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International Digital Solutions Ltd
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FAQ's

FAQ’s

Document Scanning

What is document scanning?

Document scanning is the process of using document scanning software and high-speed document scanners to convert paper documents into electronic image format. These electronic images can then be indexed and stored in a document storage system which gives your users the ability to search through millions of documents in a matter of seconds.

How are documents indexed?

Documents are indexed based upon customised criteria set by you. Scanned files can be indexed by client name, ref number, invoice number etc, as pre-defined by you.Full Text indexing can be performed using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) method. We can create a text file of your complete image. This allows the user to find any word (or part of a word ) that occurs in a document! In other words, using this technique you can search for document images by their content.

What types of documents can be scanned?

There is virtually no limit to the type of document that can be scanned. We can handle sizes ranging from a small receipt to as large as 36 inches wide technical drawing. “Documents” also describes pictures, posters, brochures, etc.. all of which can be scanned to your needs.

How about Document Preparation?

Document Preparation means that the paper document is “prepared” to go through the scanning equipment. IDSL offers this service at a nominal fee. Prepping documents requires that all the staples and other paper fasteners have been removed from the files and the pages are not excessively wrinkled, torn or otherwise damaged.

Wouldn’t I be best doing my own scanning rather than outsourcing it?

Possibly! If you have small daily volumes of documents which need a quick turnaround time then it is generally best to do it yourself on a small desktop scanner. We can advise on which scanner would best suit your requirements.Larger volumes of documents (i.e. many thousands) are generally best outsourced to a professional scanning company. IDSL use very high quality and high-speed scanners, which generate excellent image quality and keep costs down due to their high speed. You also benefit from our pre-existing QA procedures, which would take time and training to implement in house.

We don’t want our documents to leave site but we don’t have the capability to scan them ourselves. What do we do?

IDSL offers an on-site scanning service where we scan in documents using our own staff and equipment at your offices.

Document Conversion

What is the cost of document conversion to CD-Rom?

The cost will depend on the type of conversion and retrieval scheme which best suits your needs. We can assist you in compiling a plan that meets your goals and budget.

Do you offer a searchable database of my documents?

Absolutely! You may search by either having your documents OCR’d (Optical Character Recognition) whereby each word becomes the “index” allowing you to search by keyword or part of a keyword (recommended for clean documents) or you may have the document manually indexed based using customized criteria. An example of this would be “file name” (Vendor), “invoice number”, “date”, etc.. This enables you to search your database with ease and confidence.

What file format are the scanned pages?

IDSL offers many file formats, but we recommend black and white Group 4 TIFF or PDF for most document storage applications due to its wide support by software developers, small file size, and ability to store multi page documents in one file. Other image formats are available for full color or special applications. If you require a special format, then please ask.

Do you OCR documents and convert them to MS Word, Excel and Access Format? What is the accuracy? How about accuracy and costs?

IDSL offers paper document conversion to editable file formats such as word processing files, Excel or Access commonly called OCR or Optical Character Recognition. Accuracy is entirely dependent on the quality of the original. Claims by OCR software vendors for uncorrected documents are 99.7% accuracy with a high-quality original but expect average of 95-99% based on industry experience. A document produced by a laser printer or printing press with standard fonts on white paper is considered a high-quality original. Photocopies, fax, low-resolution printouts, documents with non-standard fonts such as script, and documents with poor contrast due to similar colors of paper and ink, are all considered low-quality for the purposes of OCR and will probably require manual processing to improve accuracy. We can provide either one-pass OCR processing on a scanned image without correction, or we can completely correct the OCR results.

Document Retrieval

Do I need special training to use a document CD?

No special training is required to view or print the documents when using intuitive software such as “Imaging” or IDSL CDs. When we provide you with IDSL software, we include a user guide as part of the document database. Most computer users are able to get results immediately.

Are there any hardware and software requirements?

You should have a Pentium Class PC or higher; 32 Mb RAM, 35 Mb available hard disk space, 8x CD-Rom drive, Windows 95/98 or Windows
NT/2000.Eastman Software’s “Imaging” (also known as Wang Imaging or Kodak Imaging) is included under the Accessories menu in Windows 95 and 98 and is an excellent program for viewing, copying, and printing single or multi-page TIFF files. If you don’t find it installed on your system, check Windows Setup. It is probably on your Windows installation CD (it is also available for free download from Eastman Software). We recommend it highly and it comes at no additional expense to you. We can also provide you with Search and Retrieval software at no charge.

After document scanning process, how do I access and use it?

After the document imaging process is complete, retrieval is quite simple. There are several possibilities for your use:
- You can read the document on your computer’s monitor using any image viewer
- You can fax the documents using your computer’s fax-modem
- With Internet access, you can email the document
- Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, you can convert the document images into editable text for use with word processing and spreadsheet software
- You can use your printer to print the entire document, or only the pages you need at that time
- You can use the IDSL Search and Retrieval engine which is provided by IDSL to you at no charge

How can my company allow for more than one person at a time to access our scanned documents?

If your office has a LAN (local area network) or WAN (wide area network), document CD’s may be placed in CD-ROM players that are accessible on the network. You can also have your IT manager copy the files to your server’s hard drives for access across your network. Although we can provide you with free Search and Retrieval software. This only allows single user access. For Network or Multi-User access then Licensing Fees may apply.

Document Storage

How many documents can fit on one CD?

This will vary to a large extent according to the information on each page but typically 20-30 archive boxes of A4 documents can fit on one CD-ROM. You can see now the potential for cutting back those office floor space costs! This will let you find your document without leaving your desk and your files will be at your finger tips. The fact that the documents are on a CD means that you may be able to eliminate all those dusty files and file cabinets and vastly reduce the cost of storage. You can transport millions of electronic documents in your briefcase. Try that with paper.

Don’t I need to keep the original documents?

In virtually all cases these days, electronic scanned documents are acceptable by Government Agencies such as HM Customs, Inland Revenue and Courts of Law. The key aspect is to ensure that the documents can be proven to have been scanned, stored and managed with ‘due care and diligence’. New standards such as BS DISC PD0008 assist in this process. All IDSL’s scanning work follows these guidelines.

After document scanning can I change the document?

Not directly onto the CD. By its nature it is a read-only medium (Write Once Read Many or “WORM” for short). This feature keeps others from deleting or changing your originals and is usually required if the images are to be used for legal purposes. You can annotate or otherwise edit the documents once you copy them to your hard drive or other read/write media. Such annotations are stored as so-called overlays and do not alter the original image in any way.

What if I want to add more documents to my IDSL CD that I had made last year?

If there is sufficient room, we can add to your existing IDSL CD. Or, we can create another CD that is still part of the same database.

Service Bureau General

Is it proprietary technology?

No. Our Document Scanning Services adhere to accepted industry standards. Image files are stored as standard TIFF files. This means that they can be viewed with an image viewer. We provide whatever database system you require.

Do I need to make a contract?

Our proposal for your job becomes your contract should you choose to accept it. For ongoing document scanning services or document conversion services, IDSL will provide a contract with special rates that result in significant savings.

Do you return the original documents?

Yes we do. All transportation costs are paid for by the customer. If you need to dispose of the originals, enquire about document destruction with an IDSL representative.

Microfilm/Microfiche Conversion

What about microfilm conversion services?

We can convert your microfilm to electronic images stored on CD-R/DVD. You will be able to access and retrieve from your computer as if it were a scanned paper document.

What is the benefit of microfilm conversion?

Microfilm conversion allows the data to be accessed from multiple users directly from their PC, intranet or internet. It also allows for search features dramatically reducing the “find” time for your staff. You are then able to print, send, or email single images as desired.

What if my microfilm is quite old?

Microfilm conversion has proven to be quite effective, even on “old” microfilm. The microfilm conversion process allows the attendant to manually enhance the quality of an image as needed to extract the best image possible.

Aperture Card Conversion

What is an aperture card?

An aperture card is a single 35mm microfilm picture mounted on a data card that looks much like a punched data card. Aperture cards are normally used for large format drawings. Most aperture cards are punched with something called Hollerith data. This data contains information which is typically a drawing number and revision number. When your cards are converted, our equipment reads this data and can use the data to either name the converted image file, or to produce a data file with the information.

What is the benefit of aperture card conversion?

Aperture card conversion allows the data to be accessed from multiple users directly from their PC, intranet or internet. It also allows for search features dramatically reducing the “find” time for your staff. You are then able to print, send, or subfile single images as desired.

What if my aperture cards are quite old?

Aperture card conversion has proven to be quite effective, even on “old” aperture cards. The aperture card conversion process allows the attendant to manually enhance the quality of an image as needed to extract the best image possible.
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Contact Us - Call our National Sales Line: 0800 334 5792 or Send us an email

Unit B3/6J
26 Abercorn Avenue
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JL


Tel - 0141 882 8473
Fax - 0141 887 4777
Centre Point
Floor 16
103 New Oxford Street
London, England
WC1A 1DD

Tel - 0800 334 5792
Fax - 0203 102 5663
London - Click for details