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Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

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  • Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

    Is there a way to bring an existing paper form (such as a W2, etc.) into Alpha 5 v.4.5 and be able to use that as a template to make a report?

    For example, let's say I have information in my database and want a W2 printed out to look like the original W2, but with all the fields filled in. Rather than spend days formatting text and lines, etc so that it looks like the original form, I could just use the form in the report maker and inset the fields over it? I have done it the hard way with other types of forms with real good success, but I just had a birthday Sunday, and now am too old to continue to do it this way.

    Just wondering.

    Greg

  • #2
    RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

    Hi Greg

    This is just a thought; how about if you create the import as a bitmap and then put your fields onto it?

    Keith Hubert
    London
    Regards
    Keith Hubert
    Alpha Guild Member
    London.
    KHDB Management Systems
    Skype = keith.hubert


    For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

      Greg:

      Happy Birthday....

      I'm sure someone on the board will have better ideas, but here's what I tried. There's sofware out there to do this. I've used one called 'Pagis Pro'. With that you scan the form and the software creates little editable 'fields' where it thinks they should be. I.E. 'Name'[blank space] - the software would insert a field there on the space. Because it is not THAT inteligent it will place fields where you don't want them. You can then change, delete, and add your own fields. Greg, It's really a pain in the a__ but I can see that if you have masses of them to do it might be worth the time.

      As far as interfacing with Alpha for the field information, I don't know. I'll play with mine and see if it's possible. As it is, you fill in the fields manually within the Pagis software tabbing from field to field; save it there; and print it there. It's pretty clumsey, at best sizing the type size and field size to make it look right.

      Maybe I can get back with more. It's a great Idea you have.

      Ken

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

        Sounds like you need some specialty software
        such as "OmniForm" or "FormTool". These packages
        allow you to import a scanned document and create
        templates, so you can fill in the fields. I know that FormTool can work in a DBF format, which you could
        then use in Alpha Five.

        HTH,
        --Bob

        Comment


        • #5
          RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

          Ken and Bob:

          Thanks for the help. I will give it a try.

          Greg Williams

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

            Greg,

            I do it all the time (well at least occasionally). I normally scan a low resolution (about 75 dpi) BMP file in of the form. I then place it as as a bitmap object in the detail section of a report that has no other sections. I "Arrange" the bitmap to be the back object. I then print out a sample page of the report and make sure the horizontal and vertical scales are correct. If not, I stretch the image as needed.

            Then I just add all the fields, lines, logos etc. I want over the form image, and when I am done, I remove the background image.

            Finally, I set a top .25 inch margin at the top and bottom and remove .25" from the top and bottom of the detail section. This allows adjustment of the form portion by adjusting the margins up and down.

            When you need something aligned to the bottom of the page, I use a Page Footer for Detail section, and move the appropriate fields there from the detail section.


            Regards,

            Ira J. Perlow
            Computer Systems Design & Associates
            csda@mediaone.net
            Regards,

            Ira J. Perlow
            Computer Systems Design


            CSDA A5 Products
            New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
            CSDA Barcode Functions

            CSDA Code Utility
            CSDA Screen Capture


            Comment


            • #7
              RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

              Ira:

              When you say it it sounds so logical. Sounds doable to me.

              Thanks,

              Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                Ira:

                There you go again with a really good solution.

                I'll bet there's ONE THING you haven't tried...

                Sex, standing in a hammock?

                Ken

                Comment


                • #9
                  RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                  I have received an ordering form for a major supermarket to copy and
                  place fields into. This form has about 250 fields to enter into (and
                  it must be printed landscape on 1 11x8.5), the font is 6pt. My first
                  shot was to scan it and and save it in bitmap. That resulted in 95 megs, obviously not an option. My next shot was to recreate it in A5. I have it about
                  half done and it takes forever to load. Still looking for a viable way
                  to do it, FormTool sounds like it may be the way to go.

                  Harumphhhh,
                  efs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                    Edward:

                    What I ended up doing was bring the bitmap in, lay out text boxes with corresponding fields, and then I deleted the bitmap leaving nothing but my exact duplicate of the form with all the correct fields lined up.

                    Think that will work for you?

                    Greg Williams

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                      250 fields shouldn't take forever to load. If you have large bitmaps on it, you've obviously have scanned them in way too much resolution. Resolution for screen only needs to be 75 to 100 dpi, If going to a printer, then maybe higher. But remember, you don't need the whole form as an image, only those portions that can't be duplicated in A5 easily, so you use a bitmap. Bitmaps should typically be small, 1/2 meg would start to be large in my book, 5 megs would definitely be too big.

                      P.S. Ken - How do you know I haven't! :?)

                      Regards,

                      Ira J. Perlow
                      Computer Systems Design & Associates
                      csda@mediaone.net
                      Regards,

                      Ira J. Perlow
                      Computer Systems Design


                      CSDA A5 Products
                      New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
                      CSDA Barcode Functions

                      CSDA Code Utility
                      CSDA Screen Capture


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                        I have a few forms that are on NCR paper so I have to use an impact printer.
                        What I did was measure the placement of the field and set it into a blank form. I still have trouble with margins and things not lining up exactly.
                        The thing is I only have five of these forms that I have to deal with.

                        Ira's suggestion sound good -- if I get chance to try it I'll report back

                        Regards
                        Jim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Importing (scanning) forms into Alpha 5

                          Bob,

                          Have you figured the Database Setup from FormTool?
                          FormTool Database Connect.jpg

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