• Yogi

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WORKING ON A PHYSICAL FILE/DOCUMENT AND RAW SCAN OF THE SAME FILE/DOCUMENT




Can you fully work on a scanned PDF file/document replacing a physical file?


For anyone who has tried, the obvious answer is an emphatic “NO.” There are 3 fundamental reasons why one prefers, consciously or unconsciously, to work on a physical file rather than a digital file.


EASE IN OPENING A SPECIFIC PAGE


The main difference between a physical and an electronic file lies in opening a specific page-number.


In a physical file, you just flip to that page if you want to go to a page. However, this function is not seamless in an electronic file. Even though most PDF readers contain a ‘go to page’ function, it is often ineffective.


For instance, if the index is spread across 5 pages, ‘page 1’ of a physical file will be ‘page 6’ in your PDF.


Similarly, many files contain preliminary clerical pages which are not part of the document’s pagination. In some courts, the preliminary section of file is numbered in A,B,C, D format followed by 1,2,3 format. These reasons, and many more, add to the page count difference between physical files and scanned files.



This difference results in obvious practical problems. Suppose if you decide to argue a case with your iPad, and the judge asks you to refer page 45, it is not feasible to count the number of preliminary pages and then give the ‘go to page’ command.


Similarly, if the judge asks you to refer to page 852 in volume III, you cannot scroll down endlessly in search of page 852.


This difference hampers an electronic file’s functionality.


For any advocate, case files are the most used document format, most of which contain running page numbering. Therefore, it is impractical to work on digital files without this function.


This difference can be eliminated with Page-Labelling


FLIPPING TO A SPECIFIC SECTION OF FILE

Similar to the ease in opening a specific page, one can effortlessly flip to a specific section in a physical file. You only need to refer the index and then turn to the respective page number.


Many of you might also be accustomed users of paper-flags to mark important annexures/pages in a physical file to instantly open a specific annexure/page.


In a raw scanned PDF file, this function cannot be performed.


This difference can be eliminated with Bookmarking & Hyperlinking



TOGGLING BETWEEN VARIOUS SECTIONS OF FILE


Toggling between 2 different pages is possible in a physical file, while it is not so easy in a digital file.


In a physical file, while reading the Petition, you can momentarily go to an annexure and revert to the Petition as you can naturally toggle between different pages. This cannot be done easily on an electronic file



CONCLUSION


To eliminate the above problems, CPBH should be performed so that a digital file will offer the same functional experience as a physical file.



I am a practicing advocate, with no professional technological expertise, operating a small stand-alone office. My digitization journey began in 2016. What started out as a simple pursuit to save my notes on judgments, eventually turned into a passion, changing the entire paradigm of my office. 

The information shared on this blog is a crystallised version of years of trial and error in various methods and work-flow implemented in my office. Please note that I am not promoting any hardware or software when I indicate them in this blog. My stress is only on the method. There are multiple alternatives of hardware and software for all tasks.

 

If you have any query, suggestion or wish to share your digitization methods, feel free to contact me at yogi@sanspaper.in

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