ScanSoft PaperPort Pro Office 9.0: Test and Review

PaperPort document management software earns its stripes professional tool. Until then rather to the general public for organizing scanned documents and photos, this new version supports PDF and fits better in a networked architecture. More expensive than the consumer version, PaperPort Pro 9 Office, however, fits perfectly with the Microsoft Office Suite.

Equipped with a dedicated assistant set the included CD, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Pro installs and configures easily. So when testing, the software automatically recognized our scanner, the CanoScan N1220U and required some adjustments.

PaperPort’s intuitive interface is relatively similar to that of previous versions. The software displays the imported photos and documents as thumbnails, it is then possible to gather and organize in predefined folders, such as taxes, photos, receipts, etc. or created by the user. Shortcuts to other commonly used applications, including e-mail, fax and Office applications are at the bottom of the screen, which provides quick export documents with a simple drag and drop. The most notable change to the interface is the PDF Print button (Print To PDF) PaperPort added to the Word menu bar and Excel.

Drag and drop

At its most basic level, PaperPort Pro Office 9.0 gives users the ability to easily manage and organize their paper and electronic documents of all types. It has its own scanning interface, which allows collecting images directly from a scanner, digital camera or files on the hard drive. The display as thumbnails permits the classification of files in folders or sent to fax and e-mail applications.

The most significant change is the use of the PDF format as its native file format. Previous versions were using a proprietary format that it was possible to read that PaperPort or via specific software for document viewing. The adoption of PDF in fact a much more viable solution for both professionals and individuals.

Indeed, a simple click on the icon located in the PaperPort application toolbar such as Word or Excel can convert any document to PDF and import it into PaperPort. This feature is however lacking in the consumer version, PaperPort Deluxe 9.0. PaperPort Pro Office 9.0 also includes a Web Capture module capable of converting any active web page in a PDF file color.

New features also included the automatic transfer of scanned pages to a user’s PC from network scanning devices, such as MFPs and digital copiers. Instead of making copies and distributing them throughout the enterprise, users can scan a copy and send it by e-mail, archive or distribute it on the web. PaperPort Pro Office 9.0 also allows to connect to enterprise content management systems, such as Oracle 9i and Microsoft SharePoint. However, PaperPort Deluxe 9.0 network support is limited.

OCR and photo editing

Not content to create PDF documents, PaperPort lets you edit and annotate them. Through various tools highlighting, text boxes and buffers, it is possible to insert comments into electronic files for later consultation. The built-in Character Recognition (OCR) software look for keywords both in text files into image files.

PaperPort Pro Office 9.0 also offers some photo editing tools, including automatic correction button, the red eye reduction and basic options for cutting and cropping. However, it is not matter of finding advanced color manipulation and image functions or filters or effects, PaperPort 9.0 does not integrate. It treats the photographs and documents, not as works of art.

ScanSoft has posted on its website a knowledge base, several user manuals and free access to user forums. There are also downloads, including updates, drivers and software patches, as well as Viewer allows people who do not own PaperPort to view still files generated by the software.