Working with FormPro

Defining a form

Before you can begin to process forms you must scan an empty form sheet first and divide its image into reading areas. Each of these areas can be assigned several properties like recognition type (OCR, ICR, OMR, bar code), character set, a look-up list and a database field.

In the case of multiple-choice questions (e.g. good / satisfactory / bad) you can assign multiple zones to one database field. When evaluating the forms the name of the checked field will be written into the database.

Scanning the empty form

Processing forms

The form processing itself involves a series of steps. The first step is the adjustment of the scanned formto match the original form template as closely as possible. This is very important, especially when using an ADF, as the pages will often be slightly skewed or distorted. To compensate for these effects FormPro will use image information obtained from the empty form.

During the second processing step all pre-printed information will be removed so that it cannot hinder the actual reading process. This filtering is done by an image comparison or by using the drop-out colour feature of the scanner. In the final step of the processing the form data will be evaluated by using the integrated OCRand ICR engines.

Capturing the form data

FormPro can, of course, also read multi-page forms as are often used in interviews. In this case, the individual pages will be scanned one after the other or in sorted groups and automatically be combined into complete records. For reading both sides of a page a duplex scanner can be used.

In some applications several types of forms must be processed together as it would mean too much effort to separate them before scanning. In such cases FormPro can automatically distinguish the forms by using certain features like headlines or bar codes. After the identification the processing will continue as usual. Each type of form can, of course, be connected with a different database.

For archiving the captured forms data FormPro provides support for virtually all ODBC compliant database formats. Alternatively, text files or custom file formats can be generated.