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Scanning Guidelines

To Minimize File Size, Upload and Review Time, and to Save Storage Space

It is critical to fast and efficient use of CM/ECF that the software used for scanning documents is configured correctly. Essentially, the consequences of poor or incorrect setup are significantly increased file size - typically 20 to 40 times. This bloated file size causes:

  • Vastly increased file storage requirements at the user’s PC, server and backup level, together with a general slowness in handling such files.
  • Vastly increased network traffic both locally and through the user’s Internet Service Provider with very long file upload times. Files may simply be rejected for size or the communications network simply time out due to overlarge files.
  • A very slow response from CM/ECF as the user attempts to upload a large file, and attendant delay in obtaining a confirmation of successful receipt, or at worst file rejection.
  • A very slow download and file opening when attempting to read large files already uploaded into CM/ECF.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps and checks to ensure correct scanner software settings:

  • Resolution should be set to 300 dpi or higher, but probably no higher than 600 dpi
  • Image type should be set to black and white (not gray scale, not color).
  • Scanned image output or “save as” format should be .pdf.  Check your scanner software manual or Help for information on how to set output type.

A simple test scan should be made to convert a document to .pdf format to make sure it is ready for upload to CM/ECF. This .pdf conversion can be done using one of several software packages but a good example is Adobe Acrobat (full package not just the Reader). Open Adobe and click “File”, then click “Import”, then click “Scan” and finish the scanning process. Check the test .pdf file to make sure that the file size is small.  File size can be viewed by finding the file in the “My Computer” folder and resting your mouse on the file name.  The file size will display momentarily.  Or, you can left-click the icon of the file once to highlight it, then right-click and select “Properties”. The file size will be listed.

If your document is mostly text, it should be no larger than about 50 KB per page. At most, a very detailed paged with graphics (e.g. a title) should be no larger than about 200 KB per page.