Windows software of the day [May 2, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • OCR to Word: extract text from scanned documents with surprising accuracy
  • Aero Glass Mp3 Player: a slick, well-integrated audio player for Windows 7
  • CloseTheDoor: scan your ports to make sure none of them are left open

Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail

About Windows Software of the Day

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

Developers: Click here to get your apps featured here!

dotTechies: Want to see an app on here? Send us a tip!

Software for May 2, 2012

OCR to Word

Many of you might remember gImageReader, an optical character recognition program we covered in August last year. For those of you who don’t, optical character recognition — also known as OCR — is technology that allows you to automatically scan text from an image. Although it’s not the most accurate technology, it’s getting better every year, and soon will be hopefully near perfect.

Unlike gImageReader, OCR to Word sports a nicely-designed, ribbon-style interface, scanner support, and other features. If you scan directly from your scanner, for instance, you can save the extracted text as a word document. (I was not able to get this to work using pre-scanned JPEGs.)

Regarding accuracy, OCR to Word was fairly accurate. As you can see in the screenshot above, it got words wrong occasionally, but it’s not hard to figure out, and with a little time and a spell checker, it’d be easy to correct these mistakes. All in all OCR to Word is a nice, easy-to-use program that lets you extract text from images with surprising accuracy.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v5.0.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

Download size: 6.2MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portable version available? No

OCR to Word homepage

Aero Glass Mp3 Player

Want a media player that is extremely integrated into the modern Windows experience? You’re in luck–Aero Glass Mp3 Player is excellently integrated with Windows.

To select a song or playlist, you either drag it onto the window or use the Open With menu, shows album artwork and lets you play/pause/stop/fast forward/rewind  in Aero previews, and fills in the icon from left to right as the song progresses.

Its integration is quite impressive; indeed, if this wasn’t off of DeviantArt, I’d almost expect it to be selling for some small amount of money.

Price: Free! 

Version discovered: v1.5

Supported OS: Windows 7, maybe Vista – requires .NET 4.0

Download size: 3.7MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/42

Portable version available? Yes!

Aero Glass Mp3 Player homepage

CloseTheDoor

This is a tool for the more technically minded readers in the crowd. If you’ve got a computer that you think is bugged and need to see if it’s listening for commands, CloseTheDoor can tell you exactly what’s open, what’s opening it, and can provide handy links to either Google the processes or to outright terminate them.

If you want to terminate or Google multiple processes at once, CTD can handle that, too. It also provides quick links to various built-in Windows utilities like Regedit, Services, and a few others. If you have a few extra kilobytes in your USB drive, consider filling them with CloseTheDoor: for all you know, it’ll come in handy one day.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.2.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 with .NET 3.5

Download size: 126KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portable version available? Yes!

CloseTheDoor homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

5 comments

  1. smaragdus

    An audio player that does not support the major formats (FLAC, APE, WAVPACK, TTA, OGG, MPC, WMA) is pretty useless for me. 90& pf my audio collection is in lossless formats and I hope that one day I will not have a single lossy audio file.

  2. Patrick

    OCR to Word
    “If you scan directly from your scanner, for instance, you can save the extracted text as a word document.”

    Ages ago, my HP psc 750 (with dedicated software CD included) did a near perfect OCR-to-Word job… Until for some reason the software refused to work properly (some functions were no longer supported). I’m still wondering wether that was HP’s doing or Windows updates “stab in the back”. Never got the thing working as it did before…

    I hope “OCR to Word” will at least allow extracting text from (downloaded) scanned pdf-files.

    My HP machine has died recently from old age but I’ve never again had the ease of use it provided compared to some new all-in-one (i.e. psc-) machines. I may even try it with my Mum’s Win7 + new HP-psc. Now that would save me lots and lots of time…

    Still mourningly yours,
    Pat.

  3. Robert Blacher

    The Aero Glass “MP3″ player is well named. It will not play .m4a files (e.g. music bought on iTunes). Too bad. It’s simple but pretty.

    On the other hand, the OCR to Word program is pretty darned good for a freebie!