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Adaptive Contrast Enhancement. Bell & Howell's proprietary
dynamic thresholding technology for image enhancement.
ADF: Automatic Document Feeder. This is the means by which
a scanner feeds the paper document.
Alphanumeric: Set of characters composed
of letters and numbers; may include punctuation marks
or other symbols; excludes printer control characters
such as Carriage Return and flow control characters such
as XON and XOFF.
Annotations: The changes or additions made to a
document using sticky notes, a highlighter, or other electronic
tools. Document images or text can be highlighted in different
colors, redacted (blacked-out or whited-out), stamped
(e.g. "FAXED" or "CONFIDENTIAL"),
or posted with electronic sticky notes without changing
the original document.
Aperture Card: A card which holds microfilm intended
to protect the film and facilitate loading by a scanner
ASCII: American Standard Computer Information Interchange.
Used to define computer text which was built on a set
of 255 alphanumeric and control characters. ASCII has
been a standard, nonproprietary text format since 1963.
Bar Code: A small pattern of
vertical lines which is read by a laser or an optical
scanner and corresponds to a record in a database. An
add-on component to imaging software, this feature is
designed to increase the speed with which documents can
Batch Processing: The name of the technique used
to input a large amount of information in a single step,
as opposed to individual processes.
Bitmap/ Bitmapped: see Raster/ Rasterized
An image or file comprised of pixel or dot values of either
black or white.
BMP: A native format of Windows for storing images
Boolean Logic: The use of the terms "AND,"
"OR," and "NOT" in conducting searches.
Used to widen or narrow the scope of a search.
Briefcase: A method developed to simplify the transport
of a group of documents from one computer to another.
(CDs): To record or write data on a CD.
(of Images): The
temporary storage of image files on a hard disk for later
migration to permanent storage, like an optical or CD
jukebox. CD Publishing An alternative to photocopying
large volumes of paper documents. This method involves
coupling image and text documents with viewer software
on CDs. Sometimes search software is included on the CDs
to enhance search capabilities.
Short for CD Recordable. These are CD's which can
be written (or recorded) only once. It can be copied to
distribute a large amount of data. CD-Rs can be read on
any CD-ROM reader whether it's on a standalone computer
or network system. This makes interchange between systems
easier. CD-Rs are recognized as the preferred archival
media for imaging systems in the 90's.
Compact Disc Read Only Memory. Written on a large
scale and not on a standard computer CD burner (CD writer),
they are an optical disk storage media popular for storing
computer files as well as digitally-recorded music.
Drive: A drive on the computer that reads compact
Architecture vs. File-Sharing: Two common application
software architectures found on computer networks. With
file-sharing applications, all searches occur on the workstation,
while the document database resides on the server. With
client-server architecture, CPU intensive processes (such
as searching and indexing) are completed on the server,
while image viewing and OCR occur on the client. File-sharing
applications are easier to develop, but they tend to generate
tremendous network data traffic in document imaging applications.
They also expose the database to corruption through workstation
interruptions. Client-server applications are harder to
develop, but dramatically reduce network data traffic
and insulate the database from workstation interruptions.
COLD: Computer Output to Laser Disk. A computer
programming process which outputs electronic records and
printed reports to laser disk instead of a printer. Can
be used to replace COM (Computer Output to Microfilm)
or printed reports like green-bar.
COM: Computer Output to Microfilm. A process which
outputs electronic records and computer generated reports
Compression Ratio: The ratio of the file sizes
of a compressed file to an uncompressed file, e.g. with
20:1 compression ratio, an uncompressed file of 1MB is
compressed to 50KB.
CPU: Central Processing Unit. The "brain"
of the computer.
Data rate: The speed
of a data communications channel, measured in bits per
Removing shaded areas to render images more easily recognizable
by OCR. De-shading software typically searches for areas
with a regular pattern of tiny dots.
De-skewing: The process of straightening skewed
(off-center) images. De-skewing is one of the image enhancements
that can improve OCR accuracy. Documents often become
skewed when they are scanned or faxed.
De-speckling: Removing speckles from an image file.
Speckles often develop when a document is scanned or faxed.
Dithering: The process of converting grays to different
densities of black dots, usually for the purposes of printing
or storing color or gray-scale images as black and white
Document Imaging: Software used to store, manage,
and retrieve documents on the computer. When paper documents
are stored with a document imaging system, they can be
retrieved quickly, managed easily and distributed rapidly.
Per Inch'. A measurement of scanner resolution. The number
of pixels a scanner can physically distinguish in each
vertical and horizontal inch of an original image. Documents
are normally scanned at a resolution of between 200 dpi
and 400 dpi.
Drag-and-drop: The movement of on-screen objects
by dragging them across the screen with the mouse.
The ability of a scanner to scan both sides of a sheet
simultaneously. Requires two scanner cameras and often
two processing boards.
Duplex Scanners v. Double-Sided Scanning:
Duplex scanners automatically scan both sides of a double-sided
page, producing two images at once. Double-sided scanning
uses a single-sided scanner to scan double-sided pages,
scanning one collated stack of paper, then flipping it
over and scanning the other side.
Electronic Document Management:
Imaging software which helps manage electronic documents.
Erasable Optical Drive: A type of optical drive
that uses erasable optical discs.
Firewall: A network security tool designed to prevent
unauthorized users from gaining access to network resources.
Flatbed Scanner: A flat
surface scanner which allows users to input books and
Folder Browser: A system of on-screen folders (usually
hierarchical or "stacked") used to organize
documents. For example, the File Manager program in Microsoft
Windows is a type of folder browser which displays the
directories on your disk.
Forms Processing: A specialized imaging application
designed for handling pre-printed forms. Forms processing
systems often use high-end (or multiple) OCR engines and
elaborate data validation routines to extract hand-written
or poor quality print from forms that go into database.
This type of imaging application faces major challenges,
since many of the documents scanned were never designed
for imaging or OCR.
Full Text Indexing and Search: Enables the retrieval
of documents by either their work or phrase content. Every
word in the document is indexed into a master word list
with pointers to the documents and pages where each occurrence
of the word appears
Fuzzy Logic: A search procedure that looks for
exact matches as well as similarities to the search criteria,
in order to compensate for spelling errors that may occur
in full-text searches.
GIF: CompuServe’s native
file format for storing images.
Gigabyte: One billion bytes. Also expressed as
one thousand megabytes. In terms of image storage capacity,
one gigabyte equals approximately 17,000- 8.5"x11"
pages scanned at 300-dpi, stored as TIFF Group IV images.
Greyscale: An image type that uses black, white,
and a ranges of shades of gray. The number of shades of
gray depends on the number of bits per pixel. The larger
the number of shades of gray, the better the image will
look, and the larger the file will be.
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM):
Software that automatically migrates files from
on-line to near-line storage media, usually on the basis
of the age or frequency of use of the files.
Host: Computer in which an application
or database resides.
Hot Spare: A drive or drives that resides
in a RAID storage system that is used to automatically
take over for a non-functioning or failed drive without
any operator intervention.
Hz: Abbreviation for Hertz; cycles per
second. Often used with metric prefixes, as in kiloHertz
ICR: Intelligent Character Recognition.
A software process that recognizes handwritten and printed
test as alphanumeric characters.
boards: An imaging-dedicated processor(s). Relieves
the CPU (Central Processor Unit - the computer's main
chip) from many imaging-specific tasks - compression,
decompression, display, zooming, shrinking, scale-to-grey.
In fact, does them better than the CPU.
Image Enabling: A software function that creates
links between existing applications and stored images.
Think of "data processing": it refers to the
manipulation of raw data to solve some problem or enlighten
the user in some way not possible without manipulation.
Image Processing Card (IPC): A board mounted in
the computer, scanner, or printer that facilitates the
acquisition and displaying of images. The primary function
of most IPCs is the rapid compression and decompression
of image files.
Index Fields: Database fields used to categorize
and organize documents. Often user-defines, these fields
can be used for searches.
Interface: 1. A mechanical or electrical
link connecting two or more pieces of equipment together.
2. A point of demarcation between two devices where the
electrical signals, connectors, timing and handshaking
ISO-9660: A file system format standard
developed for CD-ROMs using the CD-XA encoding standard.
It is supported by Microsoft operating systems, UNIX,
Internet Publishing: Specialized imaging software
that allows large volumes of paper documents to be published
on the Internet or intranet and can be made available
to the public for searching, viewing, and printing.
per second. A scanner transport measurement of speed.
IPX/SPX: Communications protocol used by Novell
ISIS and TWAIN Scanner Drives: Specialized applications
used for communication between scanners and computers.
TWAIN drivers were developed primarily for photo image
editing and desktop publishing. They handle color and
gray-scale images well, but don’t support high
speed scanning. ISIS drivers were developed primarily
for high-speed document imaging. They were designed for
the rapid scanning of black and white images through an
ADF. In recent years, the difference has narrowed and
ISIS drivers now include gray-scale and color support,
while TWAIN drivers now support ADF.
ISO 9660 CD Format: The International Standards
organization format for creating CD-ROM’s that
can be read worldwide.
JPEG: An image compression format
used for storing color photographs and images.
Jukebox: A mass storage device
that holds optical disks and loads them into a drive.
Key Field: Database fields used
for document searches and retrieval. Synonymous with "index
Magneto-Optical Drive: A drive
that combines laser and magnetic technology to create
high-capacity erasable storage.
MAPI: Mail Application Program Interface. The Windows
software standard that has become a popular e-mail interface
(used by MS Exchange, GroupWise, and several other e-mail
Mean Time Between
Failure: A statistical measure of reliability,
this is calculated to indicate the anticipated average
time between failures of a device. The longer the better.
Near-Line: Documents stored on
optical disks or compact disks that are housed in the
jukebox or CD changer and can be retrieved without human
NetWare Loadable Module (NLM): An application that
runs as part of the network operating system (NOS) of
a Novell NetWare server.
NT: Network Technology. Refers to Microsoft Windows
NT server and workstation software.
OCR: Optical Character Recognition.
A software process that recognizes printed text as alphanumeric
Off-Line: Archival documents stored on optical
disks or compact disks that are not connected or installed
in the computer, but require human intervention to be
accessed as needed.
On-Line: Documents stored on the hard drive or
magnetic disk of a computer which are available immediately.
Optical Disks: Computer media similar to a Compact
Disk that cannot be rewritten. An optical drive uses a
laser to read the stored data.
Optical Jukebox: see "Jukebox."
PDF: Adobe's Portable Document Format. The term
Adobe uses to describe Acrobat files.
Phase Change: A method of storing
information or rewritable optical disks.
Picture Element - The basic building block of all images
-- a simple, single dot in an image. In bitonal
images, it is merely a black or white dot (see "Bitonal"
definition above). In grey scale images, dots will have
between 1-to-256 possible values of grey (for an 8-bit
grey scale image).
Portable Volumes: A feature which facilitates the
moving of large volumes of documents without having to
copy multiple files. Portable volumes enables individual
CDs to be easily regrouped, detached and reattached to
different databases for a broader information exchange.
Portrait Orientation: An image registered
so that it is taller than it is wide, with the narrow
edge running along top and bottom. When scanning, orientation
is determined by the leading edge of the document.
PPM: Pages per minute. A measurement
of the throughput speed of a scanner - how many letter-size
pages the scanner can scan in one minute. Beware: ppm
can be misleading.
Queue: A queue is a series of folders that contain
image files of scanned paper documents and a database
of lookup values to facilitate searching, retrieving and
viewing of the image files.
RAID: Redundant Array of Inexpensive
Disks. A collection of hard disks that act as a single
unit. Files on RAID drives can be duplicated ("mirrored")
to preserve data. RAID systems may vary in levels of redundancy,
with no redundancy being a single, non-mirrored disk as
level 0, two disks that mirror each other as level 1,
on up to level 5, the most common.
RAID 5: A RAID implementation that writes a parity
byte on one or more of the drives within the RAID system.
This allows data to be rebuilt to a hot spare drive in
the event of a hard drive failure within the RAID system.
Raster/ Bitmap: Raster or Bitmap Drawing. A method
of representing an image with a grid (or "map")
of dots or pixels. Typical raster file formats are GIF,
JPEG, TIFF, PCX, BMP, etc.
Resolution: Indicates the number of dots,
often measured in dpi, that make up an image on a screen
or printer. The larger the number of dots, and thus the
higher the resolution, the finer and smoother images can
appear when displayed at a given size. Low resolution
causes jagged characters. The ideal resolution is a trade-off
between quality and the overhead in storage power and
processing strength required to use it.
Region (of an image): An area of an image file
that is selected for specialized processing. Also called
Scale-To-Gray: An option to display
a black and white image file in an enhanced mode, making
it easier to view. A scale-to-gray display uses gray shading
to fill in gaps or jumps (known as aliasing) that occur
when displaying an image file on a computer screen (also
known as gray-scale).
Scalability: The capacity of a system to expand
without requiring major reconfiguration or re-entry of
data. Multiple servers or additional storage can be easily
Scanner: An input device commonly used to convert
paper documents into computer images. Scanner devices
are also available to scan microfilm and microfiche.
SCSI: Small Computer Systems Interface. Pronounced
"skuzzy." A standard for attaching peripherals
(notably mass storage devices and scanners) to computers.
SCSI allows for up to 7 devices to be attached in a chain
via cables. The current SCSI standard is "SCSI II,"
also known as "Fast SCSI."
SCSI Scanner Interface: The device used to connect
a scanner with a computer.
Simplex: A document scanner that copies
Skew: During printing or scanning, the
contents of a page are almost never exactly verticle,
which referred to as being skewed. De-skewing is a process
where the computer detects and corrects the skew in an
Snapshot: An add-on feature of imaging software
that allows electronic document to be archived internally-within
the computer system. Electronic documents are internally
"printed" into the database, thereby alleviating
the need for any physical paper printing or scanning.
SQL: Structured Query Language. The popular standard
for running database searches (queries) and reports.
SSL: Acronym for Secure Socket Layer,
a protocol designed to provide privacy between a web client
and a web server. The protocol begins with a handshake
phase that negotiates an encryption algorithm and keys
and authenticates the server to the client. Once the handshake
is complete and transmission of application data begins,
all data is encrypted using the session keys negotiated
during the handshake.
TCP/IP: Network communications
protocol. The Internet uses this protocol.
Templates, Document: Sets of index fields for documents.
Throughput: The actual amount of useful
and non-redundant information which is transmitted or
processed. The relationship of what went in one end and
what came out the other is a measure of the efficiency
of that communications link - a function of cleanliness,
Thumbnails: Small versions of an image used for
quick overviews or to get a general idea of what an image
TIFF: Tagged Image File Format. A non-proprietary
format raster graphics image that has many different compression
formats. TIFF has been in use since 1981.
TIFF Group III (compression): A one-dimensional
compression format for storing black and white images
that is utilized by most fax machines.
TIFF Group IV (compression): A two-dimensional
compression format for storing black and white images.
Typically compresses at a 20 to 1 ratio for standard business
Transport Speed: The speed at which the
mechanical transport runs, measured in inches/centimeters
per second (ips/cps).
TWAIN: An industry standard scanner interface
that allows software applications to communicate with
and control document scanners via a computer's serial
Video Scanner Interface Board:
An add-in board residing in the host
computer which enables communication and control of the
scanner device. The board provides device control
and file or data compression. Also known as an accelerator
or compression board. Scanners with this interface
require a scanner control board designed by Kofax, Xionics,
Work Flow, Ad Hoc: A simple manual
process by which documents can be moved around a multi-user
imaging system on an "as-needed" basis.
Work Flow (Rule-Based): A programmed series of
automated steps that route documents to various users
on a multi-user imaging system.
WORM Disks: Write Once Read Many Disks. A popular
archival storage media of the 1980’s. Acknowledged
as the first optical disks, they are primarily used to
store archives of data which cannot be altered. WORM disks
are created by standalone PCs and cannot be used on the
network unlike CD-Rs.
ZIP: A common file compression
format which allows for quick and easy storage for transport.
Zone OCR: An add-on feature of the imaging software
which populated document templates by reading certain
regions or zones of a document, and placing the text into
a document index field.