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In this month's edition of the FileCenter Newsletter, read about:

Separators Part 3 »

Separators Part 4 »

Separators Part 3 – Named Separators

Last month we began a multi-part series on Separators and introduced you to the Generic separator. This month we take up Named separators.

The Generic separator only had one purpose: to split up a scanned document. Sometimes that's all you need. Named separators go a step further: they will name and route the file for you, or putting it in simpler terms, they'll auto-save the document into a pre-determined folder.

How about a quick example. Suppose your law practice only works on half a dozen litigation cases at a time. So you create one separator for each case. As documents come into the office, all you have to do is put the right separator on each document, then scan the whole stack. FileCenter will separate the documents then save each one into the appropriate case drawer.

Think of named separators as virtual filing clerks, and you'll get the concept.

Create a Named Separator

Open FileCenter and click the Separators button in the Tools section of the ribbon (FileCenter Professional only; sorry Standard users). This brings up a list of your separators. Click Add.

First give the separator a name. The name doesn't matter – it's just for your convenience.

Now note the area where you can add Destinations. Destinations are simply the place(s) where you want the documents saved. You'll usually only have one destination, but you can set up as many as you want.

Click Add to add a destination. For the Location, browse out to the drawer/folder where you want the documents to go.

Next you need to choose how the documents will be named. By default, FileCenter's going to use the name you enter when you perform the scan. If you'd prefer to always use a specific name, click Use File Name Builder. Now you'll see a field where you can provide a filename and increment (a counter after the filename). If you use Naming Options, you'll see that they're available in the drop-menu.

When you're done, click OK then Close to create the separator. FileCenter will ask if you want to print it now. Click Yes and print a copy.

Testing Your New Separator

Now it's time to take your separator for a spin. Put it on top of some page you can scan. Click Scan and make sure Process Separators is selected, then proceed with your scan.

Now you'll see something interesting happen after FileCenter finishes with OCR. The file will probably seem to disappear, then FileCenter will pop open a window showing where the file was saved. If you had scanned a whole stack of documents, this list would show you where every file went. This is so you can verify that the scans went to the right places.

Congratulations. You just scanned, named, and saved a document with just a couple of mouseclicks.

Separators Part 4 – Getting Flexible

Time to get practical. Most law firms don't deal with just four cases at a time, most medical practices don't deal with just four patients, and most small businesses don't deal with just four customers. You're more likely to be dealing with dozens, hundreds, or in some cases, even thousands. If you made a separator for every case, customer, client, or patient, you'd waste more time organizing your separators than you'd save scanning with them.

That's why we recently added Relative separators. Relative separators file documents into subfolders off of your current location. In other words, you can use them on any drawer.

For example, let's say our law firm has hundreds of cases. We try to be fairly uniform in the way we organize our case drawers, so every drawer has subfolders for Discovery, Evidence, Court Filings, Client Communications, etc.

To make scanning easier, we create one separator for each type of subfolder. There's a Discovery separator, a Court Filings separator, etc.

Now suppose that some documents related to Case X just came in the mail. For each document, we choose the separator that will send it to the right subfolder. Then we select Case X's drawer and scan the stack. FileCenter splits off each document and sends it to the subfolder specified on its separator.

But here's the real joy of relative separators: we can use this same set of separators for any drawer. That means we might only have to deal with half a dozen printed separators, even if we handle hundreds of different cases.

Create a Relative Separator

Open FileCenter and click the Separators button. Select the separator you just created and click Edit. Select its Destination and click Remove. Let's add a new, relative destination. Click Add under the destinations list.

On the Add Destination dialog, there are two options at the top: Fixed Location and Relative to Selected Location or Destination. Pick the Relative ... option. Now you can specify a folder where you want the document to go, in this format: folder\subfolder.

So, for example, if you want the document to go into a folder called Discovery, just type that in. Or if you want it to go into a Discovery folder off of a parent folder called Correspondence, you'd type in Correspondence\Discovery.

Once you've entered a folder name, click OK then OK again to save the changes. Note that you don't have to re-print the separator.

Testing Your New Separator

Once again, put your separator on top of some sheet of paper. Now select a drawer in FileCenter and scan, remembering to select Process Separators. When it's done, you'll see a folder appear in the drawer and your scan in the folder, named and saved just like your separator dictated.

Select a different drawer and repeat the scan. You already know what's going to happen.

Finally, select a folder in the drawer and repeat the scan. This time, FileCenter will add a subfolder to the selected folder and put the scan in it. Why? Why didn't the scan go into a top-level folder? Because the separator will always save the document relative to your selected path.

Hopefully you're seeing the power and versatility of relative separators. With just a few separators, you can shave scanning down to just one or two mouse clicks and maintain a uniform filing structure. That's about as effortless as scanning gets.

Still to Come ...

Next time we'll talk about how to share one set of separators with everyone in the office, and we'll give a few obscure separator tricks that can sometimes be a big help.

Lucion Technologies, LLC • 710 E Technology Ave. • Orem, UT 84097

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