Electronic document archival has evolved far beyond the
simple days of scanning a paper document and saving it as an image or PDF. Nowadays,
many documents don't even start in physical form and could be one of many open or
proprietary formats. Adding to the disparity caused by varying file formats is
how and where files are stored. Many enterprises have their documents spread
around numerous "data islands" including local computers, networked
file shares and cloud services. Finally, the prevalence of mobile devices and
tablets which may or may not support some formats further reinforce the need
for standardized document archival.
Companies run on information, and as digital archives grow in
both scale and diversity the ability to efficiently and accurately find data
within them often fails to keep up. PDF/A is built for this purpose, but
migrating all of your various file formats remains a challenge since raster
image formats such as TIFF and JPEG have little to no searchable features
beyond the file name. This white paper will explore how to take full advantage
of PDF/A as your universal document storage format by using the state of the
art technology within LEADTOOLS Document Imaging SDKs.
Creating a Searchable Document Archive with PDF/A
For years, PDF has been widely recognized and adopted as the
best format for document archival, content management, record retention, risks
management, litigation and discovery. This is especially true for the PDF/A
sub-format which is specifically designed with archival and future-proofing in
mind. PDF/A is completely self-contained and stores fonts, color management,
annotations, images and more within the file itself. This ensures the document
will stay true and not change its appearance for years on end while operating
systems, devices, monitors and default fonts change all around it.
Normalizing your archive will yield many benefits in storage
allocation, productivity and costs. The problem of being able to find and view
your documents is drastically reduced since PDF is such a widely supported
format. Making the choice to use PDF/A as your sole document archival format
is certainly wise, but only solves a small part of the overall problem. Yet to
be addressed are the issues of converting a divergent archive and ensuring that
all further storage is done in a uniform fashion.
A handful of applications and scanners natively come with the
ability to save as PDF, but can be unnecessary and cost prohibitive. In
addition, documents can come from many sources both inside and outside your
organization so at some level your documents must be processed and converted.
Without a well designed and automated process, the benefits of a normalized archive
are hard to fully realize. Many organizations therefore shy away from going
fully digital due to the challenges involved in properly correcting and
maintaining their newly envisioned document storage system. Therefore they
feel trapped in knowing they need to change but do not know how to accomplish
their goals in a holistic and cost effective manner.
Making it All Possible with LEADTOOLS Document Imaging SDKs
If all or part of this situation sounds familiar, look no
further than LEADTOOLS. Its Document Imaging SDKs cover the gamut of imaging
technology needed to make a universal PDF/A document archive a reality.
Full PDF and PDF/A File Format Support
LEADTOOLS provides full control over the PDF format
including advanced capabilities such as extracting text, hyperlinks, bookmarks
and metadata as well as updating, splitting and merging pages from existing PDF
documents. With LEAD Technologies' decades of expertise in image compression,
its PDF SDK also offers the industry's best performing and most diverse PDF
compression options including JBIG, JPEG2000 and Mixed Raster Content. Also
included are features often difficult to find in similar commercial SDKs,
including reading, displaying, editing and writing native PDF annotations and
markup that work seamlessly with Adobe Acrobat and other compliant PDF viewers.
Rather than being at the mercy of the PDF file format and
the often exorbitant costs of PDF editing capabilities, LEADTOOLS will open up incredible
opportunities for your archival system and keep all the decision making and
customization in your court.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Conversion
LEADTOOLS comfortably tackles the problem of migrating an
existing archive with mixed file formats to a unified PDF/A archive. With the
ability to load, save and convert over 150 raster, vector and document file
formats, you can rest assured that you will have your bases covered.
Since not all formats are text-based and searchable,
LEADTOOLS can use its fast and highly accurate Optical Character Recognition technology
to convert those images to searchable PDF/A. The advanced OCR SDK in LEADTOOLS
supports over forty languages and character sets including English, Spanish,
French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and more, making it a reliable
solution for the largest of enterprises running and providing services in
multiple countries across the globe.
Most text-based PDF files also have smaller file sizes than
the original raster image from which they were converted. Moreover, all of
this can be done in as few as three lines of code.
IOcrEngine ocrEngine = OcrEngineManager.CreateEngine(OcrEngineType.Advantage, false);
ocrEngine.Startup(null, null, null, null);
ocrEngine.AutoRecognizeManager.Run(_strInputFile, _strOutputFile, DocumentFormat.Pdf, null, null);
If there is anything that the vast majority of applications
have in common it's the ability to print. This is, after all, where the need
for document archival started. Instead of printing documents to paper and then
later using scanners and OCR to convert them back into a searchable digital
medium, the LEADTOOLS Virtual Printer can get it done right from the start.
This approach not only handles the documents which you would
normally print, but also allows you to archive many other sources of
information including emails, faxes, website, social media and virtually any
file format. As an added benefit, the vast majority of documents and materials
you print are textual which means the resulting PDFs will already be searchable
and require no special processing and are 100% accurate to the original
public void _printer_EmfEvent(object sender, EmfEventArgs e)
DocumentPage documentPage = DocumentPage.Empty;
documentPage.EmfHandle = new Metafile(e.Stream).GetHenhmetafile();
e.Stream.Position = 0;
documentPage.Image = _codec.Load(e.Stream);
public void _printer_JobEvent(object sender, JobEventArgs e)
if (e.JobEventState == EventState.JobStart)
PdfDocumentOptions pdfOptions = new PdfDocumentOptions();
pdfOptions.DocumentType = PdfDocumentType.PdfA;
pdfOptions.FontEmbedMode = DocumentFontEmbedMode.Auto;
pdfOptions.ImageOverText = true;
_documentWriter = new DocumentWriter();
else if (e.JobEventState == EventState.JobEnd)
Finally, LEADTOOLS Virtual Printers can also be configured
to run on a server and made accessible over your company's LAN or the web with
Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). This flexibility makes Virtual Printing an
excellent solution for maintaining your archive into the future by providing a
large funnel into which nearly any piece of information can be printed and then
automatically archived through a central business workflow process.
HTML5 Zero Footprint Viewer
Just because you are saving your documents as PDF doesn't
mean you can't benefit from a viewer. Though PDF is so widely adopted that few
think about someone not being able to load it, plug-ins and viewing
applications are still required in most situations. By using the HTML5 and
solution which requires no plug-ins or downloads. All of the heavy image
processing and display is done on the client-side, yielding fast display times
and a responsive user interface.
With LEADTOOLS, standardizing your document storage to PDF/A
is no longer an arduous, complex and costly endeavor. Everything you need to
convert your existing files, manage and normalize your PDFs, and create
all-inclusive business workflows is included in programmer-friendly libraries
for multiple platforms. You can rest easy knowing that all the information
your company relies on for efficient and productive operation will be properly
archived and readily accessible.
Download the Full PDF/A, OCR and Virtual Printing Example
You can download the fully functional demo which includes the features discussed above. To run this example you will need the following:
- LEADTOOLS free 60 day evaluation
- Visual Studio 2008 or later
- Browse to the LEADTOOLS Examples folder (e.g. C:\LEADTOOLS 18\Examples\) where you can find example projects for this and many more technologies in LEADTOOLS
Need help getting this sample up and going? Contact our support team for free technical support! For pricing or licensing questions, you can contact our sales team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 704-332-5532.