Capturing Form Images

The image quality of scanned forms must clear and sharp (no black spots on white, no white spots on black) and not bowed. Test Preview a scanned form image to make sure your scanner has the correct settings to always scan clear form images.

When scanning your forms for OMR processing, the images from the scanner can be saved onto your computer as .png, .gif, .tif or .pdf files. These are all image files able to be recognized by FormReturn.

Scanning and Saving Forms
Important Tips
Faster Scanning and Processing
How to Scan Forms Manually
Using the Scan Forms Button
Scanners


Scanning and Saving Forms

Scan at 300dpi and save form images as PNG, GIF or TIF format (Don't save as JPEG)

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The mark area scanned at 300dpi.

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Form ID Barcode scanned at 300dpi.

Since version 1.1 PDF Files can often be recognized by the Form Processor, a Test Preview of a scanned form page will establish this. When you open a PDF image in the Recognition Test Preview, you should be able to view every detail of the page, if the page is all white it means the image can't be recognized by FormReturn and you won't be able to save scanned images as PDF.

Images scanned in color are recommended for detection by FormReturn, because they are sharper than black and white, 1 bit images.

Black and white scanned images will be faster to process in FormReturn but they won't be as sharp as color images. If you must scan in Black and White, the Recognition Settings of FormReturn may have to be played around with to get accurate detection of response marks.


Important Tips:

Documents to be uploaded into FormReturn are scanned and saved in PNG , GIF or TIFF format and since version 1.1 PDF Files can sometimes be recognized by the Form Processor; Note: Wherever possible, DON'T SAVE AS JPEG. JPEG is generally used for photographic images, if you must save as Jpeg scan at 300 dpi minimum.

Image quality makes the difference of forms being detected accurately or not. We recommend using a higher end document scanner or a scanner that takes good quality images. The following are some important tips for scanning and saving form images:

  • Don't use image enhancing filters, such as a sharpening filter.
  • Some scanners with automatic document feeders scan images in a non-perfect straight line (ie, the image appears to “bow”). If your scanner does this, it would be wize to get a better scanner.
  • If the image is blurry, you require a better scanner.
  • If you use a flatbed scanner and the foam is worn away, this may cause black spots or blurry patches. The paper must be held firmly against the glass to take a good image. You require a better scanner.
  • Fax machines take low resolution images, though it is possible to increase the size of everything in the form, we don't recommend using them to take images for use with FormReturn.
  • If you have problems with detection, increase the DPI of your scanner up to 300 DPI. If you still have problems, increase the size of your barcodes and fragment areas in FormReturn. If you still have problems, invest in a better scanner.

Faster Scanning and Processing

Using a quality document scanner, with an automatic document feeder will save you time and effort and the form images will be sharp and recognizable by FormReturn.

Quality high speed document scanners, flatbed scanners and recent model photocopiers are all imaging devices supported by FormReturn. Images scanned in color are recommended for detection by FormReturn, because they are sharper than black and white, 1 bit images.

Black and white scanned images will be faster to process in FormReturn but they won't be as sharp as color images. If you must scan in Black and White, the Recognition Settings of FormReturn may have to be played around with to get accurate detection of response marks.

The lowest possible resolution setting on your scanner, without affecting the quality of the scanned images, will mean forms will take less time to scan, take up less space on your computer and process faster in FormReturn. (A Test Preview will determine the best setting for your scanner).

Although it is possible to use other imaging devices such as a fax or a digital camera, they are not recommended or supported by FormReturn as these types of images could cause inaccuracy to captured data.


How to Scan Forms Manually

When you are ready to scan your forms, verify the settings of your scanner. Set your scanner to scan form images at a resolution between 300 dpi 400 dpi (dots per inch), but this setting will depend on the quality of your scanner. (A Test Preview will determine the best setting for your scanner) A quality scanner can be set at a lower resolution which means faster scanning and processing of forms. You may need to play around with the scanner's settings if the scanned form images are not recognized by FormReturn's processor.

To upload a scanned image or a number of scanned images, follow the instructions on how to upload a scanned image from the processing queue.


Using the Scan Forms Button

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The Scan Forms button in the Application Toolbar will start FormReturn scanning automatically on Twain compatible scanners.

If you have a TWAIN compliant scanner you can click the Scan Forms button, to start scanning and processing forms.

TWAIN (Technology Without An Important Name) is technology that connects FormReturn to your scanner so they can communicate to get the correct type of image, which will automatically be saved on your computer and automatically sent to the Processing Queue.

This means full automation of form processing once the forms have be placed in the scanner.