What Is an ABBYY FineReader Sprint?

By Kammy Pow

ABBYY FineReader Sprint allows users to easily convert paper documents to electronic formats.
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Users might recognize ABBYY FineReader Sprint as the application that comes bundled with their scanners and which appears by default when the user first installs the software CD. This optical character recognition, or OCR, software is a perennial favorite among scanner manufacturers. This "light" version provides basic OCR functionality, and users can choose to upgrade to the professional edition of FineReader for additional capabilities.


ABBYY FineReader Sprint provides one-button or one-click scan and read functionality. By clicking on "Scan to Microsoft Word" or "Scan to searchable PDF," for example, users can convert the contents of physical documents to electronic formats that are compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel and Adobe Acrobat. The application also includes a feature called Innovative ADRT, which attempts to retain the formats and layouts of the original document, although poor document quality may affect the output. Options within the program allow users to improve the quality of a scanned document by altering the resolution, mode and brightness of a scan. ABBYY Screenshot Reader, an on-screen capture application, is part of the FineReader package.

OCR Technology

ABBYY FineReader Sprint employs ABBYY recognition technology to distinguish between characters and formatting elements in a scanned image. The program first analyzes the structure of the scanned image and divides the document into blocks of text, tables and other formatting elements. It identifies potential words and characters in the document, compares these against predefined data contained within the program and makes a decision on its context. Because ABBYY FineReader provides support for 36 languages, OCR can extend its recognition set to include comparisons to characters in these languages. Adaptive recognition technology processes and presents the content of digital images.


ABBYY FineReader Sprint is considered the "light" version of ABBYY's spectrum of OCR software, which includes the full-featured ABBYY FineReader Professional package for both Mac and Windows operating systems. ABBYY allows users to download free trial versions of the software, with scanning capacity for 15 pages and processing capacity for 50 pages total. In addition to FineReader Sprint and FineReader Professional, ABBYY offers a FineReader Express for the small business or home office user.

System Requirements

Current versions, as of publication date, of FineReader Sprint require that users operate Windows 2000 or higher on PCs or Mac OS X. Computers should reserve 250 megabytes of hard disk space for installation and maintain at least 512 megabytes of hard disk space for normal operations. The software supports a variety of document formats, including BMP, GIF, DCS and JPEG, for example.