What is Forms Processing?
Forms processing is a process whereby information entered into data fields is converted into electronic form:
- Entered data is "captured" from their respective fields.
- Forms themselves are digitized and saved as images.
When dealing with forms processing projects one has to take into consideration the type of forms to process:
What is a Structured Form?
A document with blank spaces to be filled in with particulars before it is executed. These blank spaces are called fields and are usually provided with explanations or captions that tell people what kind of information and in what format it is to be entered into each particular field. In structured forms (1) Templates are built to match the specific layout of the form and (2) One template exists for each Form or pages of a Form.
Structured Forms are easy to process and extract data from:
- Data locations are predefined.
- Forms conform to one and the same pattern.
- Same template defining the location of the fields and the data types expected for each field.
- Form layoutis dropped to reduce interference for the OCT/ICR process.
- Form controls are used in the template design for optimal automated processing.
What is a Semi or Unstructured Form?
A document in which the sizes and locations of the fields may vary from form to form.
A group of functionally alike forms with dissimilar layouts that would normally require manual key entry in order to capture their data.
Their usual characteristics are:
- The individual forms are not designed by the processing organization.
- The forms are received in a variety of layouts that differ from sender to sender.
- The forms can't be processed using traditional "Structured Forms" template that consistently matches up with every single field.
- Requires a "Free Form" recognition process to locate tags or labels that identify the data to be extracted.