Dates/Times - 4 Online Sessions:

  • Day 1 - January 10th, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM 

  • Day 2 - January 12th, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM 

  • Day 3 - January 17th, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM 

  • Day 4 - January 19th, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM 


This workshop will provide training in the use of ABBYY FineReader, and OCR (optical character recognition) program used to convert the images of printed documents into electronically editable text. Microsoft Word will be used to demonstrate clean-up methods and for formatting braille and large print.

Logistics of the Workshop

This workshop will be presented on-line using Zoom, a platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.

A laptop computer with a second external monitor will be shipped to you, at the address of your choice, for use in the training sessions. The computer will contain all of the needed software and example files needed for the training. Paper handouts for the training sessions will also be included with the computer.

In order to use the computer, access to the internet through Wi-Fi or through an Ethernet cable is required. The internet connection should have at least a 1 MBPS (megabit per second) or greater download capability.

After the training is completed, please pack the laptop, monitor and cords back in the case. An email will be sent to you with information on a UPS pickup date.


Jerry Whittaker, AT&AEM Center Technical Assistance Consultant


TVIs, Transcribers, General Educators, Intervention Specialists, Paraprofessionals, and Related Service Providers

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Use ABBYY FineReader for converting text images into editable electronic text
  • Use Microsoft Word for cleaning-up and formatting documents for conversion to braille and large print
  • OCR a document or book for formatting in braille or large print

Day 1

Through discussion and demonstration, the participants will learn about:

  • Scanners: what to buy or what to use and alternative methods for scanning
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) what to use and what not to use
  • Scanning documents - what scanning settings to use and why
  • ABBYY out-of-the-box how it behaves and why you need to control it
  • ABBYY's Screens - a geography lesson
  • ABBYY FineReadewr PDF settings for control
  • The OCR sequence - areas and how to control them - your first OCR
  • Sending the OCR'd text to MS Word
  • Using MS Word for file cleanup - an introduction to Word's find and replace

Day 2

Through discussion and demonstration, the participants will learn about:

  • Recording a simple macro using Word’s macro recorder - faster cleanup
  • Template scanning - How to OCR an entire novel (hundreds of pages) in less than an hour
  • Reordering page thumbnails
  • Sending a single page to MS Word
  • Editing page images within ABBYY
  • Area and image properties

Day 3

Through discussion and demonstration, participants will learn about:

  • Using ABBYY's screenshot reader for OCR of text on the screen
  • Using ABBYY's PDF-Xchange to split large PDF files into sections
  • Accessing text in PDF files with locked security settings
  • Cleaning up downloaded text files
  • Converting DAISY files for braille, large print or audio
  • Configuring Abbyy to better recognize linear math
  • A brief introduction to EquatIO, an OCR program for mathematics

Day 4

Through discussion and demonstration, the participants will learn about:

  • Producing audio files using Balabolka (a free program)
  • Creating large print and onscreen reading files using a MS Word template an macros

Participant Preparation for the Workshop

  • Participants who are currently using OCR software are encouraged to bring scanned documents which have presented difficulty in either scanning, OCR, or cleanup. Files must be in electronic form (either images or as image-based PDF files).
  • Microsoft Word will be used extensively during the workshop and participants are encouraged to be familiar with Word 2010, 2013, 2016 or 365.
  • Participants are encouraged to bring a USB flash memory (thumb-drive) with at least 1 or more gigabytes of free space. There will be items you will want to copy from the computer.

Free Software for Your School District

The BEST Grant will provide a current version/upgrade of ABBYY FineReader PDF software (or will upgrade an older version of the software) to participants who complete all four sessions of the course to use in their school district/agency (one copy per district/agency). A single user license of ABBYY FineReader PDF will be emailed to you.

Contact Hours

Twelve (12) contact hours will be offered for participation in all sessions. Full live attendance is required to receive all hours.


This training is limited to the first 16 participants

Register online via OCALI Pass

You must have a Lending Library account in order to register and be provided the equipment. By registering you are agreeing to return the equipment in a timely manner and in the condition it was received as well as any additional agreements per the Lending Library registration.

Registration deadline: January 1st, 2023.

If you need to cancel your registration, please do so 1 week in advance by email to Augusta Fisher (email below).

For more information contact Augusta Fisher at