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First Omnifont OCR for Fraktur and
Old European Script Recognition






ABBYY announced first omnifont OCR software for Fraktur and old European language recognition

ABBYY FineReader XIX is designed to read ancient texts using "Fraktur" or Black Letter print and those printed between 1600 and 1938. It allows users to scan ancient documents and convert them into digital text with minimal training and dictionary work, thereby it unlocks key to creation of digital archives of important historical papers and books.
FineReader XIX supports German, English, French, Italian and Spanish languages and reads Fraktur, Schwabacher and many types of Texture (Gothic) fonts.







The first omnifont OCR software for Fraktur and old European language recognition. It is specially designed for converting ancient documents and books printed in 18-20th centuries into digital text. It combines all of the power of ABBYY FineReader Corporate Edition with special capabilities for reading old European languages.

ABBYY FineReader XIX is a special version of the award-wining FineReader optical character recognition (OCR) software for recognising "fraktur" or "black letter" texts from the period between 1800 and 1938.  It is designed to convert scans of old docments, books, and papers into text for the purpose of digital archiving and publihsing, and it is the fist ominfont OCR software for Fraktur.

The Challenge: Digitising Old Texts

Until recently, the limitations of technology and the unique chracteristics of text written in a variety of old-fashioned fonts and scripts have made it difficult to automate the process of recording this information via computer.  Sophisticated OCR dictionaries, language models used for analysing and verifying text written during this time period, have not exited.  Computer systems capable of reading old texts have required many hours of systematic training to recognise fonts and characters that are no ong er used in modern printing.

The Solution: First Omnifont OCR for Fraktur
ABBYY FineReader XIX is the first omnifont OCR for Frak­tur, giving users a solution for scanning and converting old documents with minimal training and dictionary work. This was achieved by combining extremely intelli­gent technology with dedicated linguistic study:

OCR systems work by analysing a text image and making a hypothesis about which letter or word an image repre­sents. The hypotheses are analysed in context and veri­fied by use of sophisticated OCR dictionaries made up of Language Models (LMs). Language Models (LM) are computer databases that describe the vocabulary of a language. The problem is that modern OCR systems do not have LMs for older text fonts and older text spellings. The solution for Fraktur text recognition was achieved through the development of OCR dictionaries specifically for this time period. Special language models were cre­ated for five European languages.

The Fraktur language models were created with the help of ABBYY partner, ATAPY Software. Through develop­ment process, 10 different dictionaries and more than 105 books published between 1 808 and 1 930 were analysed. Linguists reviewed word stock, identified words that have phased out through the evolution of the languages, and identified the correct paradigm assign­ments for synchronising the language models with the appropriate grammar usage for the time period. More than 500.000 word entries were manually compared with existing FineReader dictionaries.

Grammatical paradigms and word evolutions were reviewed to add 159 historic grammar paradigms that were missing from the contemporary language models. Language models were then compiled and tested on a control group of testing documents featuring old text.

To recognise the Fraktur style fonts, ABBYY development teams created special classifiers, or alphabets, capable of recognising the Fraktur symbols. As part of this effort, ABBYY development teams collected a symbol image base with an average of 2500 symbol samples for each symbol, a new alphabet pattern, and collected and input a sample test base representing 31000 pages of text from different sources. Using the sample text, the recog­nition engine was "fine-tuned" to work with the subtle features of the Fraktur alphabet (such as the ligatures, or connected letters). The new alphabet was then added to the FineReader system and interface and tested exten­sively.































































Created in cooperation with major archiving institutions
ABBYY FineReader XIX was also developed with the needs of universities and research center in mind. The product was developed through a cooperation with the worldwide METAe Project. METAe is a consortium of libraries and digitisation companies from across Europe who are working together to create the METAe Engine, a software package specifically designed for organising the work flow of the archiving and conversion of historical materials such as books, journals, magazines and news- papers. ABBYY FineReader XIX will provide a key compo­nent for archiving some of Europe's most priceless histori­cal documents. Partners in the METAe project include: the Univeristy of Innsbruck (Austria), University of Flo­rence (Italy) Bibliotéque Nationale de France, the Nation­al Library of Norway, the Freiedrich-Ebert-Foundation (Germany), CCS Compact Computer Systeme (Germany), and Cornell Library University (USA).


System Requirements:

  • PC with Intel® Pentium®/Celeron®/Xeon™, AMD K6/Athlon™/ Duron™ or compatible processor with a minimum of 200 MHz
  • Microsoft Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 (SP6 or later), Windows Me/98 (to work with localized interface, corresponding language support is required)
  • 64 MB RAM for Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT4.0; 3 2 MB RAM for Windows Me/98. An additional 16 MB of RAM is required for each additional processor in a multi-processor system
  • 230 MB hard-disk space for typical installation, 70 MB hard-disk space for program operation
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher (Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.01 is included in the delivery package)
  • 100% TWAIN-compatible scanner, digital camera, or fax modem
  • Video card and monitor (min. resolution 800x600)
  • Keyboard, mouse or other input device
Supported Inputs/Image types:
  • BMP: black and white, gray, color
  • PCX, DCX: black and white, gray, color
  • JPEG: gray, color
  • JPEG 2000, part1: gray, color
  • PNG: black and white, gray, color
  • TIFF: black and white, gray, color, multi-image. Methods of compression: Unpacked, CCITT Group 3, CCITT Group 3 FAX(2D), CCITT Group4, PackBits, JPEG, ZIP
  • PDF

Document Saving Formats

  • Microsoft®Word XP, 2000, 97, 95
  • RTF
  • TXT
  • Unicode Text
  • Microsoft®Excel XP, 2000, 97, 95
  • HTML 3.2/4.0
  • Unicode HTML 3.2/4.0
  • DBF
  • CSV
  • PDF 3.0/4.0





    Hinta - Price

    Price List / 29 January 2008












    ABBYY FineReader XIX for Fraktur    
      Myyntihinta /  
      Retail Price  Myyntihinta
ABBYY Product_ID Product Category Full Description ALV 0% - VAT 0% ALV 22%
4220600700010-10000 Licenses FineReader XIX CD Win IE 10000 Pages 1 046,50 € 1 276,73 €
4220600700010-2500 Licenses FineReader XIX CD Win IE 2500 Pages 394,45 € 481,23 €
4220600700010-25000 Licenses FineReader XIX CD Win IE 25000 Pages 1 723,85 € 2 103,10 €
4220600700010-RE10000 License Reload FineReader XIX Reload Fee CD Win IE 10000 Pages 632,50 € 771,65 €
4220600700010-RE25000 License Reload FineReader XIX Reload Fee CD Win IE 25000 Pages 1 033,85 € 1 261,30 €
4220600700010-EDUCRE10000 License Reload FineReader XIX Reload Fee EDUC CD Win IE 10000 Pages 632,50 € 771,65 €
4220600700010-EDUCRE25000 License Reload FineReader XIX Reload Fee EDUC CD Win IE 25000 Pages 142,80 € 174,22 €
4220600700010B Package FineReader XIX Win CD IE 10000 pages. Extendable. 1 046,50 € 1 276,73 €
4220600700010A Package FineReader XIX Win CD IE 2500 pages. 404,74 € 493,78 €
4220600700010C Package FineReader XIX Win CD IE 25000 pages. Extendable. 1 723,85 € 2 103,10 €
4220600700010D Package FineReader XIX Win IE 10000 extra pages. 632,50 € 771,65 €
4220600700010E Package FineReader XIX Win IE 25000 extra pages 1 033,85 € 1 261,30 €




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