File Conversion Options
Clients regularly ask us to convert files from native to an image format, e.g. TIFF or PDF. We can do this at rates and capacities (which evolve over time) that we can provide when you schedule your production job. Contact your Project Consultant for full details.
When we convert native files to the PDF format, we use the Postscript format rather than the Image Plus Text format. The Postscript format creates a smaller file size and renders the files in full color with the same resolution as the original. It also preserves searchable text.
We recommend using the PDF format for all documents conversions. The format supports color images and the resulting image quality is better for viewing small characters. In addition, file sizes are reduced, often by as much as 90%.
We convert native files to TIFF at 300 dpi (dots per inch) and render them to a Black and White format. We do not convert to higher resolutions, e.g. 600 or 1200 dpi, or to the gray scale or color TIFF formats as a standard practice.
The 300 dpi Black and White format has long been the standard for scanned documents and it is adequate for most black and white documents with Western text. We find that it is also adequate for most symbolic text representations such as Chinese or Japanese but that may not always be the case for fine print (small characters or symbols). We can create a test conversion; contact your Project Consultant for full details.
This format is usually not suitable for color images or documents with color shading or highlighting. Often, shaded content will be illegible. The alternative—converting at a higher resolution in gray scale or color is problematic because the resulting file sizes are large, sometimes exceeding 5 megabytes a page.
Use of Commercial Software for Conversions
We use commercial grade software to perform native file conversions. However, we make no representations that every file will convert or will provide the formatting you desire.
For many file types, we employ a second and sometimes a third conversion method as an automatic failover. If the file fails to convert using our primary software, we will make additional attempts using other software.
The conversion software we use varies depending on the file type and what we consider is the best product available at the time (which regularly evolves). We can say that the ultimate failover for all formats is software that uses the Stellent filters for conversion. Thus, our ability to convert files is ultimately based on the formats that Stellent can recognize and convert. If Stellent can’t convert the file format, we make no representation that we can convert it.
There is no way to guarantee that any particular file will convert properly. The file might be corrupt, password protected or require links to other sources before it will render. The file also might be misnamed. For example, a file labeled .doc may actually be something else. It also may not be a file type we support for conversion. See below for a list of file types we support for conversion.
Files that don’t convert will be included on an exception list. These can be produced in native format or you can request hand conversion (if possible) from your Project Consultant at an additional charge.
Our systems are built to process and manage ASCII and Unicode (UTF-8) compliant documents. This covers most file formats including Microsoft Office files, Microsoft Exchange, Notes, other Word processing files and most any file coming from a binary format.
We sometimes receive HTML and text files that are not UTF-8 encoded. This is most common with documents from Asian countries that use special encoding, such as Shift JS (Japanese), Big 5 (Chinese), or the like.
Files that have special encoding may not convert properly unless they are handled specially. If we know the encoding in advance, we can usually set the conversion systems to recognize and convert it properly. If not, determining the underlying encoding is often a matter of trial and error as there is no readily-available software that can decipher encoding when the document is not labeled.
There are some files, email for example, that have mixed encoding that can cause conversion to fail. This is sometimes done intentionally by spammers who are trying to confuse spam filtering systems. As a result, the system will convert using one encoding (Western European) and not realize the message body is in another encoding (Big 5). The resulting message will be a meaningless string of characters.
For these reasons, we make no promise that specially or improperly-encoded files will convert properly on our system. If you have documents with special encoding, please speak with your Project Consultant about taking special measures to convert those files. Additional charges may apply.
Unless you make specific arrangements in advance (at an extra charge) we do not check converted files to make sure that they were ASCII or Unicode compliant or that special encoding converted properly.
We charge extra to QC files to check encoding or for all technical work relating to determining encoding or reprocessing specially encoded files. Please consult with your Project Consultant if you want to discuss this further.
File Types Generally Appropriate for Conversion
We support the following file types as being generally appropriate for conversion to TIFF or PDF format. Please discuss these or any other file formats for which you have questions with your Project Consultant.
Word Processing Formats:
Star Open Office
Open Office Calc
Quattro Pro for DOS & Windows
Star Office Calc
Open Office Impress
Star Office Impress
MSG—Outlook Mail Message
EML (Standards based email formats)
We can convert standard graphics files to TIFF or PDF including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF.
PDF (Adobe Acrobat)
A file that has an extension suggesting that it fits one of these categories does not mean it can be converted or will convert properly. Among other possibilities, the file could be corrupt, password protected or mis-labeled.
Office 2007 Formats:
We can convert the standard Office 2007 formats except One Note. One Note files have to be hand converted.
Files Not Appropriate for Conversion
The following categories of files are generally not appropriate for conversion to TIFF of PDF and will not be converted through our process. These are not usually included in our repository but rather are addressed during the processing and extraction stage before being delivered to us for loading.
Container files: ZIP, GZIP, LZA, Microsoft Binder, UNIX TAR
Compressed container formats are usually decompressed and discarded during processing. They are not appropriate for conversion to TIFF or PDF.
Email Container Formats: PST, OST, NSF and all other mail archives
These formats contain msg and eml files that should be processed and extracted before they are uploaded. They are not appropriate for conversion to TIFF or PDF.
Database Formats: Access, dBASE, FoxBase, SQL, Paradox, etc.
Database formats are not appropriate for conversion to TIFF or PDF. If desired, we can print reports or other information from these files in PDF or TIFF format. Custom programming fees apply.
Executables: EXE, DLL and all system or program files
These formats are usually excluded during the processing phase and are rarely needed or desired in a document review system.
Unknown files without identifiable extensions or content: We cannot convert these files. If requested, we can run special software to analyze these files to determine their format. Those that are appropriate can then be converted. We charge an extra fee for this service and our efforts to make these files accessible for conversion.
Let your Project Consultant know if you have special file formats that need to be converted for a particular matter. We will do our best to accommodate your request.
At your direction, we can create a placeholder file for any file that cannot be converted. This can be provided along with the native file or in lieu of the native file.
In the alternative, we can remove the file and not create a placeholder.
Please indicate your preference on the. You can discuss these options with your Project Consultant.
Exception reports: We provide an exception report for files that do not convert using our software systems. At your option, we can produce the native files and/or include a placeholder saying that the file could not be converted.
No visual inspection of converted files: Although we check some files as part of our QC process, we do not open each converted file to check the visual appropriateness of conversion, i.e. do they look good, is pagination proper, did internal text or images convert properly.
If you want us to specially review converted files, please discuss this with your Project Consultant. There will be extra charges for these services and it will take longer to finish our work.
Reduction of image size: If you request legends or numbering at the bottom of the page, we will reduce the image size slightly to accommodate this. That way we don’t overwrite actual content. In our experience, image quality is not adversely affected by this reduction.
Additional work on native files: At your request, we can take additional efforts to open, format and convert native files. This will incur additional charges and we make no promise that any of the files can be opened or converted successfully. Please discuss this option with your Project Consultant if appropriate.