If you’re the type that hoards lots of documents – be they invoices, tax receipts or otherwise – then PaperPort 12 is certainly worth a look. It’s a program that allows you to compile and archive these documents as PDF files (using your trusty home or business scanner), which can then be searched digitally, thanks to its Optical Character Recognition capabilities. In other words, where PDFs have historically been ‘image’ type documents, PaperPort scans them in such a way that individual words within the PDF itself can be searched for. Need to find a certain item within your three-year-old invoice archive? PaperPort 12 can put this at your fingerprints, eliminating a potentially lengthy and tedious manual search through boxes of documents.
The installation and set-up of PaperPort is a breeze, and the basic functionality is easy and intuitive. The wider functionality is a little intimidating, however, but most users will rarely need to get too technical. Once you’ve scanned a document, PaperPort will ask you to name it and add a few keywords that will help identify this particular document if the OCR doesn’t quite cut it (for whatever reason). Sure, it’s a bit more involved than filing a piece of paper in a box, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. The search functionality isn’t perfect (some of the keywords that I tried apparently weren’t picked up by the software’s OCR feature), but it’s an intelligent program that improves in accuracy with further use. The professional edition includes all of the aforementioned functionality plus advanced security and compression, unlimited scanner profiles, and an improved interface among other features.
PROS: User-friendly, quick and easy access to archived documents. Green-friendly (even the manuals are included as PDFs).
CONS: Some accuracy issues in the teething stages of set-up.
VERDICT: Not only is it an easy and effective document management system; PaperPort 12 is also a huge step towards a paperless office. Sure, it still requires paper documents, but it allows them to be recycled a lot sooner. It also means more free space in your home or work environment, not to mention that you can summon documents almost instantaneously.