Best Practices for Creating & Saving Image Files

In order for Captricity to digitize your data, you will need to create digital copies of your filled-in paper forms. You can convert paper documents to image files by scanning or taking pictures of the forms and then uploading the files to your computer or to a cloud-based storage system. 

Creating Image Files 

We recommend using a scanner to generate images if possible. When scanning, select an image resolution of 75 DPI or higher - we recommend 100 DPI

If you're using a camera to generate images of your forms, please keep the following tips in mind:

  • Smooth and flatten the paper as much as possible.
  • Cast an even, diffuse light on the paper to avoid shadows. Try using a lamp at a slight distance or putting tissue paper over the flash.
  • Hold the camera as still and as flat as possible to get a clear image. Check to make sure the form is not rotated or at an angle. A tripod or copy stand can be helpful. 
  • Capture the whole page, including edges, against a solid (preferably white) background. Make sure the form (including edges) takes up the full frame.
  • Use a mid-range image resolution (like 1200 x 1600) for the best balance of legibility and upload time. Use the greatest optical zoom to cut lens distortion. 

Be sure to save your files in the PNG, TIFF, GIF, JPG, or PDF format! If your form is saved as another file type, you will need to export/save it as one of these image file types. If your original form is in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, CSPro, CASES, Adobe Pagemaker or another similar program, you can convert the file to PDF through one of the "Print" options within the program. The process varies across programs, so please consult your program's help guide for more information on converting files. 

Naming and Saving Image files

File names become row headers in the digitized results file, so name your files in a way that will be most relevant for you while working with your data. Cameras and scanners automatically number files sequentially ( such as IMG_1, IMG_2, IMG_3). These default names are fine unless you want more specific file names for your own purposes. 

Each form image does not have to be saved as a separate file. Captricity arranges Batch files alphanumerically by file name into sets based on the number of pages in your Template.

If you have a multipage form spread across multiple files, be sure to name the files so that they are in the correct order when arranged alphabetically. For example, for a three-page Template, these nine files will become the following three sets, regardless of the order in which the files were uploaded to the Batch:

Set 1: IMG_1, IMG_2, IMG_3
Set 2: IMG_75, IMG_125, IMG_200
Set 3: IMG_apple, IMG_orange, IMG_pear 

Let's look at another example using a two-page Template. If you uploaded Files A1 and B1 and then later added Files A2 and B2 to the same Batch, Captricity will alphabetize and group the files as A1-A2 and B1-B2.

Note: You can change how Captricity splits up your multipage files through a Template's settings. 

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