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SmartSoft Capture Part 1 – Using Lists to Help Make Scanning Smarter

Monday, October 31, 2016

SmartSoft Capture is a data capture software solution by SmartSoft, one of the leaders in data capture and document processing. The software can process form type documents, such as invoices, extract the form field information, and export the data to your FileHold document management system.

One of the great things about SmartSoft Capture is that it’s actually smart! As you process documents through the software, it learns things. What kind of things does it learn? It learns where to pick up information on a page whether it is at the top of the page, bottom of the page, left, right, on page 3 or wherever it can be read. It also learns where to pick up data on the page such as invoice numbers, totals, shipping addresses, cheque numbers, dates, PO numbers – pretty much anything (with the exception of barcodes and handwriting).

You may be asking yourself how is SmartSoft Capture so smart? Well, part of that smarty pants-ness comes from setting up “form templates”. What is a form template? It the template that is needed for each different type of document that you will be scanning or importing. For example, invoices, purchase orders, audit reports, cheques, service invoices, contracts, work orders, and so on would each need a defined form template. Each form template has “form fields” which are the bits of information that you want Capture to pick up from the pages such as invoice number, date, amount, address, name, and so on.

One of the things you can do to help make Capture smarter is to create lists of repetitive items. If you have a list of vendors, employee names, store locations, companies, or parts available, these can be uploaded into the system so that when Capture goes to acquire the information, it is able to match it up with an item from the list. This accounts for less error and more precision when capturing this type of information. Today’s blog post is going to show you how to create lists and import them into Capture.

Step 1 – Create the list

If you have a list of items that can be exported from another system, fantastic! Do that now.

If you don’t already have a list of items, that’s okay because you can create one.

Open Microsoft Excel or similar application and either create a new list or open the exported list. Once that is done, save it as a CSV file. It must be in CSV format or it cannot be uploaded into Capture.

CAUTION: If you are creating a list of items and the corresponding metadata field in FileHold is also a drop down list, then the CSV file list and the FileHold drop down list spelling must MATCH EXACTLY. If the spelling of the list items do not match exactly, then once the documents are imported into FileHold, the metadata field value will not be imported because they do not match.

Step 2 – Set up the form template

In Capture, set up your form template. Give the field ID name something that will be recognizable later. For example, if you are creating a list of companies, name the ID field FT_Company_Name. See the QuickStart Guide for more information.

Step 3 – Import the list

Once you are done setting up the form template, it is now time to import the list. Go to File > Import > Custom List.

Enter the name for the list. For example, Company Names.

For the field ID, select the field ID name you created in the form template. For example, FT_Company_Name.

SmartSoft Capture - List Import

Click Finish.

Select the CSV file that contains the list of items to import and click Open.

The list of items are shown. Skip the header if there is one in your CSV file.

SmartSoft Capture list import

Click Import. The list of company names is now bound to that field.

Step 4 – Managing the list

If the imported list needs to be modified, this is managed in the Capture settings. Go to Tools > Settings and select the Internal Database tab.

From here you add or remove items from the list, or clear the list entirely.

SmartSoft Capture - Internal database

Step 5 – Scan some documents

Once the form template and the lists have been set up, you’re now ready to scan.

If you discover that one of the list items is missing while processing documents that value can be added the list on the fly with a right-click. Once it has been added to the list, Capture will recognize and populate the value next time a similar document is scanned. How’s that for smart?

By the way, you’ll know if something is missing from your list if there is a red box around the form field.

SmartSoft Capture - Add to List

Need to delete a list?

Go to File >Import > Custom lists. Hold down CTRL on your keyboard and click on the list you want to delete. Select Yes to delete the list.

Stay tuned to the FileHold blog for more SmartSoft Capture tips and tricks!