ABBYY FineReader OCR Pro for Mac

Last modified
Friday, October 25, 2019

Description of App

Mac App Store description: Easily turn documents of virtually any origin into information you can edit, quote, archive, search or share! ABBYY FineReader Pro complements the hassle-free efficiency of your computer by transforming paper documents, PDFs and digital photos of text into editable and searchable files. Say goodbye to time-consuming retyping and reformatting of documents – FineReader’s unmatched text recognition accuracy, language coverage and conversion features retain your original’s text, layout and formatting. It’s OCR the easy way – just as it should be! With just a few clicks you can: - Update documents with text corrections, date changes, modified conditions, links to other documents and more - Instantly pull quotes from text and extract data - Create searchable PDF files for archiving and sharing - Make documents accessible for text-to-voice and more KEY PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES: - Scans and converts documents and images into a wide variety of popular electronic formats including: DOCX, ODT, RTF, XSLX, PDF and PDF/A, PPTX, HTML, EPUB and FB2 - Accurate reconstruction of document structure, layout and formatting across multiple pages – including headers/footers, footnotes, table of contents, page numbering, captions, etc. - Creates editable, searchable and secure PDFs that are perfect for archiving and sharing - Creates E-books in EPUB and FB2 formats for tablets and portable readers - Performs image and photo pre-processing using ABBYY’s Advanced Digital Camera OCR technology - Applies advanced OCR features to complex conversion tasks YOUR ADVANTAGES WITH ABBYY OCR TECHNOLOGY INCLUDE: - Professional OCR results with up to 99.8% character recognition accuracy - Widest language support in the industry: 189 recognition languages (including Asian languages) in any combination of languages - Multi-channel document input enables you to scan paper documents for processing or convert scanned images, PDFs and digital photos of text - User-friendly interface with pre-defined Quick Tasks makes using FineReader easy and intuitive and provides Section 508 compliancy * According to internal ABBYY testing. Accuracy and formatting results can vary depending on factors such as document quality and scanner settings.



Free or Paid


Version Of macOS App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

1. In the U.S., This app can be purchased either from the Mac App Store or directly from the ABBYY website. I am not sure about other countries. I purchased my copy directly from ABBYY and found the purchase, installation and licensing processes to be fully VO accessible.

2. I found most of the App screen elements to be VO accessible and properly labeled.

3. FR Pro allows processing of documents from 3 main sources: Open an existing digital document, scan a paper document, or import a document from a mobile device such as the iPhone camera roll. I found the process of opening existing documents fully VO-accessible as it uses the standard macOS File / Open dialog. When scanning a printed document, I found the interface between FR Pro and my Wi-Fi connected Canon MFP to be fully VO-accessible. YMMV depending on your hardware, interface and driver software. The process of browsing and opening files from the camera roll of my USB-tethered iPhone is also VO accessible.


There are some minor accessibility issues with this app, but they are easy to deal with.

Other Comments

A limited trial is available directly from ABBYY at

Developer's Twitter Username


5 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Bryan Jones 1 year ago



Submitted by Bryan Jones on Saturday, October 18, 2014

A word of caution for folks who rely on FineReader Pro: An individual posted to one of the mailing lists that FineReader Pro had issues after the Yosemite upgrade. ABBYY posted the following comment on their FB page yesterday, 17 Oct 2014:

"FineReader Professional for Mac is not compatible with Mac OS Yosemite at this time. However, the retail version update is expected to be available late next week on the AppStore. Please check back for updates."

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Monday, October 20, 2014

As of this writing the update is available from ABBYY's website for non-App Store versions. ABBYY's FAQ indicates the App Store version should be updated by the end of this week.

Release Notes:

"Update #1215/5 - October 20, 2014.
- Fixed crashes on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite with internal program error.

- Other bug fixing and improvements."

Download link available from ABBYY's website at

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Sunday, December 14, 2014

What’s new in FineReader Pro for Mac update:
Automator actions and AppleScript commands support are added;
Fixed the bug when importing files with square brackets and other non-character symbols in a file name;
Fixed the problem with undeleted temporary files from system libraries;
Overall application performance improvement;

Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Monday, June 27, 2016

Just stumbled upon this. FR pro normally sells for $119, but is on sale until June 30 for $79. I know this post is a couple of years old, so I hope it is just as accessible as it was when this post was created.

Submitted by Isak Sand on Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hello all,
Does ABBYY FineReader Pro work on Sierra?

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hi Brian. I just got Finereader today and am scanning loads of PDF files. Anyway, I keep getting errors like change resolution of image to 300DPI or greater. Wondering on how to change resolution. Also, it says something like image is too dark, well I know thats not true because it's a PDF file to begin with, just OCR loads of instruction manuals to flip thru

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm usually not a software idiot, but I'm having problems getting started with the trial version. After it scans the page, what then? I'm left in the dialog to set scanning/OCR options. I press "finish import' but the resulting screen says there are no pages. I find the help file uninformative. So, I'm missing something totally obvious, I suspect. I'm used to Kurzweil and OmniPage, both of which put you directly into the OCR results for the page.

Submitted by Ekaj on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Subject line pretty much sums it up. I'm having some issues with this app, but I filed a support ticket and somebody has already gotten back to me with potentially helpful info. But this app seems too expensive for my taste, and it seems to take up a lot of space. But I'll stick with it until my trial period expires. The app website works very well though with both VoiceOver and Chromevox. So nope, I've not given up hope just yet for my .pdf woes, lol!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Will this thing turn the scanned image into an accessible pdf? I know that's an odd question but that's what I need for faxing purposes.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Here are four quick workflows I've written up for folks looking for some guidance on how to use FineReader with VO.

Workflows 1 & 2 are the methods I use daily to scan and perform OCR. Note that I use Preview to do the scanning, FineReader to perform the OCR, and other apps such as TextEdit and Numbers to read and edit the resulting exported documents.

Workflows 3 and 4 are for folks who want to use FineReader's Quick Task method of scanning and converting. I don't use these methods myself, but they tested fine with my system.

Notes: These workflows work on my current system, a mid-2013 11 inch MBA i7, macOS 10.12.3, ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac, version 12.1.6, Wi-Fi connected Canon MX 922 Series MFP, latest drivers. YMMV. These workflows assume the Mac and scanner are tested and work together and the User is familiar with standard VO keystrokes and navigation techniques. I'm not sure if it is possible for VO to read aloud the content of documents within the FineReader Pro for Mac app itself. I open and read the resulting file in whichever app I prefer to use for the particular file type, such as TextEdit for txt files.

Workflow 1: Use a scanner and to import printed pages.
1. Power-on the Mac & scanner.
2. Load the print page(s) into the scanner.
3. Open and press Escape to close the default File Open window..
4. In Preview, choose File > Import from <scanner name>. This opens a window where I can specify various scanning options. I assume these options will vary depending on the scanner model and/or installed drivers. By default, I scan to PDF at 300DPI.
5. After I've selected my desired scanning options, I press the Scan button to begin the scanning process.
6. After all of the pages have been scanned into Preview, I press Command+S to open the Save As dialog, save it to my desired location, then OCR the resulting document as described in the following workflow.

Workflow 2: Use FineReader Pro to OCR an existing digital file.
1. Launch FineReader Pro and press Escape to close the default "New Task" window.
2. Go to the Finder, navigate to the file I want to process, press VO+Shift+M to open the shortcut menu, choose "Open With," and select FineReader. This will open the document in FineReader and automatically start the recognition process.
3. If any problems are encountered, a warnings window will appear and I can interact with the warnings table, review the messages, and then close the warnings window. Most of the warnings I receive either inform me about blank pages or pages it suggests to scan at a higher resolution. I usually scan in duplex mode, so some blank pages are expected, and I've scanned thousands of documents and never needed to adjust the resolution.
4. Press Command+S to begin the Save process. This will open the Export window where I can select the desired export format, adjust preferences for the selected format, and then press Next to continue. I usually select TXT.
5. I am presented with a standard MacOS Save As dialog, where I name the file, choose a location, and save the file.
6. If I want to read or edit the newly created file, I find it in the Finder and use the shortcut menu to open the file with my preferred app.

Workflow 3: Use FineReader Pro Quick Tasks to scan and convert a print document.
1. The scanner and Mac are powered on and the printed pages to scan are loaded into the scanner.
2. Launch FineReader Pro. By default it opens with a "New Task" window containing a column of available input sources, an abbreviated column of conversion formats, a toggle checkbox announced as "Go Right, unchecked," and a few random bits of text. Press the "Go Right" checkbox to toggle between the abbreviated and full lists of possible conversion formats.
3. Select the desired scanner from the list of available input sources.
4. Select and press the desired output format, for example "Convert to TXT document." This will open a new window where a number of scan settings can be adjusted.
5. Press the button labeled "Scan." This will scan/import and analyze the document.
6. When the scanning is complete, press the button labeled "Finish Import." This finishes the OCR process and presents a standard MacOS Save As dialog where the user can name and save the resulting file.

Workflow 4: Use FineReader Pro Quick Tasks to convert an existing digital document.
1. The Mac is powered on and the file to convert is supported by FineReader and is available using the Finder.
2. Launch FineReader Pro. By default it opens with a "New Task" window containing a column of available input sources, an abbreviated column of conversion formats, a toggle checkbox announced as "Go Right, unchecked," and a few random bits of text. Press the "Go Right" checkbox to toggle between the abbreviated and full lists of possible conversion formats.
3. Select your Mac from the list of available input sources.
4. Select and press the desired output format, for example "Convert to TXT document." This will open a standard MacOS File Open dialog.
5. In the File Open dialog, select the file you wish to convert, adjust options, if available, and press the Open button. This will open the file and automatically begin the process of analyzing the file. There is a standard accessible progress indicator.
6. When the process is finished, a standard MacOS Save As dialog will open where the user can name and save the resulting file.


Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I have a question. I've been playing with FineReader for a while now. Can anyone on here explain how to change the image resolution when performing OCR on a PDF file found on the web, for instance I'll be OCRing an instruction manual for a product, and it'll say to change the resolution to something else, I'm not sure where to do that and if there is a setting to automatically change the resolution on the fly as it Ocrs a document.
Thanks for your help if possible, lol!

In response to comment with subject line, "Will this thing turn the."

If by "accessible PDF" you mean just a PDF which contains searchable text to go along with the image text, then yes, this app can create that type of PDF file. When selecting the export format, choose PDF and set the export mode to something other than "page image only." I believe the default export mode for PDF is "text under the image. If you are looking to create a PDF file that is closer to the PDF/UA accessibility spec, there is a checkbox labeled "enable PDF tagging," which I have not explored, but which is defined in the app's help system as follows: "In addition to text and illustrations, PDF files can contain information about the document structure, such as logical parts, pictures, and tables. This information is encoded in PDF tags. A PDF file equipped with PDF tags may be reflowed to fit different screen sizes and will display well on handheld devices."

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Saturday, April 1, 2017

In reply to by Justin

In response to comment with a subject line of "Hi."

Hello Justin — Good question about adjusting the resolution when converting an existing file. I'd never tried this before, but did some testing and came up with the following steps. I hope you find this helpful. Also, if you comment back and would like a reply, please include a meaningful subject line, as I tend to skip past comments with subject lines that don't clue me in on what I'll find in the comment.

1. Launch FineReader (FR).
2. Press escape to close the default New Task window.
3. Go to the Finder and use the shortcut menu to open the desired file with FR. The file will open in FR and automatically begin processing.
4. If there are any warning messages generated during this initial processing, those messages will be displayed in a warnings table. For example, in my test document, I received the following warning: "Please re-scan your document at a higher resolution. This will improve the OCR of the fragments printed in a small font size., Pages: 1."
5. After reviewing the warnings, closed the warnings pane.
6. Choose Edit Page Image from the Page menu. This places FR in the Edit Page Image screen.
7. In the Edit Page Image screen, navigate to the section labeled "Image Resolution" and then use standard VO+arrow keys to navigate through this section. Here you can adjust the image size and resolution for some or all pages. I found the following values in my testing:
8. Image Size: The value for my test document was "Original," and I left it unchanged.
9. Resolution: The initial value for my test document was 300, and I changed it to 600.
10. Selection: This is a popup, and I set mine to All Pages.
11. After I changed my resolution value and was ready to proceed, I pressed the button labeled "Resize Image." FR briefly displayed a progress dialog while applying the change.
12. I then chose "Read All Pages" from the Page menu This analyzed the pages again, and then displayed the following, more precise, warning message: "Image resolution may be incorrect. For best results, set the resolution to 350 dpi., Pages: 1."
13. I then repeated steps 6 through 11, this time replacing the resolution value with the suggested 350, and when I then repeated step 12, there were no more warnings.
14. Finally, I press Command+S to finish the process. This prompts me to select export format, parameters, file name and location.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Friday, October 25, 2019

According to the ABBYY website, FineReader Pro version 12.1.13 for Mac works under macOS 10.15 Catalina. Note that ABBYY does have a knowledgebase article on their website describing issues launching Automator actions under Catalina. I've not yet personally tested FineReader on Catalina.