Table of Contents
This chapter explains how to troubleshoot common problems you may encounter. It also provides technical information on such topics as how to improve Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and scanning performance. This chapter contains the following sections:
- General Troubleshooting Solutions
- iDocs Setup Issues
- Uninstalling iDocs
- Scanning and Recognition
- Improving Performance
- iDocs Compatibility
General Troubleshooting Solutions
If you have a problem with iDocs, first check that your computer, scanner, and other applications are functioning properly.
Make backups of iDocs files regularly, preferably in a location other than your hard drive. This could save you hours or days of work if the unexpected happens: file deletion or corruption caused by disk crashes, viruses, or user error.
Solutions to Try First
Try these possible solutions if you experience problems using iDocs.
- Make sure that your system meets all requirements as listed in “ System Requirements”.
- Restart your computer and make sure other applications are functioning properly.
- Make sure that your scanner is plugged in and turned on, and that all cable connections are secure.
- Turn off your computer, restart your scanner, and then restart your computer.
- Use the software that came with your scanner to verify that it works properly in Windows before using it with iDocs.
- Fix Windows problems before using iDocs again.
- Run virus-checking software regularly.
- Defragment your hard disk occasionally. See your Windows online help for more information.
- Run ScanDisk for Windows 95 or 98 or Check Disk for Windows NT to check your hard disk for errors. See Windows online help for more information.
- Uninstall and reinstall iDocs.
iDocs Setup Issues
This section contains information on some common installation problems and information on how to optimize the installation process.
Memory and Installation
Close all applications — including screen savers, virus checkers, and mail applications — to free up memory before starting the iDocs setup program.
Installing iDocs 4.0 over Older Versions
Select your current iDocs folder during installation to install iDocs 4.0 over a 3.0, 2.0 or 1.x version. iDocs prompts you to confirm that you want to overwrite the previous version
You will no longer be able to run an older version of iDocs in this case.
Follow these steps to remove iDocs from your system.
The steps listed here remove all iDocs files from your computer. Back up files and records outside your iDocs folder if you want to save them.
To uninstall iDocs:
- Exit from iDocs.
- Click Start in the Taskbar and choose Settings, Control Panel.
The Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box appears.
- Select flashFORM 4.0. in the Install/Uninstall tab.
- Double-click Add/Remove….
- Click Yes in the confirmation dialog box.
Windows removes iDocs from your system.
Scanning and Recognition
This section describes common scanning and recognition problems and possible solutions:
- System Hang During Scan
- System Hang During Auto Form Design
- Scanner Compatibility
System Hang During Scan
A system hang during a scan could have several possible causes:
- An interrupt conflict between your scanner and another device such as a bus mouse or network card.
Check interrupt addresses for a possible conflict. See your device documentation.
- A SCSI termination problem.
Make sure the scanner is terminated properly. See your scanner documentation.
- A memory-related problem.
Try closing open windows and applications to free up memory.
System Hang During Auto Form Design
Many computer systems provide a feature called shadow RAM to enhance system performance. If iDocs causes the system to hang, turn off the shadow RAM function of your computer and try again. See your computer’s operations manual for information on disabling shadow RAM. Some computer systems do not allow you to turn off shadow RAM. Incompatibilities with these systems are usually not related to shadow RAM.
System hangs may be related to incompatibilities with memory-resident applications or device drivers. Use a text editor to comment out any memory- resident device drivers and applications from your autoexec.bat and config.sys file not used by Windows, DOS, iDocs, your scanner, or your hard drive, and then restart your system.
Do not remove a device driver unless you are aware of its function and know that it may be removed safely.
Hard disks often require special device drivers that should not be removed. Video displays that require special device drivers may need to be reconfigured instead of removed.
Make a backup disk with your current operating system version, autoexec.bat, and config.sys to guard against potential mistakes. Consult your device documentation for more information.
If you experience a problem between iDocs and your scanner, make sure your scanner is one that iDocs supports
Please refer to Scanner Setup Notes for a list of compatible scanners and more detailed information about how to solve scanning problems.
Select setup options for TWAIN-compliant scanners in the TWAIN dialog box that appears before scanning. Select 200, 300, or 400 dots per inch (dpi) for the resolution. Select line art, bi-tone, or black-and-white line drawing for the image type. iDocs cannot process grayscale scans.
This section provides troubleshooting techniques for potential operational problems as well as additional technical information:
- iDocs Limits
- Low Memory
- Low Disk Space
- Right Mouse Button Functions
- Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) Automation Support
The following limits apply in iDocs:
- Pages in a form: 100
- Open forms: 20 (depends on your system)
- Records in a database: 10,000 or approximately 5.4 MB of data across all records
- Length of Help message in an Object Definition dialog box: 100 characters
- Number of choices in the List of Choices list box in an Object Definition dialog box: 500 choices, each up to 100 characters long
Low memory can cause a number of problems, from persistent low-memory error messages to system hangs. You need a minimum of 16MB RAM for Windows 95 or 98 and Windows NT.
More memory is recommended if you run multiple applications.
Close Open Applications and Windows
You may receive out-of-memory error messages or find that iDocs works slowly and accesses the hard drive frequently. Try closing open iDocs windows and other applications to free up memory.
Amount of Memory Available
You can find out how much memory you have and how much is currently available.
To check available memory in Windows 95 or 98:
- Click the Start button in the Taskbar and choose Settings, Control Panel.
- Double-click System in the Control Panel.
The System Properties dialog box appears.
- Click the Performance tab.
- All memory information appears in this tab. See your Windows documentation or the Windows online help for more information.
You can click Virtual Memory… if you want to change virtual memory settings but it is recommended that users let Windows manage the virtual memory settings.
- Click OK to close the System Properties dialog box and return to the Control Panel
iDocs uses virtual memory when memory runs low. Windows uses disk space to simulate the RAM it does not have available. Your system runs more slowly when it has to use virtual memory.
Try closing any other open applications and restarting your computer or Windows to free up memory so iDocs does not use virtual memory. If you often work with long, complex forms or need to have many forms open at a time, add more RAM to your system
Low Disk Space
Check your Temp folder for unnecessary files if you seem to be running out of disk space too quickly. Files are stored here especially after a system hang or crash.
Usually the path to this folder is:
c:\Win95\Temp (Windows 95)
Right Mouse Button Functions
Some programs allow you to reconfigure your right mouse button for various functions. This may prevent you from using certain iDocs functions, such as the right-mouse-button click to open a shortcut menu. Use your other software to return the right mouse button to its default state if you wish to use these right-mouse-button iDocs functions.
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) Automation Support
OLE Automation support is built into iDocs. This allows you to write programs to control iDocs from another application such as Microsoft Visual Basic, or from an application that supports Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and other forms of OLE Automation control. You might, for example, write a program that allows you to send information from your open application directly into a iDocs form and then print that form.
A iDocs OLE Automation Programmer’s manual and sample scripts are available. Please call 1 800-223-7346 for order information.
If you scan typeset, high-quality printed pages, text recognition accuracy should be very high.
With lesser-quality pages, however, text recognition may not be as accurate. This section discusses a number of factors that affect scanning and recognition performance:
- Document Quality
- Scanning Angle
- Scanner Glass Clarity
- Paper Transparency
iDocs recognizes characters in almost any font from 6 to 72 points in size. However, keep the following in mind when using iDocs:
- The print should be reasonably clean and crisp. Characters must be distinct: separated from each other and not blurry or overlapping.
- The document should be free of notes, lines, or doodles. Anything that is not a printed character slows recognition, and any character distorted by a mark will be unrecognizable.
- The document font should be nonstylized; for example, iDocs may not recognize the Zapf Chancery font accurately.
- Forms with underlined text should have the lines placed below the text and not touching it for best results. It is difficult to recognize underlined text because the underline overprints the descenders on the letters g, j, p, q, and y, changing their shape.
Make sure that each document is positioned correctly in your scanner and is not crooked. Even if you use the Auto Form Straightening option, it is possible for the page to be too skewed for iDocs to design it properly. Adjust the page and rescan it if you see numerous recognition errors due to skewing.
Scanner Glass Clarity
The sheet of glass on the flatbed of the scanner must be clear. If it gets dirty, wipe it gently with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth or tissue. Be sure that it is completely dry before you put pages on it.
See your scanner documentation for more information on proper scanner maintenance.
Some paper is thin enough that the scanner sees text printed on the opposite side of a two-sided page. To correct this problem, put a black piece of paper behind the page between the page and the lid of the scanner.
This section provides iDocs compatibility lists.
Database Information Exchange
iDocs uses industry-standard ODBC to exchange information with the following databases:
- Microsoft Access (2.x or higher)
- dBASE (III or higher)
- Excel (3.0 or higher)
- FoxPro (2.0 or higher)
- Paradox (3.x or higher)
- text-based and CSV files
- Microsoft Exchange/Outlook
- Lotus cc:Mail/Notes (32-bit versions only)
iDocs can import the following file types into a graphic object or a fill graphic field:
- Macintosh PICT
Image File Formats
iDocs can import and recognize black-and-white forms in either PCX or TIFF format. Image resolution must be 200, 300, or 400 dots per inch (dpi) for black-and-white forms, and 300 dpi for color forms.