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Easy/Urgent -- Which tool to use

Posted on 2000-03-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-06
Hi:

A friend of mine wants to enter data into scanned forms electronically.  Is there a tool out there that would allow me to scan a form, then identify certain controls (or fields) on that form to which I can print text programmatically?  Are there any tools in which I can use the API's to do this?  Comments/suggestions would be appreciated!

--Abdul
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Question by:rafay092498
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2584451
No tools are going to recognize fields within that scanned image. As far as your computer and any programs are concerned that scanned image is just a mish-mash of dots on a screen. You can however use any plain old image editor with text capabilities such as photoshop to simply insert text wherever you want it.

If you were thinking about Optical Character Recognition, its more hassle than its worth and doesnt work nearly as well as advertised.
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by:rafay092498
ID: 2584488
I know that as an "image", these fields would NOT be recognized.  I want to know if there is any other way of doing what I am trying to do!
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2584489
Yes there is. As mentioned above you would use an image editor to put the text in.
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MorFF earned 150 total points
ID: 2585008
If I'm reading your question correctly, you want to ENTER data electronically, as opposed to READ data from a previously completed form.

Assuming this is the case then there is more than one thing to consider here;

Data entry and then data storage.

An example of how to do it would be;

Scan your paper form, then put it as the background image on a VB form (I think it needs to be a bmp for VB but not 100% sure).  then paint your data entry controls over the top of the data entry fields on the form - you can make them flat and borderless if you want to keep the look and feel of the paper form.

Next you need to programatically cope with the data being entered, ie validation - you don't want the user to be able to enter invalid data.

Finally you prolly want a database of sorts sitting behind the VB form, maybe Access, to hold the data once it's been keyed in and validated.

Cheers - MorFF
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Author Comment

by:rafay092498
ID: 2586019
Thanks.  I guess this will do the trick!

--Abdul
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