Content Management and Capture

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Handling Excel files

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  • 1.  Handling Excel files

    Posted Tue August 04, 2020 02:41 PM
    ​Hi,
    I would like to know what you do when a user uploads an Excel file in the Datacap batch. I see two ways of handling an uploaded Excel file: (1) Convert the worksheet into a tif image and treat the page just as other scanned pages. or (2) Do not convert the Excel file, send it as is to the document repository. Our document repository is FileNet Content Engine. We use IBM Content Navigator as the front-end to view these documents.

    What is your practice dealing with Excel? What if the Excel worksheet is very wide or very deep?

    Thanks,
    Walter

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    Walter Fu
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  • 2.  RE: Handling Excel files

    Posted Wed August 05, 2020 11:20 AM
    I've seen customers in both scenarios. If you want to extract data from Excel using Datacap, you must convert it to TIFF.

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    Tod DeBie
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  • 3.  RE: Handling Excel files

    Posted Thu August 06, 2020 12:50 AM
    If extraction is necessary or desirable, I would also consider creating a custom action that can read and understand your Excel files.  The reliability of the layout would be a large factor in that decision, of course.

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    Robert Stegall
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  • 4.  RE: Handling Excel files

    Posted Thu August 06, 2020 08:09 PM
    Hi Robert,
    Thanks for the pointer of a custom action to extract more accurate data.
    Regards,
    Walter

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    Walter Fu
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  • 5.  RE: Handling Excel files

    Posted Thu August 06, 2020 08:05 PM
    Hi Tod,
    Yes, there are pros and cons of either approach. I wonder if people will actually get used to the wide and deep worksheets being split into separate pages. Using the first approach does have the advantage of the worksheet being in the right place within the multi-page document.
    Thanks,
    Walter

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    Walter Fu
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  • 6.  RE: Handling Excel files
    Best Answer

    Posted Fri August 07, 2020 09:54 AM
    When dealing with Excel files (Workbooks containing multiple tabs/pages) you also have to take into consideration whether such an file was ever well prepared for printing or not because when you are leveraging the Datacap TIFF conversion action it will rely on your Excel print setup (and print zones/print areas) of your Excel Workbook for this conversion task (that was my observation when I leveraged this action in a project situation). I'd personally not recommend to convert Excel files which have not been well prepared for printing (print zones assigned) and tested in a given Datacap capture scenario. Not doing so, will bear a high risk for unexpected data loss during this conversion because columns not fit onto the TIFF page boundaries might be cut off or even fully missing.

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    Stefan Matschek
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  • 7.  RE: Handling Excel files

    Posted Mon August 10, 2020 12:55 PM
    Hi Stefan,
    Thank you for the very reasonable reasons of caution for converting Excel files using Datacap file conversion action. Not converting the Excel file is the safer approach and we do not have to deal with being careful preparing and updating the Excel file.
    Regards,
    Walter

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    Walter Fu
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