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Industry Computer software
Mobile software
Applied linguistics
Language translation
Founded 1989 in Moscow, Russian Federation
Key people
Founder: David Yang,
CEO: Sergey Andreev[1]
Products FineReader, FineReader Engine, PDF Transformer, FlexiCapture, FlexiCapture Engine, Recognition Server, Lingvo Dictionary, Business Card Reader, Mobile OCR Engine, Mobile Imaging SDK, FineScanner, Scan Station, TextGrabber+Translator
Number of employees
over 1250 regular and 900 freelance (as of 2013)

ABBYY /ˈʌbɪ/ is an international software company that provides optical character recognition, document capture and language software for both PC and mobile devices.[2]

The majority of ABBYY products, such as ABBYY FineReader, are intended to simplify converting paper documents to digital data.[3] ABBYY also provides language-based software products and services.[4]


ABBYY was founded in 1989 by David Yang[5] and was named BIT Software before 1997. ABBYY has 4 headquarters: North America (Milpitas, California), Western Europe (Munich), Eastern Europe (Kiev) and in Russia (Moscow). Most of the research and development projects are conducted in Moscow. The ABBYY Group comprises 16 global offices located in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine and the United States.[6] In 2007, a branch specializing in publishing dictionaries, reference books, encyclopedias and guide-books, ABBYY Press, was established.[7] ABBYY also owns ABBYY Language Services, a high-tech translation and localization agency.[8]


ABBYY's software understands text characters and document formatting attributes in images. ABBYY also develops data and document capture applications, software development kits, linguistic software and other programs.

ABBYY FineReader[edit]

The FineReader application converts scanned images into editable file formats and has received an "Excellent" rating by PC Magazine.[9] The latest version, FineReader 12, recognizes printed text in 190 languages.[10]

ABBYY FlexiCapture[edit]

ABBYY FlexiCapture is a data and document capture system that automatically extracts information from forms and semi-structured documents such as invoices.[11][12]

ABBYY PDF Transformer[edit]

ABBYY PDF Transformer is an application for editing PDF documents, including opening, editing, commenting, converting PDF files, etc.[13] The latest version is ABBYY PDF Transformer+ released in 2014 and updated in 2015. It supports 189 languages and available for Windows only. PDF Transformer+ is an alternative to Adobe Acrobat.[14][15] Released versions are:

Version Released OCR Languages Supported Functionality
ABBYY PDF Transformer+[16] 2014 worldwide 189 Open, edit, comment, convert, protect, merge PDFs and extract content
PDF Transformer 3.0[17] 2009 184(+Korean in the Asian Version) Create, convert and protect PDFs
PDF Transformer 2.0[18] 2006 37 Create and convert PDFs
PDF Transformer[19] 2004 36 PDF conversion only

ABBYY PDF Transformer+ is the latest product version released worldwide on March 25, 2014. It delivers functionality to open, edit, comment, convert PDF files, and extract text and image content from PDFs.[20]
Supported input formats include: PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, VSD, VSDX, RTF, HTML, BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, JBIG2, PNG, TIFF, and GIF. Supported saving formats are the following: DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, RTF, PDF, PDF/A (2b), HTML, CSV, TXT, ODT, EPUB, and FB2.[21] With the latest version, ABBYY PDF Transformer has turned from a PDF converter to a PDF editing application.[22]

ABBYY Compreno[edit]

As of 2011 and 2012 ABBYY is working on a usable version of its new machine translation and text semantic analysis technology named ABBYY Compreno.[23] At the beginning of 2011 ABBYY received a grant of 475 million Russian roubles (about US$15 million at that time) from the Skolkovo innovation center for the development of its Compreno technology. The technology is supposedly based on USH (Universal Semantic Hierarchy). Syntactic Parsing Technology is used to complement the USH.[24][25][26][27] The approach will allow for both the in-depth syntax analysis of the source text and the differentiation of subtle details of meaning based on world- and subject-knowledge. It is prospected to be used for intellectual information search based on abstractly defined content and expressed ideas / involved subjects (regardless of specific terminology and vocabulary used), as opposed to currently widely used keyword searching.[28][29][30][31][32][33]

A large number of specialists to further develop the worldwide use of Compreno technology is expected to be trained via the two newly opened chairs of Computational Linguistics, established in May 2012 with support from ABBYY and IBM, at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian State University for the Humanities and at the faculty of Innovations and High-Tech of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology[34][35][36]

ABBYY Business Card Reader[edit]

ABBYY Business Card Reader is a mobile software application that imports contact information from business cards directly to mobile address books using a smartphone's camera and text recognition technology. First released in 2009, the application is now available for Symbian, Apple iPhone in January 2010, and Android.[37] It uses ABBYY's optical character recognition (OCR) technology for mobile devices, which was introduced to the market with ABBYY Mobile OCR Engine.

Currently, the application supports 20 languages, including popular European languages and Korean, and reads both monolingual and multilingual business cards. The software has received positive reviews in Russian PC Magazine[38] and Macworld Australia.[39]

ABBYY Lingvo[edit]

ABBYY Lingvo Translation Dictionary is an application that gives the user access to multiple bilingual and monolingual dictionaries. A number of different versions are available, which together cover 19 languages (as at June 2015[40]), but there is not a dictionary for every pair of languages: translation is between English and/or Russian and some or all of the other 17 languages, namely: Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Kazakh, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tatar, Turkish and Ukrainian. Depending on the version, it contains up to 224 general and specialized dictionaries, including Oxford English dictionaries, with a maximum of over 10,000,000 entries (again depending on the version; both counts correct as at June 2015).[40]


PC Advisor commented, in 2005, "FineReader 8.0 Pro is the best OCR software we've seen"[41] while PC Magazine gives it four stars out of five.[42]

Also in 2005, PC Pro gave FineReader four stars out of six, saying, "FineReader offers a decent compromise between the value and accuracy of Readiris and the power and automation features of OmniPage. If you need automation on a budget, it's the package to go for, but for home and occasional office use Readiris is the better package at this price."[43]

In January 2007 the FineReader Engine (an OCR SDK) was selected for use in Ricoh's DocumentMall document management system.[44]


In March 2011 ABBYY was selected for KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management Award (for the fifth year in a row).[45] In May 2006 ABBYY USA was awarded the Fujitsu Quarterly Innovative Leadership Award.[46]

Company name[edit]

ABBYY claims that the company name means "keen eye" in the hypothetical reconstructed parent language of Miao–Yao, Nu, Hmong–Mien, Hmong and Kim Mun groups of the Sino-Tibetan language family.[47]


  1. ^ "Sergey Andreev - Biography". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "ABBYY - Company Overview". Archived from the original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "ABBYY FineReader". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "ABBYY InfoExtractor SDK". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Mixergy interview: How A Bulletin Board Post Changed Everything – with David Yang". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "ABBYY - Key Facts". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "ABBYY Press Publishing (in Russian)". Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "ABBYY Language Services". Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "ABBYY FineReader 12 Professional". PC Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "ABBYY FineReader 12 Professional". Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "ABBYY FlexiCapture Helps Land Registry on its Digital Journey". 
  12. ^ "KMWorld Trend-Setting Products of 2010". 
  13. ^ "ABBYY PDF Transformer+". Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "ABBYY PDF Transformer+". IT World (Russian). Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "ABBYY PDF Transformer+". c't magazin (German). Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "New ABBYY PDF Transformer+ Now Available for Purchase Worldwide". ABBYY. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ "ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0 Pro review". PC Advisor. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ "ABBYY introduces PDF Transformer 2.0 Pro, smart & simple PDF conversion and creation tool". IT Reseller. August 30, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ "ABBYY announces PDF Transformer for PDF conversion". Planet PDF. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ "CMS Hasche Sigle uses ABBYY PDF Transformer+ to archive searchable PDF documents in Microsoft SharePoint". Virtual Strategy Magazine. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Supported Formats". ABBYY. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Abbyy PDF Transformer+: больше, чем просто конвертер". Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  23. ^ "ABBYY Compreno Technology". Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  24. ^ ABBYY Language Technologies
  25. ^ Anatoly Starostin. Using ABBYY Compreno technology for solving various NLP-tasks. SYRCoDIS 2012. Moscow.
  26. ^ Syntactic and semantic parser based on ABBYY Compreno
  27. ^ On automated semantic and syntactic annotation of texts for lexicographic purposes
  28. ^ "Голубятня: Чудо Compreno". 
  29. ^ "Abbyy получила 450 млн рублей от «Сколково»". 
  30. ^; Синтаксический и семантический анализ текстов
  31. ^ Introducing ABBYY Compreno -- new approach to machine translation
  32. ^ Андрей Крупин (13 February 2012). "Лингвистические технологии ABBYY. От сложного — к совершенному". ,
  33. ^ "Ъ-Наука - Программисты считают, что научили машину понимать смысл текста". 
  34. ^ "Компьютерная лингвистика получит пополнение". 
  35. ^ "В РГГУ и МФТИ открыты кафедры «Компьютерной лингвистики» при поддержке Abbyy и IBM". 
  36. ^ "ABBYY: через мобильность и облака к интеллектуальной лингвистике". 
  37. ^ "ABBYY Business Card Reader / the official Web site". 2011. 
  38. ^ "Best Soft 2009. PC Magazine (Russian) = 2013-02-19". 
  39. ^ "Macworld Australia. App Guide = 2013-02-19". 
  40. ^ a b "ABBYY Store". 
  41. ^ "ABBYY FineReader 8.0 Professional" PC Advisor, 3 November 2005.
  42. ^ "Abbyy FineReader 8.0 Professional Edition", PC Magazine, 12 September 2005.
  43. ^ "ABBYY FineReader 8 Professional Edition", PC Pro, December 2005.
  44. ^ "ABBYY FineReader Engine Selected for Ricoh's Award-Winning DocumentMall"[dead link], 23 January 2007, MarketWire
  45. ^ "KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management", KMWorld, 1 March 2009
  46. ^ "Fujitsu Selects ABBYY USA for Quarterly Innovative Leadership Award",, 17 May 2006
  47. ^ ABBYY (n.d.). "ABBYY - What Does It Mean?". Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 

External links[edit]