Category: PDFmdx

PDFmdx version 3.8.1 – DataMatrix 2D barcode for Pitney Bowes Relay Inserting System

New features of PDFmdx version 3.8.1:

  • Pitney Bowes DataMatrix barcode:

With the Pitney Bowes Relay inserting system it is possible to automatically insert letters or invoices. The inserter system has a camera to recognize a DataMatrix 2D barcode applied on the page, read it out and use the barcode to control the inserter. The 2D barcode must have a certain structure. It contains a 14-digit identifier of the document, eg. the invoice number, the page number in the document, the number of pages of the document and at the end a counter that must be continuous throughout the document. With this code, the inserter can recognize when a new letter begins and also determine whether a sheet is missing or not in the correct order in the stack.

The stamp variable definition now has its own “Pitney Bowes” checkbox to create such a predefined structure and apply it to the individual pages as a DataMatrix 2D barcode.

The input as well as the output files, sorted by file name, are processed and output as sorted, eg. by the invoice number read from the invoice file. The Merge2Print command line application can then be used to create a sorted PDF total file for the printout. However, due to the requirement that the entire process must be sorted, only the executable EXE processor of PDFmdx, but not the PDFmdx service, can be used. In addition, “block processing” must be activated.

 

Download – 2D barcode specification – Pitney Bowes Relay >>>

  • Start processing via *.rd file:

Previously, PDFmdx processing (executable EXE application or Windows service) could be started either timed (Timer, Date, Daily, Weekly) or by inserting PDF files into a monitored folder. However, there are applications in which it is important that all files are present in the input folder first and only the to start sorted processing. There is now the *.rd option. If this option is activated, the processing starts only if a *.rd file eg. “Ready.rd” is copied to the monitored folder. This allows the processing to be started in a controlled manner at the desired time.

 

Info: As of PDFmdx version 3.8.0 .NET Runtime version 4.5 is required.

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PDFmdx version 3.7.4

New features PDFmdx Editor version 3.7.4:

  • Automatic backup of templates at startup: Activate the function, path for the backups, backups are marked with date and time and replaced by rotation.

  • Search function for conditions: Forward/backward search, full-text search in the conditions. Using the context menu, the layout associated with the condition can be called up and opened directly.

 

  • Comment / separator lines in the condition editor can be deleted or moved up/down.

  • Warning for empty condition nodes: Empty condition nodes can lead to unpredictable results during processing. These are now recognized in the condition editor. A warning is displayed to perform a cleanup.

 

  • NOT for conditions: To be able to reverse the logic of a condition.

  • Extensible fields: For fields of a moving group, not every record may have the same number of rows, and therefore a field fixed in its vertical size may either capture too many or not all rows. With this option, the field can be defined vertically smaller and all subsequent lines to the next record in a field are recorded. The character inserted at the end of each merge line is configurable (space, semicolon, comma).

  • Align the field position and adjust the optimal size: For capturing records of a moving group / subgroup, it is important that the fields are all at a roughly similar vertical position and that the fields are vertically the correct size. The size is optimal if the field vertically just barely captures the text area to read the text, but should not be larger or smaller. It can sometimes not be easy to set the size manually with narrow lines. There is now an automatic function. This function automatically aligns the fields vertically and sets them to the optimal size.

  • Invert area before OCR detection: OCR only works with dark text on a light background. For light writing on a dark background, the area must be inverted before the OCR recognition. There is now a special image processing function that can be activated for a field and executed before the integrated OCR recognition.

  • Always run OCR: Not always does a PDF have the correct text in the text layer. For example, if inverted areas with white text on a black background are present in the document. If “SmartOCR” processing is enabled, an area OCR will only be executed if there is no text in the area. It can now be determined for individual areas that despite existing text, the OCR is always executed, e.g. to perform an inversion of the area beforehand to get a usable result.

 

  • Compound fields: You can now also create fields that are composed of other fields and texts. These fields can be used for the output.

  • Default values for fields can be assigned based on the layout and not just globally.

 

  • Numeric fields can also accept negative values.
  • Create a template without the layouts contained in the template as a new template.

  • Transfer settings of a template to other templates: Selection of the settings tabs of the source template as well as selection of the target templates.

  • Export record filter: Conditions can be used to filter the data record export. Records that meet one of the defined conditions are filtered and not output. Filtered records are displayed in the test function marked “red”. Conditions can be constructed on the basis of text strings, substrings, regular expression or “empty” over fields, layouts and selection level (document, group, subgroup) as well as AND/OR or NOT relationships.

New features PDFmdx Processor version 3.7.4:

  • Call a command line application: After processing all documents from the input area of a job, a command line application can be called. For example, pdfFM to merge files from multiple folders with the same name into a single PDF. If processing takes place via the PDFmdx Windows service, the command line application must not display a dialog and must be executed “silent”.

 

  • Locked files are detected and not processed: If a file to be processed is locked, it can not be processed or moved to an error folder. Such files are marked with a *.lock file and are not further processed. To process such a file later, only the *.lock file has to be deleted.

  • Output – repetition: If a device is not immediately available at the output (share / network drive) or responds too slowly, then the waiting time and the number of repetitions can now be set before the processing recognizes this fact as an error and interrupts the processing.

Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx – Two-level reading of position data – Product video

In some industries, there are documents where position data has another level. There are documents with 2-stage position data, e.g. in the case of textiles or clothing where an article (number, description) can also have a “sub-level” with sizes or color specifications. The article itself is just listed once and in the level below there are then the quantities/prices of the individual characteristics.

PDFmdx is also able to recognize and read two-stage position data, the following video shows how to do it:

Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx – Reading position data via a sliding group – Product video

PDFmdx can read information from PDF documents via defined areas and assign them to a field. However, there is also information in a document that occurs several times. For example, position data of invoices – quantity, article number, price etc. These are usually executed as tables in fixed columns and a variable number of rows.

PDFmdx is also able to read position data from PDF documents with the help of “sliding groups”. Fields are assigned to a “sliding group” and positioned on the template document. Criteria define conditions to identify a row as a “sliding group” record. Two delimiters determine in which vertical area of the pages such data records are searched for.

The following video also shows the use of “anchor fields” to find and read information which is “moving” on a page and has no fixed position, e.g. the final amount of an invoice.

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PDFmdx – Recognize, read out and store invoices in a folder structure – Product video available

PDFmdx can recognize PDF Documents (e.g. invoices) via criteria based on textual content, split them into individual documents and read out metadata. The fields and texts that have been read out can be used for the filename as well as for the structured storage or import of the documents.

The following video shows how to do it on the basis of incoming invoices:

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PDFmdx – Split documents via barcode – Product video available

PDFmdx can also recognize documents by barcodes, split them into individual documents and use the read out barcode values to store them. Which barcode is used can be specified via the area, the barcode type or also conditions. The splitting can be done via a change of content or via conditions. Separating sheets containing barcodes can also be deleted.

The following video shows how it works:

Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx – Read position data via group / subgroup fields

In addition to document fields, PDFmdx can also read position data. Position data is lists or tables with rows and columns. These are typically found on invoices to cite several items in the document. We use the term “sliding group / subgroup. One or more columns (= fields) in on or more rows, on one or more pages, are searched and read in a vertically defined area.

From the PDFmdx version 3.5.0 there is a 2-stage structure where in addition to the groups a subgroup level is also possible. One or more subgroup datasets can be recognized and read out for a group dataset. There are documents with 2-stage position data, eg. in the case of textiles or clothing where an item (number, description) can also have a “sub-level” with sizes or color specifications. The item itself is simply listed and in the level below there are the quantities / prices for individual characteristics.

Two-level readout of position data:

  • “Document/Group/Subgroup” fields define the detection level.

  • An area defined by 2 red horizontal boundary lines will be scanned on all pages of the document for the group (red boxes) and subgroup (green boxes) records.

  • The specified conditions are used to identify and read out the group (G) and subgroup (U) data records.

  • Along with the lowest-level records, the information of the group and document fields is also available.

For tests and as a starting point for your own tests, we have created two example templates with PDF test files. The *.pmdx templates only need to be imported into the PDFmdx Editor via drag&drop and the output path may need to be adjusted. For processing, it is then necessary to create a job with input and error folders in the PDFmdx processor and to select the two test templates for the job.

Download – PDFmdx – Templates and examples for two-level reading of position data >>>
Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx version 3.5.3 available

New features PDFmdx version 3.5.3:

  • Field / Area OCR / Invert area / Always execute OCR:

Normally for PDFmdx processing, PDF files are used as input, which already contain text – either “normal” PDF or scanned PDF which have received an additional text layer via a previous OCR process (eg. via AutoOCR or FileConverterPro).

PDFmdx also has an integrated OCR function to determine the text in the areas of the positioned fields from the image information.

With the general PDFmdx OCR settings it is possible to specify how the texts from the PDF are to be obtained – “Original”, “OCR” or “SmartOCR”. With “Original” the text is always taken from the PDF, with “OCR” the text is always obtained via a PDFmdx OCR process, even if a text already exists in the PDF. With the “SmartOCR” setting, the PDFmdx OCR function is only executed if there is no text in the PDF, otherwise the existing text in the PDF is taken. These settings generally apply to the entire template and all associated layouts.

In this context, there are now 2 new functions that allow to recognize white text on a black background.

Individual areas with white text on a black background can not be recognized via an automatic OCR process, because before the OCR process the area would have to be inverted in order to be recognized. This can only be done interactively by selecting the area manually.

In the PDFmdx Editor it is now possible to activate the option “Invert Area” in the field configuration. In this case, the field area is inverted for the OCR processing. This creates black text on a white background which can be recognized by the OCR.

There is another new field function “Execute OCR always” with which the general setting “SmartOCR” can be overridden. OCR recognition is then always executed for this field, even if an underlying text already exists.

  

  • PDFmdx Editor – find condition, call layout: There is now a search function to search in the conditions for a (partial) string forward and backward. A line in the conditions can thus be jumped to directly. The linked layout can then be called directly from the condition line. This feature makes it easy to work with a large number of conditions.

  • The web service functions have been revised. In the web service example the metadata can now also be downloaded as XML.
  • For the metadata XML, the new variables JobID, JobName, JobDescription and ProcessID have been added.

Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx Version 3.5.0 available

Innovations PDFmdx Version 3.5.0:

  • Subgroups – additional hierarchy for moving groups: A sliding group is used, for example, to recognize invoice items that occur several times in a document or on a page and to be able to form several data records from this. However, there are documents where these records require a further hierarchy level, if there are multiple sub-records under one heading, e.g. to differentiate different characteristics of an article according to color or size. This can be done either as a list or in the form of a matrix. In order to be able to recognize and read out such additional characteristics it is now possible to form “subgroups” for a moving group.

There are now 3 field levels – the “Document fields”, the “Group fields” and the “Subgroup fields”. Subgroup records are defined by conditions such as the group records. The output also provides the information of the document and the group for subgroup records.

For the output, you can configure whether – all data records are output, or whether the group or document records are to be suppressed. The fields of the higher levels are also available in the group/subgroup dataset. To identify the data record level, the variable %RECORD_LEVEL% can be used with the values (D)ocument, (G)roup, (S)ubgroup.

The fields of the different levels are displayed in different colors in the PDFmdx Editor – document fields “Blue”, group fields “Red” and subgroup fields “Green”.

The working/search area for the moving group/subgroup is represented in the PDFmdx Editor by 2 horizontal red lines, which can be positioned vertically in the preview. The search for data records takes place only within the specified range.

  • MS-SQL Database Support for Metadata / Log & Error Log Function: In addition to exporting the metadata to an XLSX/CSV/XML file, there is now also the option to write the records into MS-SQL database tables. The read-out variables are written as documents/groups/subgroup data sets with configurable fields and contents, the log table with a fixed structure.

MS-SQL Export Functions:

    • Configuration – MS-SQL Server / Database.
    • Create / delete SQL tables / delete data from the tables.
    • Create / delete SQL columns in the selected table.
    • For each template, the SQL export can be activated and the SQL table can be selected. Fields (variables) or fixed text can be assigned to any SQL column.
    • Enable SQL – Logging / Error Log. The name of the log table is configurable.
    • The SQL log contains the following information: PROCESS_ID, computer name (WsName), user name (UserName), template (Template), layout, status (OK, ERROR), error code (ErrorCode), error message as text (ErrorMessage), information about the input/output file (InputPath, InputFileName, InputFolder, OutputPath, OutputFileName, OutputFolder), start/end of processing (StartTime, EndTime), processing time (ProcessingTime).

PDFmdx error codes in the log:

    • 0 = Successful processing.
    • 1 = No pages remaining in the PDF.
    • 2 = Configured stationery could not be found.
    • 3 = Missing license.
    • 4 = Error loading text plugin.
    • 5 = Error writing the PDF file.
    • 6 = No matching template/layout found for the specified criteria.
    • 7 = Error writing printer (PCF) configuration file.
    • 8 = Processing error.
    • 9 = Error creating the output folder.
    • 10 = Error creating the output file.
    • 11 = Error when overlaying/underlaying the stationery.
    • 12 = Error while signing.
    • 13 = Error when sending emails.
    • 14 = Error writing metadata.
    • 15 = Error generating the XML file.

  • PDFmdx Editor – Test Functions: The test feature in PDFmdx Editor and PDFmdx Processing are now based on the same component. This ensures that the result of the “Test” in the PDFmdx Editor, for the recognition, the splitting and the reading, yields the same result as for the processing by the PDFmdx Processor.

In a PDFmdx template you can configure if and how a layout should be identified by conditions. In the “Test” function in the PDFmdx Editor, the conditions are checked, the recognized layout is identified and the fields specified in the layout are read out. On the test mask there is now a checkbox to ignore the layout recognition/criteria. The fields are then read out and displayed only via the manually selected layout.

  • Field substring from the end: The substring field function is now not only possible from the beginning of a field, but also from the end (switchable).

  • New OCR version, several recognition languages: The field OCR function for fields has been updated and is now based on Tesseract Version 4.0. As a result, it is now possible to recognize multiple languages.

  • Default values for fields – layout related: In addition to the function to give a general value, there is now also a function to assign an individual default value for a field for each layout. A variable is assigned the default value if the field was not positioned on a layout or if the field was positioned but nothing can be read because the area is empty (=blank). This allows the layout recognition of a variable to assign a fixed value – eg. a customer number that can not be read directly from the document.
  • New “Composite” field type: The “Composite” type allows you to create combined fields, that consist of several other fields or text. Such composite fields are available for output (folder, filename, metadata), but not for conditions. These fields can be composed of variables of the documents, groups and subgroups.

  • Option – No remaining pages – Do not move document to the error folder: When splitting, deleting pages (cover pages) and deleting blank pages, it may happen that the remaining document no longer has any remaining pages left for processing. This option determines whether the “remaining document” is to be retained and moved to the error folder, or whether such a document is not preserved and the process is only logged in the error log.

  • Export of additional formats, selectable for – “Successful / Error / Both”: It is now also possible to convert PDF files, that have been moved to the error folder, into other formats (eg. TXT) to carry out further evaluations.

Download – PDFmdx Template Editor & Processor >>>

PDFmdx Version 3.3.0 available

Innovations PDFmdx Version 3.3.0:

  • Export additional formats – By integrating the PDF2DOCX Converter, HTML, DOCX, XML, TXT and XLS can now be created in addition to the generated PDF. These additional filed are created from the generated PDF and stored in the same output path as the PDF. One or more additional file formats can be created at the same time.

  • PDFmdx Editor – Save and load the conditions created in the editor as an XML file to easily and quickly save and reload different states of conditions. The file name is automatically suggested when saving on basis of – template name, date and time.

  • PDFmdx Editor – Move conditions up / down or to the beginning / end. This allows conditions to be easily resorted, grouped and to align related rows underneath each other.

 

  • PDFmdx Editor – Conditions – insert / rename a seperator. Conditions can be provided with additional dividing lines to increase the readability and clarity of large structures. An inserted dividing line can be removed and the text can be edited.

  • Error correction – An action associated with a condition – Detect, Split, Delete, Sliding Groups – can be limited to specific pages. For example, only on the first or on the first and second page. This speeds up processing, because not all pages in a batch have to be processed. Fixed an issue where the page limit specification was not applied and all pages were searched. With version 3.3.0, only the specified pages are processed.

  • Keep field contents from deleted pages. If pages are deleted via conditions it was not possible to use the field information from these pages for conditions, for the output of the metadata or for the creation of the path and file name. For example, to use a barcode value of a cover page as a document identifier, for separating a batch, for selecting the layout, for the file name, and finally for deleting this seperator page. In order to preserve field contents despite the deletion of pages, the field definition now has the option “Persistant value”. This makes it possible to identify a layout, divide the stack, delete the pages and use the read-out value for the file name in a single condition and a single step.

  • PDFmdx Editor – Save template / layout structure as XML. The tree structure of the templates and layouts created in the PDFmdx Editor can be written to an XML file and automatically updated when the PDFmdx Editor is closed.

  • PDFmdx Editor – New field type – „Filename“ – Thus, the file name of the input file can be used for the conditions of processing and layout recognition. For example, the layout to be used can be controlled by the file name or parts of the name.

    

  • PDFmdx Editor – Conditions – Direct selection of the layout to be used via option <VALUE>. If you want to select a layout via the value of a variable (for example the file name), so either a seperate condition must be created for each layout and linked with “OR”, or you can use the selection <VALUE> under the conditions. This automatically checks the given variable against every layout name created for the template and selects the layout in which the layout name matches the content of the field.

 

  • %FILENAME% variable – The case of the file name is preserved – previously the file name was always converted to lowercase.
  • Overwrite file / Append counter – There is now an option to overwrite files with the same name during processing. If this option is not checked then a new file will be created as usual and a counter will be added to the existing file name.

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