Frequently Asked Questions - Digital Office Pro

General Information

1:  What is a digital office?

2:  What are the benefits of a digital office?

3:  How much disk space do imaging systems require?

4:  Is there more than one type of Adobe Acrobat or "pdf" file?

5:  What special software is required for an imaging system?

6:  Is Adobe Acrobat Reader sufficient?

7:  Can I use Digital Office Pro to store and retrieve my office documents that are not part of client files?

8:  What is the Digital Office Pro system?

9: Can I share the Digital Office Pro software and system with others?
 
Scanning

1:  What is scanning or Document Imaging?

2:  Are all scanners suitable for Document Imaging?

3:  Are there different imaging formats?

4:  What factors can affect the size of the image file?

5:  What is DPI and what DPI should I use?

6:  What special hardware do I need to use an imaging system?

7:  What scanners are supported by Digital Office Pro?
Use

1:  What is optical character recognition?

2:  When would I use OCR?

3:  If I OCR a document will I lose the original image file?

4:   Once documents are stored in the Digital File Room, how do I retrieve them?

5:   Does Digital Office Pro integrate with systems that allow the online filing of pleadings, such as CourtLink/JusticeLink and the Electronic Filing System being implemented by the Federal Courts and Bankruptcy Courts?

6:  What is the Digital Office Pro Database and why is it important?

7:  Can I save images directly into my Digital File Room without using the File Storage Interface?

8:  How can I log a digital document in the Digital Office Pro database?

9:  What should I do with e-mails I receive or send?
 
General Information

Q:  What is a digital office?
A: A digital office is a working environment in which information is stored and organized electronically and is readily retrievable. Document imaging allows computer users to view a computer-generated image of documents instead of the original paper. By creating this electronic document, users can view and share (if networked) images of the documents without having to handle the physical paper. This allows the original documents to be filed in a secure place, which prevents the mishandling and loss of the documents through normal everyday use, saves time spent searching for documents, and conserves office storage space, among many other benefits.

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Q: What are the benefits of a digital office?

A: The advantages of a digital office include:
  • Far lower operating costs.
  • Elimination of lost or misplaced documents.
  • Allowing more than one employee to view the same documents simultaneously.
  • Elimination of time wasted trying to locate documents.
  • Reduced costs of off-site or long term storage and retrieval of documents.
  • Reduced office space required for filing cabinets or boxes of documents.
  • Reduced risk associated with fire or theft of documents.
  • Long-term retention of documents.
  • Greater efficiency associated with document retrieval.
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Q: How much disk space do imaging systems require?

A: A typical average printed page will translate into approximately 35 to 50 kilobytes of disk space. Therefore, a gigabyte of disk drive space would contain somewhere in the range of 20,000 pages.

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Q: Is there more than one type of Adobe Acrobat or "pdf" file?

A: Yes. Acrobat files can be "Image Only", "pdf Normal" and "Image with Hidden Text." See Adobe Acrobat Guide for more information.

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Q: What special software is required for an imaging system?
A: If you are operating in a Windows environment, Digital Office Pro includes all of the software you need. Only Adobe Acrobat must be purchased separately. In addition, certain features of Digital Office Pro are designed to integrate with programs contained in Microsoft Office. In order to take full advantage of these features, MS Office is required. Digital Office Pro integrates with Microsoft Exchange Server.

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Q: Is Adobe Acrobat Reader sufficient?

A: No. You need to purchase the full version of Adobe Acrobat. The program is relatively inexpensive and performs many necessary functions that are not available with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

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Q: Can I use Digital Office Pro to store and retrieve office documents that are not part of client files?

A: Yes. Digital Office Pro is the best way to store, manage and retrieve all of your accounting and business documents.

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Q: What is the Digital Office Pro system?

A: Digital Office Pro is much more than just computer software. It is an Electronic Filing System (EFS) that is part of a sophisticated set of business processes and procedures that will assist you in implementing a paperless office system. Training and education in the implementation and use of a digital office is an integral part of the system and Digital Office Pro therefore includes extensive help files that explain in detail both the software and other aspects of the complete system.

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Q: Can I share the Digital Office Pro software and system with others?

A: Your License Agreement with Digital Office Systems, LLC restricts your use of the software. The License Agreement permits each user to install the software on their desktop computer and their laptop or home computer without additional cost.

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Scanning

Q: What is scanning or Document Imaging?

A: Document Imaging is the process of converting images on paper into electronic images through the use of a scanner.

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Q: Are all scanners suitable for Document Imaging?
A: No. Scanners have developed to perform two different functions, scanning of photographs or other graphic images, and scanning of documents. Photographic scanners or “flatbed scanners” have been engineered primarily to scan and save a single image at a time, usually in color and at high resolutions. Document scanners or “sheet feed scanners,” on the other hand, are engineered for the scanning of documents. Sheet feed scanners are designed with integrated automatic document feeders, operate at lower resolutions and often scan only in black and white. Generally, consumer quality flatbed scanners are less expensive than document scanners that are designed for business use. Recently, flatbed scanner manufacturers have added small automatic document feeders to flatbed scanners and are marketing the machines as small document scanners. However, most of these scanners are not suited to even small Document Imaging applications.

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Q: Are there different imaging formats?

A: Yes, there are many different formats of imaged documents. The most common of these formats is Adobe Acrobat “pdf.” For business applications, the Adobe Acrobat format that has gained by far the widest acceptance and use.

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Q: What factors can affect the size of the image file?

A: Many factors can affect the final size of the image file including the scanner being used, the scanning resolution, whether the document is being saved in black and white or in color and type of “pdf” file being created.

Generally, scanning documents at between 200 and 300 DPI produces an adequate image quality while keeping the size of the image files manageable. Increasing the scanning resolution above 200 to 300 DPI will significantly increase the size of your image files. For most purposes, scanning documents in black and white rather than color is preferable. Scanning documents in color will significantly increase the size of your image files. This is true even if the document contains only black and white text.

In addition, the manner in which images are stored in Adobe Acrobat also affect file size. Acrobat “Normal” files are significantly smaller than the “Image Only” and the “Image with Hidden Text” files.

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Q: What is DPI and what DPI should I use?

A: DPI refers to dots per inch and is a measure of the scanning resolutions. For most uses, 200 to 300 DPI is an adequate resolution for Document Imaging.

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Q: What special hardware do I need to use an imaging system?

A: The only hardware you will require is a document scanner and a desktop computer running Windows 98SE or higher with adequate storage space for the image files. For a typical lawyer, six gigabytes of storage space per year should be adequate.

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Q: What scanners are supported by Digital Office Pro?

A: Digital Office Pro is compatible with any TWAIN compliant document scanner. ISIS protocols are not currently supported. Flatbed scanners meant primarily for photographs, including most "three-in-one" machines, process multi-page documents only very awkwardly. They are not suitable for even moderate business use and are therefore not recommended for use with Digital Office Pro.

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Q: What are the advantages of scanning documents with the Digital Office Pro Interface as opposed to scanning directly into the Adobe Acrobat program?

A: The Digital Office Pro Interface offers several advantages over scanning documents directly into Adobe Acrobat including the following:

1. The Digital Office Pro Interface automatically records Document Data in the Documents, permitting the creation of ad hoc databases with Digital Office Pro.

2. The Digital Office Pro Interface is designed for repetitive scanning operations.

3. Use of the Digital Office Pro Interface generally produces smaller file sizes as compared to documents scanned directly into Adobe Acrobat.

4. The Digital Office Pro Interface is compatible with a wider range of scanning devices.

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Use

Q: What is optical character recognition?

A: Optical character recognition (“OCR”) is the process of converting graphical images of text into searchable text files. The full version of Adobe Acrobat permits you to OCR documents using the Adobe Acrobat Capture plug-in. The Capture plug-in was included in Adobe Acrobat 4 and can be downloaded for Adobe Acrobat 5. See the Adobe Acrobat Guide related to Converting Scanned Documents to “pdf.” However, when using the Digital Office Pro System, OCR is not routinely performed on each document and is not required.

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Q: When would I use OCR?

A: OCR is typically used in two circumstances. The first is when you want to convert a document from a graphic image into a word processing document for editing. For example, if someone sends you a paper copy of a contract for review, you can OCR the contract and then make the changes you desire in Word or WordPerfect. Adobe Acrobat allows a “pdf” Image Only file to be “captured” through OCR. The resulting text can be copied to any word processing program via the Windows Clipboard. In Adobe Acrobat 5, the file can also be saved in Rich Text Format, which can be edited by most word processing programs.

The second situation in which OCR is useful is when you want the text of the document to be searchable. That might be the case, for example, with trial exhibits or deposition transcripts. Adobe Acrobat allows for the use of the "Image with Hidden Text" format, the Adobe Acrobat file contains both the original image and searchable text in a single document.

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Q: If I OCR a document will I lose the original image file?

A: Not necessarily. With the Adobe Acrobat “Image with Hidden Text” format, you maintain the original image file, which is your permanent record of the document received or sent out. The text created as a result of the OCR is hidden, but can be searched or copied to the Windows Clipboard.

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Q: Once documents are stored in the Digital File Room, how do I retrieve them?

A: Documents can be retrieved in the following ways:
1. Using the Digital Office Pro File Management Tool allows direct access to hierarchically arranged files. The File Management Tool also permits sophisticated database searches of numerous attributes of documents stored in the Digital File Room;

2. Opening the Document directly through use of the “Open” feature of Adobe Acrobat; or

3. Opening the Document using Windows Explorer.

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Q: Does Digital Office Pro integrate with systems that allow the online filing of pleadings, such as CourtLink/JusticeLink and the Electronic Filing System being implemented by the Federal Courts and Bankruptcy Courts?

A: Yes. Digital Office Pro integrates seamlessly with an electronic pleading filing system sharing the common Adobe Acrobat or “pdf” file format.

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Q: What is the Digital Office Pro Database and why is it important?

A: The Digital Office Pro Database is a searchable database containing information regarding all of the documents stored in your Digital File Room. If you use the suggested directory structures, much of the information regarding your digital documents is automatically recorded for you. The Digital Office Pro Database then provides a way to search your documents and information regarding the documents.

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Q: Can I save images directly into my Digital File Room without using the File Storage Interface?

A: Yes, however, the digital documents saved into your Digital File Room will not be logged into the Digital Office Pro database.

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Q: How can I log a digital document in the Digital Office Pro database?

A: When you save a document into your Digital File Room using the File Storage Interface the document is automatically logged into the Digital Office Pro database. In addition, the Digital Office Pro File Management Tool automatically scans each folder prior to displaying the contents of the folder. If a digital document is stored in the folder that is not contained in the database, the File Management Tool automatically logs the new document into the database. In addition, the Digital Office Pro contains a database agent that also detects files that are not logged into the database and automatically updates the database.

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Q: What should I do with e-mails I receive or send?

A: The Digital Office Pro system includes unique features that permit the automatic capture of both incoming and outgoing email messages and their attachments. The email messages are then filed in the Digital File Room using the File Storage Interface, just like any other correspondence. This sophisticated feature allows you to include attachments with the email. The attachments can be stored either in their native format or automatically converted to Adobe Acrobat “pdf” format and appended to the end of the email.

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