Best Document Scanning Services

by Andreas RiveraLast Modified: January 3, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
State of the Industry
Reviews
Pricing
Negotiation Tips
OCR Software: What to Look For
What We Tested, What We Found
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

The Best Document Scanning Services For 2018

Whether dealing with employee contracts, sensitive corporate documents, presentations or other documents, scanning has become a vital business tool. There are several different scanning programs and services, ranging from basic software to document services that protect your scanned data through encryption and 24-hour surveillance. Regardless of which system you adopt, having a scanning tool will allow your business to thrive, as more businesses move toward paperless operation.

Scanning also assists with organization and productivity. By scanning company documents, important information is uploaded and stored in a cloud-based system that is searchable. This makes files accessible and easy to find, as opposed to having to dig through hundreds of paper files in search of one document.

Best Picks

Best OCR
Best Software for Mac
Best Software for PC
Best Document Scanning
Adobe Acrobat

Best OCR Software

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat offers robust document functions and an intuitive design. The program accurately converts text, tables, charts and images to PDFs and Microsoft Word Documents.

Adobe has been at the forefront of document imaging for a long time, so the Acrobat program comes from a tested brand. Acrobat handles different fonts and text sizes, full-color images and charts, and mirrors spacing perfectly.

ABBYY FineReader

Best Scanning Software for Mac

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader has comprehensive OCR features at an affordable price. FineReader recognizes 190 different languages and offers dictionary support for 48 languages.

FineReader passed our accuracy tests with near perfect results – images, text in different fonts and sizes, color, and lightly colored tables were all accurately replicated. The program also features a mobile app so documents can be viewed and accessed on several different devices.

OmniPage Standard

Best Scanning Software for PC

OmniPage Standard

OmniPage's simple interface and easy-to-install software make it our top pick for best scanning software for PC. OmniPage uses 3D correction technology that deskews images and improves scanning accuracy.

The program automatically detects languages and spell checks the document, setting it apart from competitors as a great foreign language scanner. If your business manages international documents in different languages, OmniPage is a great option. It can even handle a Latin-based alphabet as well as traditional and simplified Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters.

Docufree

Best Document Scanning Service

Docufree

Docufree wins the top spot in our document scanning service category for its file pick-up and drop-off service as well as its secure, cloud-based file storage system.

Employees will pick up your files that need to be converted, box them and take them back to their facility to be securely scanned. The company can handle oddly sized documents, Post-it notes attached to documents and will remove paperclips and staples before scanning. It is HIPAA-compliant.

State of the Industry

Document scanning is an expanding business practice. Businesses rely on it when sending signed documents or other paperless forms to employees or clients in remote locations. Insurance, healthcare and legal businesses, in particular, rely on document scanning and cloud-based storage.

According to a survey posted on Ingram Micro Adviser, 75 percent of respondents were looking to adopt some form of a cloud content management system. Other research suggests that cloud-based document scanning is being used to expedite workflows and add flexibility to document storage.

As more businesses turn to document scanning services to streamline processes and add more storage options, security has become an important aspect of document scanning. ISACA, an IT governance association, reports that 53 percent of enterprises experienced more attacks in 2017 compared to 2016. Of the attacks, 50 percent were motivated by financial gain while 37 percent were motivated by stealing personal information. Only 53 percent of businesses said they had a formal response process to deal with ransomware attacks.

For businesses looking to transition sensitive records to a fully digital platform, cybersecurity is a major consideration. Some document scanning companies go to great lengths to ensure that your business's files are safe from the threat of cyberattack.

Reviews

Below are all of our reviews for document scanning services and related categories. Our coverage includes reviews of the best document scanning services and OCR scanning software. OCR software is in-house scanning software for your business while document scanning services are third-party companies that can digitize records and manage security. See all our reviews below. 

Pricing

Pricing for document scanning services varies based on project size and comes in the form of a by-the-box price structure, a subscription plan or project-based pricing. Scanning software, while providing different features, can be less expensive and can be purchased through subscription plans or one-time fees.

Scanning software companies generally offer standard and premium packages based on your business's needs. The cost of software ranges from $199 to $59, depending on the type of application you choose and what feature package your business needs.

Editor's Note: Looking for a document scanning service? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

Negotiation Tips

There are several different scanning services, scanners and programs available to help digitize documents for your business. As with choosing any service or program for your business, it's vital to assess your needs first. Below are criteria to consider that that will help you choose the right service or software for your business.

  • What do you need to scan? If your business needs to convert sensitive employee, customer or client information, consider whether a document scanning service is worth the investment. While these services may require significant upfront costs, the security provided will make it a worthwhile investment. If your business is looking to add a new tech tool to its arsenal by using a scanning program to digitize different areas of your workflow, document scanning software may be your best option.
  • Security Different scanning services offer different levels of security. While most offer encrypted data, others offer full-time surveillance of data centers, biometric entry requirements and advanced HIPAA compliance. These types of services are vital for industries like healthcare and government, and could be a good option to keep sensitive corporate documents secure. Compared to scanning companies, scanning software security varies.
  • Features you need Many scanning programs offer advanced features that include the ability to draw on documents, scan documents from over 100 different languages and convert documents into Microsoft Word or Outlook files. They also can create PDFs and Word documents that are searchable once uploaded. Document scanning services provide different features involving document pickup, storage and online support.

OCR Software: What to Look For

Value: Does Cost Translate to Better Performance?

At first glance, the price range of the products we reviewed seems broad. But does paying more net you better performance? The answer is not that straightforward. Some applications are sold as monthly subscriptions while others are outright purchases.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC's price is at the high end of the spectrum. And while you certainly get more functionality from this all-new version of Acrobat, you must pay for this software on a month-to-month or yearly basis, which ultimately adds up to a higher price point than the other software apps on our lineup that offer outright purchases. At the same time, individuals who purchase this more expensive program receive constant software updates. Another variable that affects prices is that some OCR products have different prices for Macintosh versions of the software. So pricing isn't always a reflection of added functionality nor should it be used to judge the quality of an application.

Performance: Does the Application Perform Its Tasks Well?

In OCR software, performance is everything. A program may have a number of features, but its primary function is to convert images into accurate, searchable text in a format that duplicates the original graphic design.

Features that help improve the accuracy of your documents range from image-editing tools, like 3D correction, to language recognition features that convert documents ranging in languages, symbols and characters.

Performance also encompasses how easy the application is to use. For example, is the program straightforward to download? Is it designed intuitively so you don't have to spend much time utilizing the help resources? Can it enhance or adjust the scan to improve accuracy and make the process even easier? Because of these considerations, performance was heavily weighted.

Features: What Specific Tasks Does the Software Perform?

We reviewed each OCR software's feature set to see which programs provide the scanning functions that best fit your project's needs. Some features, like the ability to convert mobile phone photos to electronic files, may be vital to you but may not be important to someone else. Therefore, we didn't score scanning capabilities as highly as accuracy and usability.

Integration: Does It Work With Your Most Used Applications?

The best OCR software works with the applications and storage methods you are the most familiar with and allows you to take a PDF and convert it to a Microsoft Office format like Word or PowerPoint.

If the OCR software does not integrate with cloud storage (which two of the applications on our list don't), you can read our review of the best cloud storage services and manually upload your files to the cloud.

Help & Support: What Resources Are Available?

While OCR software should be intuitive, you want easy access to support materials when you need help. For example, does the software offer a user manual, tutorials, answers to frequently asked questions or the ability to contact a customer service or technical support rep?

OCR Software: What We Tested, What We Found

The most significant and timesaving attribute of OCR software is how closely it duplicates the original document. While OCR software manufacturers often advertise accuracy percentages with their software, we ran our own tests to determine the accuracy of each OCR software application on our list.

For this test, we scanned 33 pages of documents that contained text, tables and images using the OCR application. We then converted it from an image to a Word document. We reviewed 17,526 characters for accuracy and created a score based on the accuracy of the characters as well as the formatting and style of the document. We compared the number of errors in the document to the amount of characters it had in it to determine how accurate the scanned copy was. While formatting issues generally upset the order of the entire document, we only counted a skewed table or jumbled layout as one mistake.

Three applications – Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY PDF Transformer+, and Power PDF – produced 100 percent accurate documents. These programs produced accurate conversions each time we used the application.

OmniPage, ABBYY FineReader Professional and Soda PDF also did exceptionally well in terms of overall accuracy, though each application fell somewhat short with formatting. There were some instances, for example, where the software altered the spacing of text or the formatting of a table, which required us to review the entire document and make minor adjustments. The rest of the OCR software converted our test document with minimal errors, but, as you'll see by looking at our matrix, not quite as well as the above programs.

In addition to evaluating the accuracy of each software application, we tested how easy each program was to use. For our usability score, we assessed the software's accessibility. The programs you can access online from any internet-enabled device received the highest score, including Soda PDF. All other software requires that you download it to your desktop; however, some – Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader and Prizmo – have an associated app you can use to access your files or scan new documents to the program.

A second critical aspect we looked for were features that improved usability, including start-up wizards and an integrated knowledgebase. We evaluated each software's wizard (when and how often it pops up) as well as alternative ways the program helps you learn where the tools are located and how to use them.

Nearly all of the programs featured a similar interface. However, some featured tools that instructed users on how to use features through pop-up instructions or start-up wizards. We found these programs easier to use than applications that only offered a knowledgebase. Our top-rated programs combine both usability and accuracy, providing users with a high-performing software that speed the process of converting paper documents to electronic files.

Map

Power PDF Advanced
1 Wayside Road
Burlington, MA
Power PDF Advanced
Iron Mountain - Document Scanning Services
1905 John Conally Drive
Carrollton, TX
Iron Mountain - Document Scanning Services
Record Nations
777 S Wadsworth Blvd
Lakewood, CA
Record Nations
New England Document Systems
750 E Industrial Park Drive
Manchester, NH
New England Document Systems
EDM Americas
301 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC
EDM Americas
Statco
8870 Business Park Drive
Austin, TX
Statco
IPS
150 Meadowlands Parkway
Secaucus, NJ
IPS
Docufree
75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY
Docufree
National Scanning
46 Eastman Street
South Easton, MA
National Scanning
Data Dash
802 Progress Drive
Farmington, MO
Data Dash
ABBYY FineReader
880 North McCarthy Blvd
Milpitas, CA
ABBYY FineReader
OmniPage Standard
1 Wayside Road
Burlington, MA
OmniPage Standard
Adobe Acrobat
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA
Adobe Acrobat
ABBYY PDF Transformer+
880 North McCarthy Blvd
Milpitas, CA
ABBYY PDF Transformer+
Readiris
One World Trade Center
New York, NY
Readiris

Services

List of 19Best Document Scanning Services

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