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ABBYY FineReader celebrates 25 years on the market

The end of the year is time for recollection and reflection.

This year we have something big to be thankful and proud of: ABBYY FineReader celebrates 25 years on the market! Today a powerful PDF editing application drawing its power from exceptional quality OCR, FineReader has come a long way and undergone some transformations since its launch back in 1993.

Let’s take a look at some of FineReader’s biggest milestones over the years:

1993: ABBYY launches ABBYY FineReader 1.0, which from the beginning was an omnifont text recognition (OCR) system, i.e. intelligent enough to read fonts of any shape, size and style. The first edition of FineReader was 500 copies, and already in the first month the company sold more than a hundred copies – quite a success for a young company with a completely new product.

1997: Intensively improving the technology, ABBYY realized that FineReader’s quality and accuracy exceeded that of any other OCR solution available worldwide at the time. The company began selling ABBYY FineReader licenses to global scanner manufacturers and distributing software to end-users through a network of affiliates on the international market.

1999: The first ABBYY product for Mac OS – ABBYY FineReader Sprint for Macintosh is launched. A couple years later, an advanced FineReader 5 Pro for Mac followed.

2004: PDF Transformer is launched – the first ABBYY product dedicated to working with PDF documents. The first version was rather simple. However, with time it developed into a versatile tool, allowing to edit, convert, create, comment, and protect PDF files. These capabilities became pivotal in further development of ABBYY FineReader in the following years.

2007: FineReader 9.0 becomes the first document conversion software that has learned to understand the structure of multi-page documents, being able to detect headers, footers, page numbering, footnotes, and reconstruct them in output documents.

2008: FineReader learns such complex languages as Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Hebrew. Four new different writing systems, recognition of ideographic texts with thousands of symbols, support of horizontal, vertical and right-to-left writing directions, complex multi-level structure of text lines, bi-directional text flow and mixed alphabets within the same document, paragraph or even phrase – and these were not all the challenges we had to manage. In the end, as a result of these efforts, additional two billion more people world-wide are able use FineReader to increase their day-to-day productivity.

2014: ABBYY research among office workers shows that 78% spend more than half their time on paper and electronic documents, and more than 60% of the filesthey work with are PDF. Since then, the company has expanded the focus on working with PDFs. The first result was PDF Transformer+, released worldwide the same year, which allowed ABBYY to enter PDF solutions domain.

2017: ABBYY introduces the new ABBYY FineReader 14 – a product that aims to centralize document-centric tasks in one single tool. It allows to work efficiently directly with PDF files: create, view, comment, edit, approve, compare and protect them; accurately convert PDF, paper documents and their images into searchable and editable formats; and quickly compare different copies of documents. FineReader has become a universal solution for any office tasks related to working with documents.

2018: ABBYY FineReader “reads” documents 192 languages, and millions of people use it world-wide. Companies such as Fujitsu, Panasonic, Xerox, Samsung and others, trust and license the technology of optical character recognition, the ABBYY OCR technology, which lies at the heart of FineReader.

Read more about the features FineReader 14 offers today.

FineReader remains one of ABBYY’s most popular brands and the OCR technology which was at its foundation, today lays the ground work for many ABBYY products such as FlexiCapture, driving the digital transformation efforts of organizations world-wide.

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