ABBYY OCR IFilter

  • Microsoft Search Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Windows Search — allow indexing electronic documents to search for information.
  • These systems index files different digital born documents like DOC, XLS, PDF or TXT.s, but the content of files in graphic formats, such as scanned paper documents in TIFF, JPEG, PDF, DjVu cannot be indexed and searched directly.
  • Microsoft's Search architecture can be extended for other “unknown” formats by using so called “IFilters”.
  • An IFilter is a plugin that allows the Windows Indexing Service and the newer Windows Desktop Search to index different file formats so that they become searchable. Without an appropriate IFilter, contents of a file cannot be parsed and indexed by the search engine.(Form Wikipedia:IFilter
  • ABBYY Recognition Server IFilter enables Microsoft Search to “open” scanned documents and make them searchable.
  • ABBYY offers iFilter which enable SharePoint Server and Windows Search to index contents of scanned image and PDF documents.

How the IFilter works

ABBYY Recognition Server IFilter works as follows:

  1. receives image files from the MS search system crawler and sends them to ABBYY Recognition Server for OCR;
  2. picks up the OCR results and sends the full text content of the document back to the MS search system engine for indexing.

The text of the document is included in the index of the SharePoint Server (or Windows Desktop Search), and the image then becomes discoverable through full-text search.

iFilter for Desktop and Server

Server Scenario

  • ABBYY Recognition Server may be installed on a separate server.
  • The IFilter component must be installed on top of the SharePoint Server:

Desktop Scenario

  • ABBYY Recognition Server normally is installed on a separate machine/server
  • The IFilter component is installed on desktop computers with Windows Search across the organization:

Where installed iFilters can be found

  • Once the Recognition Server 3.5 IFilters are installed, they can be found in the Windows Indexing settings

  • IFilters act like a “dynamic input folder” for Recognition Server.
  • The configuration of the Search settings determine what file types are sent for OCR processing and search indexing
  • In the “Configure iFilter” (Start/Applications/Recognition Server) - the OCR settings are specified:


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