T. Rex may be the traditional king of dinosaurs in popular consciousness since its discovery about a century ago, but ever since Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park film series, the real stars of scary reptilian carnivores in people's minds have been the velociraptors. Small (in truth, about a third of their size as portrayed in the films), fast, intelligent and lethally efficient, you definitely want them to be on your team.
Harlequin Computer Solutions, the UK-based makers of VelOCRaptor, may not want you to think of their software as lethal, but small, fast and intelligent it certainly is. For reasons I can't explain, there's been a dearth of compelling OCR software on the Mac since OS X came out, so this is a most welcome development.
Operation is as simple and as effective as one expects of good Mac software: take any image file of a scanned page of text, and drop it on the small VelOCRaptor window. It immediately starts to process it, and after several seconds (or up to a minute for larger, more complex documents), it suddenly becomes a second version of the file, with the same filename followed by the words (with text), which looks the same, but where you notice you can now select the text, copy and paste it elsewhere, etc.
I tried it first with a double-sided leaflet, with images and two columns. The initial, “dumb” PDF measured 660KB - the scanned version weighed in at 5.2Mb, but preserved the images and the column structure.
A copy-and-paste of the scanned text into TextEdit revealed an imperfect but usable rendition of the text.
Much better - nearly perfect - fidelity came about when scanning a plain page of text.
At $29 US, is it worth the money for a licence? It's your call, of course, but I'm on board.