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  1. #1
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    Creating an Excel spreadsheet from a dot matrix printout

    I am not sure this is the correct forum for this subject, so please bear with me. I've been using Excel for years now, but I don't know if what I want to do can even be done.

    I have managed to talk someone out of a very large (roughly 200 pages, 50 lines each) printout that is turning into an invaluable research tool that I use A LOT, but as with almost any dot-matrix printout it has it's usage limitations. I am wondering now if there is a way with currently available technology to scan or otherwise copy such a document, and turn it into Excel (or other) spreadsheet format, and thus create a document that can be sorted and searched, and thus easier to use. I can scan it, but I am not aware of doing so that would leave me with anything readable in spreadsheet format, or at least not in the Excel 2007 I have installed.

    If there are any suggestions out there on a reasonable way of doing this, I'd sure be grateful if you would share them with me. I'm to the point where I am getting fleeting thoughts of simply transcribing 10,000 line items into a clean Excel 2007 spreadsheet, but that is sure not something that I want to do if there is a better way with today's technology.

    David E. Cann

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP sdckapr's Avatar
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    Many of the Scanners today have Optical Character recognition software. High contrast may help with the printout.

    Once you have it in a text format, you can import it into excel.

    Steve

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdckapr View Post
    Many of the Scanners today have Optical Character recognition software. High contrast may help with the printout.

    Once you have it in a text format, you can import it into excel.

    Steve
    Steve, my HP all in one will scan documents to numerous formats, including *.txt, *.rtf and searchable *.pdf. If I understand you correctly, then scanning the 200 or so pages to either of the first two (three?) should yield pages that when saved to HD could be then copied and pasted into an Excel spreadsheet, is that correct? I never thought of that, but methinks I'll have to give it a try for a few pages and see if I can make it work. :-)

    David E. Cann

  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP sdckapr's Avatar
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    I would try the TXT as the easiest to import. You will most likely need to look through it for things not translated correctly. A first run through after import with the spell-check may work. As mentioned before the better the contrast of white/black the better the recognition, so you may want to experiment with the scan settings, this can be important with some dot-matrix if the dots are not close enough together, but darkening often can "blur" the dots into appearing more solid adn making it easier to translate. You should also make sure the paper is square to the scanner to avoid any "slants" in letters which can make the conversion poorer.

    Good Luck,
    Steve

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