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Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

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    Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

    Hello there,
    Not sure if this is the correct spot for this question so if not please advise otherwise.

    I am trying to show a potential new user of Alpha Software how you can use an existing image of a form that you might have and overlay form fields over that image. I remember there was a video or two put out about this a couple of years ago but I cant seem to find the information. Its basically the same concept as making a PDF form editable and I think the video showed an IRS type form as an example.

    Thank you in advance...

    Tommy B

    #### Found it#### it can be done with the UX Absolute Layout Function.
    Last edited by tommyrotten; 03-29-2017, 07:46 PM. Reason: Found the answer

    Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

    It's a nice feature, but before you get too deep, search this board for

    Absolute Layout background

    and read, at least, the first two or three threads. If you have tightly-packed controls and/or small close lines, this can be a real bear to achieve.


      Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry
      Mike Brown - Contact Me
      Programmatic Technologies, LLC
      Independent Developer & Consultant

      My Alpha Components​​​


        Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

        Thank you all for the advise. As I read, a common theme is that there are issues with the resolution and sizing of the images that are used. Other than just building an HTML mashup, I have a few questions for those that have had success with using absolute layouts.

        What is the best resolution (as in DPI) for an image?
        What is the best image file type?
        Any tips or tricks to take a customers form that is an 8.5 x 11 and use an image of it?


          Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

          I had better luck, creating my own data entry form and then creating a report with the offline paper form as the background - then print to PDF. My thoughts are that unless it gets printed their form is not all that necessary but could be fetched and displayed at anytime after the data entry occurred. Since I do ONLY web apps this means that the form can be filled out on a desktop, tablet or mobile device without having to worry about the 8.5 X 11 inch form in design or implementation of input. Screen size seems to dictate procedure even when you have a known final dimension. Good luck!
          NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at what was I saying?"


            Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

            You can store your boilerplate as a PDF and then create a normal Alpha report with just the data, in proper position to match the form. Then run that report, save to PDF, then fire the function PDF_Merge(), like this

            Result_Flag = PDF_Merge(C Base_File ,C Merge_File [,C Result_File])

            That will place the merge_file PDF on top of the base_file PDF and kick out a new file named results_file
            Steve Wood
            See my profile on IADN


              Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

              I put the PDF as the watermark. Then the Alpha report will print on top of that. Works great!


                Re: Use customers existing paper form as backgrond and overlay components for data entry

                Any ideas why I would get the errors below (using the debugging features of stated browsers) when using an image as the background of an absolute layout form inside a UX that is inside a tabbed UI, but I also have a different UX component that sits on an a5w page by itself (this is where an outside user can fill out the form) and I don't get this error. I've tried re-adding the image to the project with different names and file types (the image is a PNG) to no avail. Really the most peculiar thing is that it works just fine on the standalone a5w page (no errors and the image renders as the background).

                Failed to load resource: unsupported URL a5res:application_first_page.png

                GET a5res:application_first_page.png net::ERR_UNKNOWN_URL_SCHEME