icon phone 248.447.0100  email sales@ufcinc.com 

ABBYY FlexiCapture Tutorials

Learn by Watching then Try it Yourself

Also featuring videos about other fine ABBYY products including FineReader Server.

Watch how to create your very first ABBYY FlexiCapture fixed form project.

Hello, today I'm going to show you how to create your very first demo project with ABBYY FlexiCapture. What we're using today is ABBYY FlexiCapture standalone. This is a little bit different than distributed, so there's a little bit naming difference, just to give you a heads up. But the process of creating a form is exactly the same in both products, but the name of this station to do it is considered something different. So the very first thing that we're going to do today is check out our samples that we have. It's always important to have samples. In fact, it's always important to have what we call a blank sample, and I'll go ahead and open this one up. You'll see this is a direct deposit form, or an example of one, and it's blank. We will use this as the base for our template that we're going to create today. Then we have some filled out samples here. I think we have three of them that are just filled out for us, and we will use the base one to tell us where the information is on these forms and then how to extract it.

So those are our samples. I'll go ahead and close that for now. We're going to open up our ABBYY FlexiCapture Administration Station, and that's a standalone. In ABBYY distributed, it is called the Project Setup Station. So we'll double-click that and it will open here. Okay, what we're going to do from this project setup screen here is create a new project. So we'll click the create new button, and we're going to be prompted to give our project a name. Typically, I would recommend that we just create a new folder for it, so we'll call this our demo project folder, and then we'll call it our demo project. Just make sure that your settings on your screen are matching mine for just a basic project that we're going to create today. So we'll hit the create button and we are in the administration station here.

The very first step that we want to do is hit project, and document definitions. A document definition is another word, a template. This is telling the software where to receive information off of a document. Where are those fields found, do we want text, do we want dates, do we want check marks? Those kind of things. So all of that happens within a document definition. So we're simply going to create a new document definition, and the very first thing that will come up is a window that helps us to find what kind of information we want to capture. So we're going to call this our demo document definition, and of course, things like language is very important, and writing style. But typically, the only things we change here are between the different text types. ICR is simply handwriting. If you want to capture information that is hand-written, you will use ICR. But for this demo, our information is typed and will use ICR.

We'll hit next, and the next screen that will popup is a screen that will ask us to load a sample from a file. So we will do that and we will find our demo samples. Remember I said we want to start with a blank sample, so we will do that. By default, the product is setup to automatically detect fields that are check marks or text. I'm going to actually uncheck that, so we'll have nothing checked, and that way, we can do it together and show you how we would accept and define what fields we want to capture. So we will click finish, and now the document definition will be created.

Okay, this is our document definition form. There are a ton of settings available within this form here, but I'm going to just zoom in on the document a little bit so that we can see it here. A little bit more visible. What I'd like to do is start defining what fields we want to capture. So we know that the first name and the last name, and even the employee ID, these are text fields. So we're going to select our text element here that we want to capture, and we're just going to highlight within this box the details that we want to capture. So we'll lasso and just say this is where we will find the first name. You see it creates a field here and we can right-click and rename this to say first name.

Our next one will be last name, so will do something very similar. We'll just tell the software where to find last name, and then we will rename it here, and the same with the employee ID. Okay? Then we'll move down here to our bank details. Same thing. We're just going to highlight and rename. Once again, we will lasso and rename. And we will rename this to routing number, and that will be the last field we want to capture from the top. You'll see that we have a signature area. Sometimes, it's very important for us to detect if a form was signed and to verify that it was signed and dated, or something to that effect. For today's demo, I'm just going to capture the signature, and what I can here is just lasso the area where we would expect a signature to happen. So, this will detect a graphic off of the form for us. I might just adjust that just a little bit, and then we have also a date field down here that we'll capture as well. We'll be a little bit more liberal here on the space that we allow that to happen.

So this is our very first document definition. All we did was lasso the fields where we should find them, and we have a ton of different options that we can set. I'm going to go back here and just change routing number. I'm going to make sure that is just correctly within the box that we expect to capture. You see here on the bottom-right, we can zoom in and control how zoomed we are on the document. So that's as simple as that.

Now, let's talk about check marks. Check marks are pretty neat. What I'm going to do is just lasso over these check marks and create what we call a check mark group. That's why I have this selected where we have multiple check marks within this group. If you only have one check mark, you would only use the single check mark element. But you can see here the software did detect the account type, and it's going to try to auto-name some of these. We're going to change this to checking here. So that is what we call a check mark group, when we have multiple check marks in one situation, or that we want to capture. So that is the account type and that is really as basic as it gets for creating a form.

Now, there are tons of properties that we will not go into during this video, but if you right-click on a field and go to properties, you can see information here that is very, very worthy to know. For example, you can set the data types, and that's very important when it comes to numbers or dates or addresses, emails. You have full control over special data types that we have within the software. You have full control over the type of recognition. OCR, once again, is machine print. So we're going to capture machine print on all of ours here. Then we have some other things that we won't define during this video, but it would be worthy of you investigating, including verification rules and custom actions.

So that is our very first video, or our document definition. We're simple going to save the document definition. It will tell us down here at the bottom that it is valid. So now, we can close the document definition. Once we are ready, we can publish, and then what we will do now is load images and test against that document definition so that we can see the results. So we will load the non-blank samples. The software creates automatically a batch for us, and that's what it's doing here. It's telling us it's adding those images, and then it will go through a process called recognition, where it will define and find those fields that we just outlined on the blank sample.

Okay, so here we go. We see that all of these came through and we can see the results here. We won't dive into every single one of these but you can see we captured all the information that you see on this form, if I zoom in here, including account numbers and even a copy of that signature as well. Same here on the next document. You see on the left, all the information we extracted, and on the right, a copy of the image. You can see it was as simple as us just defining some fields, and it will show up here. The last thing it did add is account type. Remember, account type is the check mark field and it determined that savings was the one checked here. You are allowed to have certain constraints. Maybe only one is allowed to be checked, or multiples. Those are all within the properties of that field when we set it up.

The lastly here, we'll just take a peek at this one, and you can see what it extracted here as well. So, very easy to setup and control it. Now, if you're seeing information on the screen that you have questions on or you would want more control over, that is all done within the document definition. So if you ever need to modify the document definition that you created, you would simply go to project, document definitions, and then you can edit the existing document definition, or create another one if there's another form that you want to capture. So that is your very first project with document definitions and ABBYY FlexiCapture. It's a very, very aggressive and neat tool. There are tons of features that you did not see in this beginner video, including things like database lookups and scripting, and also rules and constraints that we can place on different fields.

So feel free to dive into the product, learn more, and please contact us if you have any questions. We'd love to be of service to you. Thank you so much.


Information about the Author
Travis Spangler
About Me
Articles by Travis Spangler: Travis writes articles dealing with various technical aspects of document capture and forms processing. He is fluent in Microsoft.NET and holds several certifications including ABBYY FlexiCapture and IRISXTract. As general manager and sales director, he controls the daily operations as well as manages customer accounts to ensure both customers and prospects are receiving the very best from UFC, Inc. Travis has many years of experience with document capture software and content management systems. He also has wide areas of expertise including custom functions in ABBYY FlexiCapture, email API's, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and many other applications and platforms. He has integrated Amazon Web Services EC2 instances with several applications including the company's CRM system.
Some of My Other Articles

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel


Contact Us for Your ABBYY Software and Consulting Needs

Let us Help You

Find out How We Can Help You on Your ABBYY Software Project

man in suit pointing figure forward towards the word information on a screen

Our Recent Blog Posts