PaperPort Pro 9 Office review: PaperPort Pro 9 Office

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.3
  • Features: 9.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
  • Setup and interface: 9.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Organizes scanned and digitally acquired documents; creates PDF files from any office document.

The Bad Expensive tech support.

The Bottom Line PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office could prove invaluable to businesses, but average consumers might be better off with the consumer-oriented PaperPort Deluxe 9.0.

CNET Editors' Choice May '03

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Review summary

PaperPort has been helping home users sort through the morass of paper and digital documents for years by organizing scanned documents and photos on your hard drive. With its new network support and native PDF document format, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office has become an essential productivity application for the office, as well. PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office costs more than the consumer-oriented PaperPort Deluxe 9.0 and that may, and should, give the average consumer pause. However, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office's superb Microsoft Office integration and ability to easily share digital documents over networks make it worth the money for business users. Thanks to PaperPort's installation wizard (on the included CD), we installed and configured PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office without any problems. The software automatically recognized our scanner, a CanoScan N1220U, and required little fine-tuning.

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PaperPort's thumbnail-driven interface makes it easy to preview photos.

PaperPort's intuitive interface remains relatively unchanged from that of previous versions. Once you import your photos or documents, PaperPort displays them as thumbnails, which you can then collect and organize into folders. The software comes with premade folders, including Taxes, Photos, Receipts, and so on, but you can create your own folders very easily. The software also contains shortcuts to other commonly used applications across the bottom of the screen, including e-mail, fax, and Office applications, letting you export documents quickly by dragging them to the appropriate icon. The most notable interface change is the Print To PDF button that PaperPort adds to both Word and Excel menu bars. At its most basic level, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office gives users the ability to easily manage and organize paper and digital documents of all types. PaperPort has its own scanning interface that lets you collect images directly from a scanner, a digital camera, or files already on your PC. From the thumbnail view, you can easily organize files into folders or send them to fax or e-mail applications simply by dragging them onto the appropriate icon at the bottom of the PaperPort window.

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PaperPort can store photos and documents in any number of user-defined folders.

The basics aside, PaperPort 9.0 has undergone several significant improvements. Most importantly, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office now uses Adobe's PDF as its native file format. Previous versions used a proprietary format, which could be accessed only via PaperPort or special viewing software. The move to PDF makes PaperPort much more viable for business and consumer users alike.

Indeed, PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office can now create PDF files from any Office application with the touch of a button. Click the PaperPort icon in the toolbar of either Word or Excel to turn any document into a PDF file and import it into PaperPort. PaperPort Deluxe 9.0 lacks this advanced PDF feature. PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office also includes a Web Capture module that will convert any active Web page into a full-color PDF file. By offering a fast and easy way to convert to PDF, PaperPort makes it easy to send documents around the office.

To attract more enterprise-level customers, PaperPort 9.0 can automatically deliver scanned pages to a user's PC from network scanning devices, such as multifunction printers and digital copiers. Instead of making paper copies and sending them around the office, users can scan one copy, then e-mail, archive, or post it to the Web. PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office can also connect to Enterprise Content Management systems, such as Oracle 9i and Microsoft SharePoint. By contrast, PaperPort Deluxe 9.0 contains limited network support.
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It's a snap to annotate documents using highlighters, text boxes, or stamps.

In addition to creating PDF documents, PaperPort makes it possible to edit and annotate them. Using a variety of digital highlighters, text boxes, and stamps, we were able to insert electronic comments into our digital files for later reference. You can also use the software's built-in OCR functions to search for keywords in both documents and image files. For finely tuned OCR, look for a dedicated application, such as ScanSoft's OmniPage Pro 12.0.

PaperPort Pro 9.0 Office offers some photo-editing tools, including an automatic-fix button, red-eye reduction, and basic cropping and resizing options. For advanced color and image manipulation, you will still need a separate full-fledged photo editor. Don't go looking for filters and effects, because PaperPort doesn't have them. PaperPort 9.0 treats photos as documents, not works of art. ScanSoft offers a robust set of service-and-support features on its Web site, including a knowledge base, multiple user guides, and free access to user message boards. You'll also find downloads, including updates, drivers, and patches, and viewer software that enables those who don't have PaperPort installed to view PaperPort-generated files.

Individual users can also interact with ScanSoft technical support 24/7 through a pay-per-incident e-mail process. To report an incident, you must complete the Problem Report form at a cost of $9.95 per incident. ScanSoft offers telephone support Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m ET.

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Where to Buy

PaperPort Pro 9 Office

Part Number: F309A-G00-9.0 Released: Mar 4, 2003

MSRP: $199.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar 4, 2003
  • Category office applications
  • Compatibility PC