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Thread: Scanned forms

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  1. Star Lounger
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    Scanned forms

    <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>
    I wish to scan a form into Word - I don't have any OCR software - and then set it up so that I can "fill in" the boxes on the form and then print out a completed form. There is an article on this in (Aust) PC MAGAZINE (Dec/Jan 2000) - which is a lift from their USA mag OCT 1999 - but have not been successful in achieving my aims. (The article does not go into a lot of depth and I NEED depth!) I have had a hunt through the Knowledge Base and searched around the web for further articles but with limited success. All I really want is if anyone knows where there is some information on this topic, could they point me in its direction please.
    John

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  3. CarlaC
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    Re: Scanned forms

    I never have any luck scanning in forms. Our scanner doesn't like the boxes and lines. My solution is to create a table and use cells for lines, hiding all of the unwanted gridlines. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

  4. BAM
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Hi johnb,

    Perhaps you can expand on the missing information.

    What do you have so far?

    Do you want to print the entire form in Word?

    Do you want to print just the data filled in on the Word form so it can be printed on a preprinted form?

  5. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Thanks for the tip Carla. I've been sidetracked lately and haven't done much on the Word thing. But I think your way is the way to go. Ta
    John

  6. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Hi BAM,

    Thanks for your interest. I deliberately didn't expand too much on what I am trying to achieve because I didn't want to bore people with the details! However...
    I have a friend who is currently filling in a pre-printed form using a typewriter. What I was trying to achieve was to have the pre-printed form appear on the screen and allow her to fill in the boxes on the form. When that is done she would send the whole lot to the printer and a completed form would be printed out.

    But I have now decided that it is all to complicated, leaves too much room for a user to screw it up and it will chew up too much ink producing a form that has already been printed.

    So what I want to achieve now is to just allow her to enter the data, insert the pre-printed form into the printer and print on it. I have set up a mail merge document with an associated data form which allows her to enter the data. Through trial and error I have set up the main document to print on the pre-printed form in the correct locations. It works but I do wonder if there is a better way/easier - dare I say, more professional! - way.

    Thanks for you help.

    John

  7. BAM
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Hi John,

    The reason I wanted the details is because this can be done several ways:

    Recreating the form using tables as Carla recommended, along with Word form fields. In a protected state, the form is relatively easy for a user to work with. They just press <Tab> and move from field to field and can not alter your layout. (This is actually the best method, although time consuming.)

    A scanned the image of the form placed it in the Header/Footer layer, Word form fields in frames placed in the appropriate locations and print the entire form, image and all. (This is the easiest to setup, but you need a good scanned image.)

    Recreate the basic structure of the form, add Word form fields, and print just the data typed in the form fields on an existing pre-printed form. In Tools/Options/Print, there is an option for "Print data only for forms" This will print just the data in the form fields in the correct location so you can feed the pre-printed form through the printer. (This can be difficult to setup depending on the complexity of the form.)

    It sounds like you have a method in place, however if you want any of the above expanded on, just let us know and we

  8. Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Some thoughts...

    1) Scan the form in low resolution b/w and save as bmp.
    2) In Word, create a new template for the form.
    3) Insert the picture using - link to option (this will require that template and picture keep same relative file paths but will save lots of disk space). Position picture (wrapping) to "behind text"
    4) Size and position picture so that it prints out right on top of preprinted form. You can print initial runs on blank paper and just hold on top of each other in front of light to compare.
    5) Set print option to not print drawing objects.
    6) Insert a frame to hold your first form field.
    7) Insert form field using forms toolbar.
    8) Repeat 6 & 7 as needed except REF fields for any repeated information.
    9) You may be able to use borderless tables instead of frames to hold some or all of your fields. Make sure to format the cells to have a fixed height & width. See <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/TblsFldsFms/LinesInForms.htm> I'm designing a form that needs to have
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  9. gyej
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    Re: Scanned forms

    I have done this, but it's a little work, and not great quality, but it works!! First, scan the document into a program (I prefer Adobe Acrobat). Then select the form with the graphics selection tool, and paste it into Word. Then format the picture to fit the page (outside of margins). Then right click on the picture and go to Order and select Send Behind Text. This will allow you to type over the form like you would normally type in Word. It is up to you to line everything up where it should be, and you will use Format Paragraph a lot to get the vertical spacing right for each line, but this will work, and it will look the way you need it to. Hint: Once you've scanned in the document, enter "dummy" info for the first time. This way, whenever you need to fill out this form, the formatting is already done, and it's just a matter ot replacing the text. Good luck.

  10. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Thanks BAM. I intend trying all of your suggestions. I'll get back to you for more detail I'm sure!
    Thanks again
    John

  11. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Thank you Charles for your help. I'll give it a go and also check out the links you have given me.
    Thanks again.
    John

  12. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Thanks gyej!
    I'll give it a go.
    Ciao John

  13. Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    John,

    Let us know which way works for you.

    I've used the "Image behind" technique- but as a way of building a form which was a good replica of the scanned image, rather than a way of using the scanned image permanently. Having the scanned image as background, I could fairly quickly create a fair copy in text without having to have a huge bitmap (or gif or jpeg) for each copy of the document.

    For me (as a just fair touch typist) I could recreate a form layout in about 20 minutes, with about another 20 minutes for fine tuning. As I was creating a 50-page document based on scanned images, it proved effective, and provided a small final result.

    After "copying" the form, I used form fields to enable filling in.

    It combines the suggestions you have been given so far.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  14. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    To BAM, Chas, gyej and Gwhitfield,

    Thankyou all for your advice and encouragement. Today I got a WORD book from the local library that had details about using form fields and I DID IT!!!!
    I now have a template that contains an image of the form, with the form fields sitting in front of it and its so easy to fill in. Then when I print it I suppress the image, insert a preprinted form into the printer and BINGO!! I just Love it!!!!!
    Thanks heaps.
    John

  15. BAM
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Hi John,

    Good for you!!

    If you find you need to suppress additional information from printing, go to Tools/Options/Print and select "Print Data Only for forms". This prints just the information you entered in the form fields.

    Also, this option is saved with the document, whereas turning off "Drawing objects" is a global setting and applies to any document you have open.

    If you want to automate this task, then you can intercept the FilePrint and FilePrintDefault commands with a couple of macros. That way all you have to do is click Print or File/Print and the option is turned on for you:

    Sub FilePrint()
    Dialogs(wdDialogFilePrint).Show
    With ActiveDocument
    .PrintFormsData = True
    End With
    End Sub

    Sub FilePrintDefault()
    ActiveDocument.PrintOut
    With ActiveDocument
    .PrintFormsData = True
    End With
    End Sub
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers!

  16. Star Lounger
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    Re: Scanned forms

    Hi BAM,

    Thanks for the tip about "drawing objects" being a global setting. I would have ended up pulling my hair out wondering why images aren't printing in other documents!
    A question. I define a form field as having, say, 20 text characters. However 20 m's take up more space on a line than 20 i's. Hence in some of the form fields, when the combination of characters whilst not longer than the form field size (it can't be) but is longer than the size of the cell in the table, it pushes other form fields on the "form" out of alignment. (yes the form is locked.) Is there any way I can stop this?
    Chas mentions frames in his suggestion. Having never used frames, is this an alternative?
    John

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