Prizmo is a powerful OS X scanning app

Prizmo 2 is a scanning application with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and several unique features that will attract those who do moderate scanning. Additional options are available from the Pro-pack via in-app purchase. Prizmo 2 is currently available from the App Store for US$24.99, which is a limited half-price sale.

Prizmo recognizes most scanners, and also works with digital images and PDF files.

To get started, select New from the File Menu, then drag-and-drop your file onto a target. If you have a scanner, you can initiate a scan on that hardware. Press the recognize button and you are on your way.


Prizmo 2 can recognize business cards and differentiate between text, images and numbers. You can output your capture as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, RTF or plain text.

You can also export to Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive and WebDAV services. In addition, the system recognizes 40 languages, can translate 23 languages on the fly and read documents aloud via text-to-speech.

I tested Prizmo 2 with PDF files, screen captures and my Epson XP-400 printer/scanner. The results were highly accurate and the OCR speed was very fast. The app took about 1.5 seconds to recognize the text in a single document. The text-to-speech was easy to understand. As it reads, the software highlights the words it is reading on-screen.

If you are a more heavy duty OCR user, there is a $24.99 in-app purchase that adds batch document processing, Automator actions and some custom export scripts. The basic version will be fine for most general users.

The only thing I would improve is the use of the non-intuitive File>Open command. Since I'm not much of a documentation reader, I scanned a file into a JPEG, and used File>Open to import it. That's not what you do. Instead, you choose File>New to import files. It was easy when I figured it out, but a bit non-intuitive.

Other than that, Prizmo 2 is powerful and reliable. If you need its features, I can recommend it without reservation. You can find a detailed feature list and video demos at the Prizmo website.

The company also has an iOS scanning app which I reviewed in 2010. It was also useful and reliable.

This article was originally published on Tuaw.