality of images, define your preferred full-text search mode, and the ability to output PDF/A compliant PDFs.

AI-based OCR


The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) falls into the conversion section but it is worth covering it individually to learn of the outstanding options. Unlike apps like Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader features a very intelligent OCR tool that smoothly sails you to high accuracy levels in regard to text data extraction from scanned or image-based PDF documents.

Our tests have precisely confirmed that the overall layout and structure of the original document are retained in the final PDF file and the document becomes searchable. The advantage of this is that you get rid of the need for post-conversion editing.

Better yet, you are opened up to an advanced OCR editor that gives you extra flexibility and control over the scan to editable document process. For instance, you can draw areas to OCR, train FineReader to recognize non-standard characters and fonts, among others. You have to experience this tool to learn just how good it is as an OCR software.

Edit PDFs


ABBYY FineReader lets you tinker with any type of PDF document, scanned or native, in a simple and ultimately very effective way. Here is a list of the various editing actions you can undertake;

  • Add, adjust, or remove text/paragraphs
  • Adjust the text formatting (font, font style, typeface, line spacing, size, color, alignment)
  • Add or adjust table cells
  • Adjust the overall document layout
  • Add, adjust (resize, rotate, move), or delete images
  • Fix typos
  • Add, crop, rotate and delete pages
  • Add custom stamps, watermarks, Bates numbers
  • Add and edit links, headers, footers, bookmarks, page numbers
  • Split PDFs by pages, file size, or bookmarks
  • Redact sensitive information
  • Fill out PDF forms
  • Annotate PDFs for collaboration

In the end, you will have the final output fit into your preferences without much hassle.

Secure PDFs


In the instance you do not want the information to fall into the hands of unauthorized parties, mitigating security risks become a necessity. And thanks to ABBYY FineReader, there are several ways you can ensure that your files remain secure.

One way is by applying verifiable digital signatures or applying passwords to restrict opening, printing, data extraction, or editing. Another way is by removing any hidden data in a PDF document that you feel can be classified as sensitive. Just like in the editing section, information redaction is also another way you can pursue to secure PDF documents. The next time you are sharing a PDF, you have an easy process to ensure information falls in the right hands.

Compare Documents


ABBYY FineReader brings a special feature that helps identify the differences between any two documents no matter the format. What makes this feature powerful is that it can identify differences on scans and even multilingual documents.

In addition, the differences can be exported into a new PDF document for easy review and convenient sharing. The good thing about this feature is that it can help find out if a document has had an unauthorized adjustment or check whether the necessary changes have been implemented like in the case of collaboration.

Automate PDF Routines


Instead of being ever-present to watch over all PDF tasks, ABBYY FineReader gives you a special working mode that basically helps save lots of time and effort by automating tasks. For instance, you can use the Hot Folder feature on a personal computer whereby, Finereader immediately processes any PDF file added depending on the task at hand.

If on a network for collaboration, using the Watched Folder option is the go-to solution. For frequent tasks, you can create a custom automated task with all your preferences instead of having to repeat the whole process for each file. Through automation, tasks take way less time and you end up saving lots of effort.

ABBYY FineReader Pricing

ABBYY FineReader is generous enough to present you with a free 7-day limited trial version that you can use to experience all the features offered. If you are into OCR, keep in mind that you are limited to just 100 pages. Once you are satisfied with purchasing the fully-fledged professional edition, you are opened up to the following price plans;


One-Time Price (€)

Upgrade Price (€)

FineReader PDF 15 Standard



FineReader PDF 15 Corporate



FineReader PDF for Mac®




ABBYY FineReader is a force to reckon with when it comes to PDF management. It has a ton of features necessary for PDF creation, conversion, editing, annotating, securing, among other special options like the AI-based OCR. ABBYY opens you to a world of comprehensiveness and reliability thanks to the high-quality output and high-performance levels. When put side-by-side with Adobe Acrobat, it is way more affordable for the same features.

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