Posts in Category "Batch Processing"

Batch Printing PDFs (and other files) using Acrobat 9

Maybe it isn’t popular or “green”, but law firms still print a lot.

For example, recently I received this email from a paralegal:

Can I batch print PDFs? We received a few hundred files on a CD and the attorney wants me to print them all out. I can’t convince her to review them online . . .

While we’d all like to print less, evaluating documents on the computer screen is challenging for many legal professionals for both physiological and cultural reasons.

Batch Printing Illustration

I’ll discuss how you can:

  • Convert and batch print a variety of types of documents such as PDF, Word, and Excel files
  • Preferences to smooth the process
  • Tips

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Reducing the File Size of Scanned PDFs

It seems like a lot of folks are struggling with the size of scanned PDFs. Below are excerpts from two emails I received recently:

My [Fujitsu] ScanSnap makes PDFs that are too big . . . like around 60K per page! What can I do to make these smaller in Acrobat?

I have to eFile [with the Federal Court] and am having to split the filings into many segments to go through the [Court] gateway. The issue seems to be with documents that are scanned on our network scanner. PDFs produced directly from Word are a lot smaller. Is there some trick to reduce the size of scanned files?

Before covering how to reduce the size of scanned documents in detail, let’s discuss four factors that affect the size of scanned images:

  1. Scanning Resolution
    A scan at 600 dpi results in a much larger file than at 300 dpi.
  2. Color Space
    Color and grayscale files result in much larger files than black and white files.
  3. Physical dimensions of the scanned page
    A legal-size scan will be larger than a letter-size scan, with all other factors being equal.
  4. Compression
    Raw scan data can be compressed to make it smaller.


Compression Types

Lossless compression retains the exact appearance of the original.

Two common types of lossless compression are ZIP and CCITT Group 4.

Lossy compression makes some (hopefully) non-noticeable visual trade-offs to further reduce file size.

JPEG is a common lossy compression method.

Ideally, you would control all of the above factors yourself by scanning at 300 dpi, black and white and using an efficient compression algorithm.

Unfortunately, you many not have that option. Many desktop and network scanners offer limited or confusing options— or— the scanned PDFs arrived from outside your firm.

Legal Scanning Recommendations
In almost all situations, scan at 300 dpi, black and white.

For the purpose of this article we will make a couple of assumptions:

  1. You have a black and white scanned document of unknown dpi and compression
  2. You have already OCR’d the document, or don’t need OCR

Read on to learn how to reduce the file size of scanned documents using Acrobat.

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Bates Numbering Across a PDF Portfolio

Bates Numbering is the consecutive numbering of legal documents.

With Acrobat 9 Pro, you can Bates number all of the files in a PDF Portfolio in a single step, even converting common Office formats automatically along the way. Keeping all the files in a PDF Portfolio is convenient and makes it easy to deliver and maintain the document set.

Bates Numbered document

Want to learn more about PDF Portfolios?
PDF Portfolios are the next generation of PDF Packages— a single PDF that may contain many other files.

SEE: Legal Portfolio Movie

Want to know about Bates Numbering in Acrobat 9?
Check out this movie which shows off all of the basic Bates Numbering capabilities of Acrobat 9 Professional.

SEE: Bates Numbering Movie

Still on Acrobat 8? See this older article on Bates Numbering

In this article, I’ll discuss how you can Bates number across a Portfolio, and also discuss a few limitations.

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Generating TIFF and Text files from PDF for Concordance and Summation

Adobe is the custodian for both PDF and TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) formats.

While PDF is superior in many ways, TIFF remains a popular format for use in large case litigation support systems such as Concordance and Summation.

If you have a lot of PDFs in your production it can be a challenge to work with these systems as they do not robustly support PDF and conversion is necessary. These systems want to ingest a . . .

  • TIFF file to represent each individual document page
  • TEXT file of the text of each page

Processing several hundred documents to individual TEXT and TIFF files is a candidate for some serious automation!

Fortunately, repetitive tasks like this can be easily accomplished using Acrobat Professional. Since Acrobat can be automated using JavaScript, it is possible to string together several steps and save a lot of time.

In this article, I’ve included a Tiff-Text Processing Batch Script to download which handles all of this conversion automatically. Here are the results:

Sample Results

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Batch OCR using Acrobat Professional

Have you ever received a PDF file that did not contain searchable text? You may know that you can use Acrobat’s OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to add an invisible layer of searchable text on top of the file. This allows you to select, copy and search text on a paper document. Great!

What do you do when you have hundreds of TIFFs and Image-only PDFs file that you need to search for a big case? Working with these documents one at a time is not efficient.

If you have Acrobat Professional, you can batch OCR and let you computer do the work for you.

NOTE: Acrobat 9 and up make this process much easier. Simply select Document>OCR Text Recognition>OCR Multiple Files. If you have Acrobat 9 and you just want to OCR a bunch of files, this is probably all you need! Acrobat X can do OCR as part of an Action, so you can combine OCR with other operations as part of a document processing workflow.

Read on to learn how…

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