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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to OCR and Searchable PDFs: Other Helpful Sources

Learn OCR best practices and how to begin an OCR project using ABBYY FineReader, Adobe Acrobat Pro, or Tesseract with this guide.

How and Where to Get Access to ABBYY

The Scholarly Commons (Room 306, Main Library)

  • You may access ABBYY FineReader at any time during open hours in the Scholarly Commons: Library Hours

Information about purchasing ABBYY FineReader 12

Helpful Links

Manufacturer Website

ABBYY FineReader Support Languages

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Blog Post

LibGuide: Digital Historian Series: Using Digital Tools for Archival Research

Tips For Improving OCR Quality from ABBYY Website:

On your own

Buying the software:

The software is not available from the University of Illinois WebStore. The software is available online from the developer for $399.99 at


System requirements:

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 or Microsoft Windows Server® 2016 / 2012 / 2012 R2 / 2008 R2 
  • For working with localized interfaces corresponding language support is required
  • PC with 1 GHz or higher
  • 1 GB of RAM (4 GB is recommended)
  • 1.2 GB of hard disk space for typical program installation and 1.2 GB free space for optimal 
 program operation
  • Video card with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • An Internet connection is required to activate your serial number.
  • Keyboard, mouse or other pointing device

Any unique hardware requirements or mandatory accessories:

You must have a scanner of high enough-quality to capture the details needed for OCR. The ABBYY website lists scanners that have been tested for use with the software.

Using it in a lab:

This software is currently not available for use in any University of Illinois all-purpose computer labs, but is available for use in the Scholarly Commons.

Scholarly Commons

Scholarly Commons's picture
Scholarly Commons
306 Main Library
Drop-ins welcome
Monday-Friday 8:30am-6:00pm
Phone: 217-244-1331