I've been using ABBYY for over a year now (Finereader 10), mainly for converting PDFs in French to Word documents. I find the results are brilliant.
Today I have a problem which ABBYY has difficulties coping with: this is a 10-page PDF in French, and I suspected it might have problems because when you look at the PDF the text looks a bit grey and washed out. However, when you zoom into the PDF the text sharpens up a lot.
As I suspected, ABBYY was, on normal settings, completely unable to cope with the greyness. At the moment I'm contemplating the laborious business of taking screenshots of the individual blown-up PDF pages, saving as JPegs or whatever, and then seeing if ABBYY can produce better results that way.
The requisite image quality does seem to be present in the PDF doc, but not at normal size. I'm surprised by the fact that there don't seem to be any settings relating to actual recognition (e.g. "take more time", "sharpen", "increase contrast", "use more memory", "zoom into the PDF").
Thanks for any suggestions...